The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
Note: This article is about the original novel. For the graphic novel, see Kristy's Great Idea (Graphic Novel). For the Netflix episode, see Kristy's Great Idea (episode).

Kristy's Great Idea is the first book written and published in the original The Baby-sitters Club series. The club is formed by four best friends: Kristy Thomas (president), Claudia Kishi (vice president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), and Stacey McGill (treasurer). The book was written by Ann M. Martin and published in August of 1986.

Back Cover Summary

Kristy thinks the Baby-sitters Club is a great idea. She and her friends Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne all love taking care of kids. A club will give them the chance to have lots of fun — and make tons of money.

But nobody counted on crank calls, uncontrollable two-year-olds, wild pets, and parents who don't always tell the truth. And then there's Stacey, who's acting more and more mysterious. Having a baby-sitters club isn't easy, but Kristy and her friends aren't giving up until they get it right!


The Baby-Sitters Club began when it was a very hot Tuesday afternoon in Stoneybrook Middle School, but when the bell rang, Kristy Thomas stood up and shouted, “Hooray!” She was glad that school was over so she could have AC. However, Kristy’s social studies teacher, Mr. Redmont told Kristy she had to write a 100-word essay on the importance of decorum.

On the way out, Kristy finds her best friend Mary Anne Spier and tells her when she will have nail polish, Mary Anne says she’ll be seventy-five when she’ll have her nails polish. Mary Anne’s mother died when she was a baby, leaving her father really overprotective of her like wearing her hair in braids, dressing like a china doll, wearing skirts and dresses, not calling friends after dinner unless if given sitting jobs and homework, her room looking like a two-year old’s room, and staying up until 9:00 PM which makes Mary Anne really shy, quiet, and always seems to cry a lot when Kristy always seems to be talkative and bossy, wearing blouses and skirts like Mary Anne, and always seems to dress up like a ten-year old.

Meanwhile Kristy forgets something and runs all the way home with Mary Anne. Mary Anne tells Kristy it’s too hot to run, but Kristy says it’s Tuesday since she has to watch her brother David Michael, or else he’ll have to babysit himself. Kristy and Mary Anne made it home and David Michael cries, saying that he’s locked out and couldn’t come in the house since, he really has to use the restroom. Kristy finds a key while David Michael says it's not the key, but Kristy uses it anyway. Just as Kristy opens the door, her dog, Louie comes out to greet her since he’s been inside since breakfast.

Kristy tells David Michael that she’s going to make lemonade and he’s happy when he uses the bathroom. Meanwhile, Kristy turns on the AC and tells Mary Anne that Mrs. Newton had called Kristy to babysit Jamie that day, but Kristy refused because she had to babysat David Michael at the same time, Kristy also asks Mary Anne if Mrs. Newton called her. Mary Anne tells Kristy maybe she called Claudia Kishi.

Claudia lives down the street from Kristy and Mary Anne. The three have been together and best friends for many years until in the sixth grade, Claudia became more into art, clothes, and boys and always seems to be on the phone or decorating her wardrobe. She also became a terrible student since she always focuses on art. Her sister, Janine is a sophomore in high school and is a real life genius with a 196 IQ. She always seems to correct Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne since some words are not used enough and sometimes she might say: “Kristy, you must say: ‘David Michael, you may not go outside because it’s raining.’ Instead of 'David Michael, you cannot go outside because it's raining.'" Janine’s best friend is a fourteen-year old math nerd who’s graduating high school in the Spring and her second best friend is her computer.

David Michael flushes the toilet and Kristy’s older brothers Sam and Charlie enter the house. Sam announces that they are going to play football at the Hansons’ house. David Michael has a sad face because he is too young to play football. So Kristy tells Sam that they are going to the brook and David Michael nods, saying that he wants to go. At the brook, David Michael and Louie wade in the water while Kristy and Mary Anne watch while talking. When Kristy says it’s time for dinner, they walk home. When they reach Kristy’s house, Mary Anne tells Kristy that 9:00 to do their flashlight code since Mary Anne is not allowed on the phone after dinner. Mary Anne made the flashlight code up, and hasn’t been caught once like Kristy.

While Charlie is drinking, and Sam, Kristy, and David Michael are working on a puzzle. Their mother Elizabeth comes in with pizza, which makes Kristy confused. Elizabeth is a divorced mother because her husband walked out of the family when Kristy was six-years old. Elizabeth has been working in a big company in Stamford and always supports her children so much since she feels guilty because her husband always forgets the holidays and doesn’t send child support money, still, Elizabeth still feels guilty.

