The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki

Kristy and the Secret of Susan is the 32nd book in The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin.

Back Cover Summary[]

Kristy's newest baby-sitting charge is Susan Felder, who goes away to a special school. Susan isn't like most kids. While she can play the piano and sing beautifully...she can't talk to anyone. Susan is autistic. She lives locked inside her own secret world.

Kristy thinks it's unfair that Susan has to be sent off to school and is treated differently from everyone else. But Kristy's going to try to change that — by showing everyone that Susan's a "regular" kid, too. And then maybe Kristy's new friend can stay in Stoneybrook for good.


When Kristy starts babysitting for 8-year-old Susan Felder, she discovers that while Susan has autism she has special abilities, such as playing the piano and memorizing dates on a perpetual calendar.

Kristy is determined (as usual) to help Susan make friends while she is there for her summer holidays, and maybe even convince Mrs. Felder to send Susan to Stoneybrook Middle School- in the class for handicapped kids instead of going to a special boarding school.

Kristy did help her make one true friend - James Hobart, but when kids from the neighborhood want to see Susan‘s special abilities in person, Kristy is too naive to see that the kids were using Susan as a spectacle of entertainment.

It later turned out that Mel Tucker was charging kids $1 to see Susan in action. Also, he and his friends were talking about Susan behind her back such as when Gina called her the incredible retard who can memorize dates and music. The amazing dumbo who can sing but not talk.

At the end Mrs. Felder announces that she is pregnant with her new baby, Hope, who will become Susan’s younger sister.


The Hobarts, an Australian family consisting of Johnny (4), James (8), Mathew (6) and Ben Hobart (11), move into Mary Anne’s old house. At first no one is accepting because of their Australian accents even though they have the same skin color, and get called Crocs. Later though, when they finally get accepted, Johnny is invited to Jamie Newton’s house, and James is invited to Zach’s birthday, Mathew gets the lead role in the school play, and Ben go to the movies with Mallory Pike.


Kristy's Family

BSC Members





  • Thomas/Brewer House
  • Kishi House
  • Felder House
  • Pike House

Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Swatch watches
  • Reebox shoes
  • The Gorilla Man, The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man (movies)
  • Songs Susan plays include:
    • Way Down Upon the Swanee River (really called Old Folks at Home)
    • Monster Mash
    • The Sheik of Araby
  • Big bird and Oscar the Grouch

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]



  • Charlie drops Kristy off at Susan's house after school when the Felders’ house is established to be closer to SMS than the Thomas/Brewer house is. So if she were heading there straight from SMS, she could’ve walked.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

Kristy and the Secret of Susan is based partly on my experiences as a therapist with autistic children during the summers I was in college. While there was no real Susan Felder, I met lots of kids like Susan and lots of families facing the same challenges Susan’s parents face in the book. Autistic kids are very special, and I will always remember the kids I worked with. In fact, Kristy and the Secret of Susan is not the only book I’ve written centering around an autistic child. Before the Baby-sitters Club began I wrote Inside Out, told from the point of view of an older brother whose younger brother has autism. If you’re interested in learning more about kids like Susan, check your library for Inside Out, or ask a librarian to suggest other titles.


  • This is the first appearance of Susan Felder; she will appear again in Baby-sitters' European Vacation. This is also the first introduction of the Hobart Family.
  • Dawn comes over early and hangs out with Claudia to watch the new neighbors move in.
  • Claudia remembers the Felders well, but Kristy doesn't (she has no memory at all of Susan).
  • Since this book was published in 1990, the research about being autistic savant is outdated compared to newer studies. It's unclear if the book will be updated if/when it gets republished.
  • The Pikes used to be called the spiders since there are eight of them (like the eight legs of a spider).
  • James Hobart is in Nicky's class.
  • Some Australian English includes: Brecky (breakfast), jumper (sweater), fairy floss (cotton candy), pen friends (pen pals), lolly (lollipop), telly (TV), maths (math).
  • Exclusively Australian things include: Weetbix cereal and vegemite (a kind of food).
  • The 8th graders don't see the sixth graders very often.
  • Kristy didn't notice Mallory's crush on Ben at first.
  • Sam and Charlie are both broke.
  • SMS hosts an assembly that's called kids week when they have an author and song writer visit the school.
    • When Mary Anne guesses what it could be about she includes: a food fight between some seventh graders, the dress code, and student government.
  • Although never shown, Claudia has met Mr. Hobart.
  • Kristy says that there have been very few jobs where she doesn't feel like going to them.
  • Kristy doesn't know what to do when an adult cries, especially one that she doesn't really know.
  • Kristy mentions that Elizabeth wrote a letter to Karen's camp counselor about Karen's dislike of turnips before she left.
  • Claudia tries to pick the front door lock with a bobby pin which doesn't work. While a bobby pin wouldn't unlock a door lock, it can unlock a padlock.
  • Stacey starts being tired which foreshadows her getting sick in Stacey's Emergency.
  • The ebook removes all instances of the word "retarded".


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)