“The Baby-Sitters Club,” the blockbuster middle-school series that enchanted young readers in the 1980s and ‘90s, is finally getting audiobook versions.
Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook producer and retailer, announced Tuesday that all 131 titles in Ann M. Martin’s bestselling series will be released as audiobooks this August.
The first five books in the series, originally published in 1986 and 1987, will be narrated by actress Elle Fanning, who said the books were “so much fun to perform.” The remaining titles will be performed by a host of actors including Emily Bauer and Bahni Turpin.
“It has been such an exciting and new experience for me to bring this entrepreneurial squad to life as Audible books,” Fanning said. “People can now relive these coming-of-age stories in a whole new way or enjoy them for the very first time.”
“The Baby-Sitters Club” tells the story of four Connecticut middle-school friends who pool their talents and start a babysitting service. The books delve into the lives of the girls, who struggle with young love, illness, puberty and family changes.
The first novels in the series were written by Martin, who worked as a teacher and editor before she became a writer. The novels quickly became staples of grade-school book fairs, and Martin rushed to keep up with the demand for more, hiring ghostwriters to help her with additional titles.
The last books in the series were published in 2000, although Martin published “The Summer Before,” a prequel to the first book, in 2010.
The books spawned a short-lived HBO television series, which ran for two months in 1990, and a 1995 film, shot in Southern California and starring Schuyler Fisk, Rachael Leigh Cook, Bruce Davison and Ellen Burstyn.
In February, Netflix announced it was producing another adaptation of the books, set in the modern day. The 10-episode series is set to be directed by Lucia Aniello of “Broad City” fame.
In a statement, Martin said she was “thrilled” that the books continue to resonate with readers.
“I’m grateful and honored to hear from fans — young and old — who have supported the series with such affection, love and nostalgia for all things BSC,” Martin said. “I’m excited that Audible will bring the books to life in a new format for the next generation.”
The audiobook versions will be released Aug. 13, and they are available for pre-order on Audible’s website.