Kristy tells Elizabeth why she ordered pizza and Charlie begs Kristy not to. Elizabeth always brings pizza when she tells the children a favor. Elizabeth tells everyone that Kathy, David Michael’s babysitter has canceled so Elizabeth tells everyone if they are free. Charlie has football practice, Sam has math club, and Kristy is sitting for Jamie Newton. Kristy is willing to change her mind, but Elizabeth begs her not to.

Elizabeth then makes dozens of phone calls around the neighborhood for David Michael to have a sitter. She calls Mary Anne, she is sitting for Claire and Margo Pike, she calls Claudia, she has art class, then she calls two high school girls, they had cheerleading practice. David Michael looked like he might cry. Elizabeth then calls Mrs. Newton to tell Kristy that she could bring David Michael to play with Jamie, and Kristy agrees.

Then, the idea for the Baby-Sitters Club came, and Kristy almost choked on a pizza. She could hardly wait to tell Mary Anne the great idea she had in her mind. Kristy rushed upstairs to do her essay and the Baby-Sitters Club.

And that’s how the Baby-Sitters Club began.


Kristy's divorced mother, Elizabeth Thomas, has been dating a new, rich guy, Watson Brewer, and Kristy is feeling cautious about him. He seems like a good father, but Kristy's real father, Patrick Thomas, walked out on the family when Kristy was six years old, leaving Elizabeth to look after four kids on her own, including a newborn baby (David Michael). Patrick then remarried and started a new family in California. Kristy doesn't want to get hurt again and has to decide whether to hate his guts or to open up to him, taking the chance that he'll hurt her, just like her father did to her, emotionally. Kristy must decide whether it's worth the pain to love a new (almost) father again.

Also, Stacey, their new friend, is acting mysterious and Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have to find out what she's up to. At a sleepover party at Kristy's, Stacey reveals she has type one diabetes from eating too much sugar. She tried to hide this because her old friends at school teased her about it, but her new friends were quick to forgive her, and they are still Stacey's best friends.

Kristy babysits for the McKeevers, which has two St. Bernards called Buffy and Pinky (3 year old twins). Mrs. McKeever is out for a few days leaving her niece, Miss Hargreaves to watch the dogs. Miss Hargreaves reads the ad wrong thinking the BSC also dog-sits. Kristy gets the job, and when she gets there, she was shocked to find out that she was sitting for dogs. After that ended, Kristy came up with a new idea: The Notebook.

Claudia babysits for Jamie Newton, and his mom forgets to tell Claudia that his cousins (the Feldmans) are coming because Mrs. Newton invited her sister and son-in-law for an art show downtown. The Feldmans are Rosie (3), Brenda (5), and Rob (8). Rosie likes to scream and fight with Jamie, Brenda has the chicken poxes and is very cranky, and Rob hates girls, which led to them causing chaos. It ends when Claudia reads Peter Rabbit and Where the Wild Things Are to Jamie.

Stacey babysits Kristy's younger six-year old brother David Michael, while Kristy babysits the McKeevers' at the same time. Kristy's older 14-year old brother Sam Thomas comes in after playing a game of baseball at a friend's house. Stacey remarks that Sam has curly brown hair, blue eyes, and is very cute and funny, and they flirt with each other. The three then play a game of Candy Land. When Kristy comes home, Stacey tells Kristy that her brother is so cute, while Kristy ignores that, Stacey says her sitting job with David Michael was fine, and Kristy then tells Stacey about her idea for the notebook.

Mary Anne babysits the Brewers, because Kristy refused to since she hated Watson. Karen is 5 and Andrew is 3. Karen has started Kindergarten and will move to 1st grade after Winter Break, while Andrew is quiet and says "Yup" to everything since he is shy. Boo-Boo, the Brewers' cat, has a fear of Morbidda Destiny, a witch according to Karen. When the three go outside, Boo-Boo goes to Morbidda Destiny's front yard, and the witch scares him.


