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The Baby-Sitters Club #32: Kristy and the Secret of Susan and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Kristy and the Secret of Susan (Baby-Sitters Club (Quality)) Paperback – March, 1990

15 customer reviews
Book 32 of 94 in the Baby-sitters Club Series

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Paperback, March, 1990
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Baby-Sitters Club (Quality) (Book 32)
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Scholastic (March 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590731890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590731898
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,712,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ann M. Martin is the bestselling author of the momentous series The Baby-sitters Club, as well as the Main Street series. Her other acclaimed novels include "A Dog's Life," "Belle Teal," "Here Today," and the Newbery Honor Book "A Corner of the Universe." She lives in upstate New York. For more information, visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Sayers on February 8, 2005
Format: Library Binding
The book is based partly on the author's experience as a therapist with autistic children during the summer she was in college. At the back of the book Ann Martin mentions this and the book she wrote before The Babysitters Club series, entitled, Inside Out.

Introducing a character with autism in The Babysitter series was a good idea, just presented in a way I did not like. Having a child with autism should never be a secret. This book is a start by educating children about those with autism.

The premise of The Babysitters Club is to meet three times a week for thirty minutes to get calls for sitting jobs. Each of the members has a title and function. Kristy and The Secret of Susan is written in the third person, by Kristy. Kristy is President of the Babysitters Club, thirteen years old and in the eighth grade.

There is a Babysitters Club notebook that contains the writeup of all the jobs they do. They learn how their friends solve problems and what is going on with the kids they watch.

I often found myself looking back to the beginning recap on each of the members since it was confusing to recall the sibling names for all the girls.

The reason for me perusing The Babysitters Club #32, Kristy and The Secret of Susan was due to the topic of autism, so I tried to keep track of all the members.

One day Mrs. Felder called to get someone to sit Susan. Susan went to a special school far away, currently home for one month before heading off to another new school. Mrs. Felder wanted a sitter for three days a weeks from 3:30 - 5:30, so she could have a break. Mrs. Felder mentioned to Kristy on the phone that Susan was autistic.

At the Babysitters Club meeting the girls discussed what autistic meant.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2001
Format: Library Binding
This book was pretty good and worth my time, but the text is false in the leading that autistic people cannot be reached, though many autistic persons do have a(some) special talent(s), such as Susan's amazing piano ability.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KathrynJaneway on July 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's a good story but only two autistic people are shown: the severely autistic title character and a student with comparatively mild (but still quite severe) autism. While both portrayals are genuine to some people with autism, I would have liked to see a character who was still autistic but was able to take care of him-or-herself, or at least seen an acknowledgement that they exist. I read this for the first time when I was 10, and something about it sounded familiar, but since I thought autism was just what the book portrayed it as (people who could never connect to the world outside in any way), the idea that I could be autistic didn't even occur to me until I was diagnosed three years later. I didn't know that the kind of autism I now know I have even existed.

Also I didn't like the way Kristy treated Susan at first, like when she dragged her outside even though she wanted to play the piano. It wasn't hurting her, was it? Forcing autistic kids to interact doesn't do anything but agitate them more. Believe me, I know. And talking to her like she was two? Just because she couldn't respond doesn't mean she couldn't understand normal speech.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady in Red on June 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This book needs to be pulled and heavily revised before being re-released. If other books could be updated, this one should be too. Even for 1990, this book was heavily problematic. Yes, autism was classified as a childhood schizophrenia, and yes, one of the girls asking if it meant retarded is acceptable (at that time, that wasn't seen as an insult since "retarded" was a valid medical term), but even then, it was WELL-known that autism didn't always mean being so profound that speaking isn't possible. By the time this book was written, Temple Grandin, an autistic woman, had already earned a bachelors degree AND a masters degree AND a doctorate! She was also a published author. The hugging machine briefly mentioned in another book with Susan (where she was, once again, packed off to a camp by her parents) was invented my Temple. Ann had to have known about her.

Instead of treating Susan with dignity, she's treated appallingly. Kristy physically yanks her around, forces her outside when she's trying to go to the bathroom, and somehow didn't realize something was amiss when kids were coming to the door to have Susan play a song and then leave. Susan's parents are worthless pieces of s***e who can't be bothered to spend time with her and can't wait to ship her back off to another school. Even on school breaks, Susan isn't home, and that's in the canon of this book. The Felders live locally, yet Susan's never seen. The babysitters actually discuss that. Susan is hidden away from the world like a shameful secret. The parents are ultimately neglectful and very stupid for thinking a 13-year-old should be left in charge of a profoundly autistic child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Swank Ivy on July 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
The "Secret" of Susan is that she is an autistic kid. One of my pet peeves is unleashed here: of course, you can't be autistic in fiction without being a savant. So Susan has music superpowers and date-memorization superpowers. Kristy gets to sit for her and gets all ticked off that her parents have been sending her away to a special school, and gets all self-righteous about how she thinks they are just shipping her off so they don't have to deal with her. What I don't understand is why she assumes that these schools aren't good programs.

Kristy decides to put the autistic girl in unfamiliar situations and push her into "making friends," which she can't do like a neurotypical person as she is apparently quite profoundly autistic (despite being able to sing; she doesn't talk). This is actually usually kinda dangerous for autistic kids who are used to specific surroundings and stimuli, so that makes it seem like Kristy is really irresponsible. Kids in the neighborhood end up making her do tricks with her memory and it's really annoying. I did like that Kristy didn't Teach the Parents an Important Lesson and turn out to be right about everything, though.

An Australian family moves into town . . . people with kids are freaking constantly moving into this town . . . and they're drawn up very stereotypically as other kids make fun of their way of speaking. I didn't care for it.
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