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 (club president), Claudia Kishi (club vice president), Mary Anne Spier (club secretary), and Stacey McGill (club treasurer). The book was written by Ann M. Martin and published in August of 1986.


The first book in the series is narrated by Kristy Thomas, the club's president. It introduces Kristy's family, best friends, school, and her current baby sitting charges like Jamie Newton, Karen Brewer, Andrew Brewer, The Feldmans, and David Michael Thomas.

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 prank 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!


Main Plot

Kristy has a great idea: to form a club that baby-sits! Kristy and her friends, Claudia and Mary Anne, already baby sit and they consider getting new-girl-in-town-and-school Stacey McGill to join, too. Once everything is decided and the club is formed, Kristy and her friends have wacky baby sitting adventures (like DOG sitting) that they never counted on. Will they give up the club or will they keep trying?


Kristy's divorced mother, Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer, has been dating a new guy, Watson Brewer, and Kristy is feeling cautious about him. He seems like a good guy, but Kristy's real father, Patrick Thomas, walked out on the family, leaving Elizabeth to look after four kids on her own, including a newborn baby (David Michael). 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.



Kristy's Family

BSC Members





Pop Culture and Real-Life References

  • G.I. Joe
  • Rainbow Brite

Continuity and Inconsistencies

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 Nancy Drew book Secret of the Old Clock on the floor of Claudia's bedroom. 
  • 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.

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)