Kristy's Family

Extended Family

BSC Members



  • Janine Kishi
  • Kathy - 15 year old and David Michael's baby-sitter when his siblings aren't available



Pop Culture and Real-Life References

  • Chapter 3, Jamie Newton has G.I. Joe figures and watches Sesame Street with David Michael.
  • Kristy assumes that Karen owns Rainbow Brite dolls. The 2020 reprint changes it to My Little Pony since Rainbow Brite was made in the 1980s and hasn't been used much.
  • Claudia reads the Tale of Peter Rabbit and Where the Wild Things Are to the Feldmans and Jamie.
  • Watson thinks Boo-Boo could be in the Guinness Book of World Records for how fat he is.
  • Kristy remarks that Karen and Andrew have enough toys like a Toys 'R Us store.
  • Kristy reads Karen: Little Toot, The Snowy Day, and Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and The Little Engine that Could
  • Stacey, Sam, and David Michael play Candy Land.

Continuity and Inconsistencies


  • Karen is said to have brown eyes on page 122, when she's later described in every following book with blue eyes.
  • On page 124 Elizabeth is called Edie, but she was called Elizabeth in Kristy's Big Day. Edie is most likely be a placeholder name.

Differences in the Reprints

  • Rainbow Brite. The 2020 reprint changes it to My Little Pony since Rainbow Brite was made in the 1980s and hasn't been used much.
  • Kristy says "Hooray" instead of "Hurray".
  • In the 1986 version of the book, it's said that Kristy and Mary Anne were wearing blouses, skirts and saddle shoes when meeting Stacey. In the 1995 reprint, it's said that Kristy wore jeans and sneakers since the cover had Kristy wearing her tomboy clothing. In the 1986 version cover, she was wearing a blue jumper over a pink long-sleeved blouse and white headband.
  • Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey's handwriting is different in the 2020 reprint.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader letter

Dear Reader,

Now that you’ve read Kristy’s Great Idea, I thought you might like to know a little bit about how this story and the Baby-sitters Club came to be.

In 1985, I had just left my job and started to write books for kids full-time. That was when my editor suggested that I write a four-book miniseries entitled “The Baby-sitters Club.” I had to figure out what a baby-sitters club might be, and decided on a business run by a group of friends. Then I created Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne. I wanted to create a group of kids who are very different from one another but work well together. I based Kristy on my best friend from when I was growing up, and Mary Anne on me. Kristy was the outgoing one with all the big ideas, and Mary Anne was the quiet one. She and Kristy were best friends even though they were opposites. Eventually Claudia and Stacey would become best friends, too.

Baby-sitting was easy for me to write about because I did so much of it when I was growing up. (In fact, right through college.) So I thought I would enjoy writing about it, too. And I do!


  • On the 1995 cover of this book, there is the first Nancy Drew book, Secret of the Old Clock on the floor of Claudia's bedroom. This is also acknowledged on the copyright page.
  • This book had an original print run of 30,000 in 1986. By comparison, later books had a first printing of 250,000.
  • The graphic novel for this book was published in black-and-white in 2006 and in color in 2015.
  • On the dedication page it says "This book is for Beth McKeever Perkins, my old baby-sitting buddy. With love (and years of memories).
  • A girl named Kathy (who is 15 years old) watches David Michael from time to time.
  • This is the first time we see Kristy and Mary Anne's flashlight code.
  • Jobs taken but unseen include: Mary Anne for the Pikes, Kristy for Charlotte Johanssen,
  • Claudia and Stacey met sometime prior to this book.
  • In the 1986 version, Kristy's school clothes usually include a skirt and a blouse. In the 1995 version, Kristy's school clothes usually include jeans and sneakers.
  • This is one of the few times recess is mentioned to happen at SMS.
  • Claudia is the one that thinks of and draws the logo.
  • Stacey is the one that thinks of officers and Claudia is the one that nominates Kristy to be president.
  • Watson has a baby-sitter that he uses for Karen and Andrew.
  • Math club won it's third math meet according to Sam.
  • Claudia uses the appointment book the first time the BSC gets a call.
  • Kristy thinks of the notebook after sitting for the McKeevers'.
  • Lisa got engaged to Seth sometime prior to this book.
  • Mrs. Marshall is the first client that uses the BSC who they don't already know.
  • Kristy wears a blue dress when Watson and Elizabeth announce their engagement.
  • The Thomas kids aren't allowed watching cable when Elizabeth isn't there.
  • Mr. Johanssen is the first to call the BSC.
  • Mary Anne cried in front of her entire class last week.
  • Mary Anne has been to New York twice before.

Alternative Covers

The different covers of this book.

International Covers

Baby-Sitters Club Books
The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House
Super Specials
#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
Portrait Collection
Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021) | The Official Coloring Book (2023)