Suicide and kidnapping! by Ann M Martin!

While Ann M. Martin created her own ghostwriter dynasty with the Baby-Sitters Club, I forget that she was actually a good writer, and wrote some more mature young adult fiction.

Missing Since Monday was intense. If I remember correctly, Maggie’s half-sister is kidnapped and her stepmother kind of blames her a little, but it turns out that she was taken by Maggie’s crazy and estranged mother. They find out because Maggie’s mother calls to ask to meet them, but the police have their phone tapped and follow Maggie when she goes to meet her. When I was a kid I had an irrational fear of being kidnapped. I guess I shouldn’t have flattered myself too much.

My mother brought Slam Book home from me because she assumed it would be like another BSC book. I remember reading this in the sixth grade and shit was it INTENSE. The gals start high school and start a slam book to gain popularity. One of them is a rich bitch, one has such a messed up home life so she is involved in every single school activity. They play a mean joke on the poor, overweight unpopular girl and she gets so upset she kills herself. And they kind of describe it in detail. It really shook me to the core. It is nice to know that Ann does understand that some teenagers go through some serious shit, and don’t just spend their time throwing beauty pageants for little kids in their neighborhoods.

If she wrote some adult books, I would totally read them.

Also, remember Ten Kids, No Pets? This was basically a stand-alone that read like a BSC book. The awesome part was that every chapter was told from the perspective of each of the ten kids. I remember this being great, but it could have been horrific.

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34 thoughts on “Suicide and kidnapping! by Ann M Martin!

  1. Merrie says:

    I never read Slam Book, but I totally remember Missing Since Monday. Everytime I see that the city’s police force is taking children’s fingerprints on some sort of city-wide safety day, I think of this book. It’s funny how some things stick with you.

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh my god, I loved Ten Kids, No Pets. I was just thinking about it the other day actually and I couldn’t remember what it was called, so thanks! Now I can track down a copy and reread it.

  3. Abby says:

    I remember Missing Since Monday as well. It was a really good book. Yeah, the stepmom blamed the older kids, because the parents were away when it happened and the older kids had begged to be in charge, even though the stepmom was nervous about it.

    I don’t remember how Courtenay got grabbed though…if I recall, she was 4, and shouldn’t have been out alone so maybe the older kids were irreponsible. It was kind of scary though, because some creepy guy that liked the older sister started sending ransom notes and stalking her, claiming he had the younger girl just to get attention. Also– I do believe there was another 4 year old’s body found and the older brother had to go look and see if it was Courtenay.

    Even with a happy ending, still a very, very dark book.

  4. Becca says:

    I don’t remember any details from Missing Since Monday, but I totally remember that cover! I think I wanted the book since I loved the cut-out letters. I guess it’s no surprise that I ended up being a graphic designer. I have always loved the fonts.

  5. Tracy says:

    Loved 10 kids, don’t remember any of those others, but I do remember one by Ann M regarding Autism (NOT the BSC autism very special episode… er book) can’t recall the title and can’t google it because I’m on a work computer and we can’t use search engines, sigh.

    • Amanda Wrigglesworth says:

      Well, if it was a little kid that was autistic, the book is called “Inside Out.” It’s sitting right next to me (LOL, I hit a thrift shop recently and felt a bout of nostalgia). She wrote another one more recently though about the main character’s older relative, a 20-something who had some sort of mental problem, I can’t remember if it was autism or not though. I think it was called “A Corner Of The Universe.”

  6. tammyt says:

    I was also obsessed with being kidnapped as a child, but unlike you I actually WANTED to be … I thought it sounded like an adventure (I think it came from some episode of “A Current Affair”, but maybe books like this, too)… what a lame kid I was. As for AnnM, she also wrote a serious book that I used to love called WITH YOU AND WITHOUT YOU. That one’s pretty sad, though.

    There’s a sequel to TEN KIDS, NO PETS. Didn’t the oldest girl meet some movie star in one of the books? Wasn’t that also a plot in one of Ann’s OTHER books? Get some originality.

    For some reason, both Jessi Smith (from SLAM BOOK) and the spelling of the name “Courtenay” really get on my nerves. Almost as much as Ann nicknaming all her young characters “Mouse.”

  7. ihatewheat says:

    I was a lil obsessed with kidnapping too. Remember the Face on the Milk Carton? Crazy. And then that Soul Asylum song “Runaway Train”?

    Check your local library, I was just at mine and they had missing since Monday. They also had Ten Kids No Pets, and I MAY have checked it out.

  8. Kristin says:

    I loved “Just a Summer Romance” where this girl Mel is on Fire Island I believe, meets a guy, they are in luv and whatnot but it has to be just a summer romance. She really likes him (Justin Hart) and is shocked to find when school starts that he is a hot new actor!

    They meet again, etc. It was kind of cheesy but way more believable than other books and there is a Stacey prototype, Lacey, in this one as well I believe.

  9. k says:

    there was a book that was about a girl that was kidnapped.. and she was put in a dark room and it had a typerwriter… she wrote letters and slipped them through the bottom of the door..

    anyone remember it???

  10. MK says:

    K, I totally remember that book,but,like you I can’t remember the title. Pretty depressing shit. What happened to the protagonist? I always got the feeling she never made it out,but that could just be my sick mind…

  11. Merrie says:

    Baby-Sitting Is A dangerous Job was another book that dealt with kidnapping. It wasn’t an Ann M. Martin book, which is probably why it freaked me out a bit. But since none of the kids I ever baby-sat were rich, I knew I’d be OK.

  12. Amber Tan says:

    ” Remember the Face on the Milk Carton? Crazy. And then that Soul Asylum song “Runaway Train”? ”

    Yup. How about “Prisoners at the Kitchen Table”? IIRC that was a novella about a spoiled 10 year old girl who is kidnapped but her friend gets grabbed too ’cause he happened to be with her when they kidnappers strike. The ‘nappers take the pair to an isolated farm house but they finally escape after a week and find their way home.

    And I vaguely remember “Slam Book”…kinda skimmed through it and put it down, thinking ‘Gawd these girls are Grade-A bitches’.

  13. ihatewheat says:

    Kidnapping must have been a hot topic in teen lit. I also remember a book about how the president’s daughter was kidnapped and left in a cave to die and she had to break her own wrists to get out of her shackles. Yeesh!

  14. Jess says:

    Between “Missing Since Monday,” “The Face on the Milk Carton,” and that Girls of Canby Hall book where the girl gets kidnapped, it’s a wonder anybody who was a tween in the late 80s was ever properly warned that kidnapping was anything less than an adventure.

  15. Gabrielle says:

    There were other kidnapping books too. I remember “Taking Terri Mueller” (I think that’s what it was called) and “Twice Taken” by Susan Beth Pfeffer who also wrote “The Year without Michael”. “Twice Taken” stayed with me because she is initially angry at her Mother and it isn’t until the end that she realizes that it was her father who had deprived her of the life she should have lead.

    Oh and on the subject of other Ann M Martin books there was “With you and Without You” which was a book about a girl whose father dies and how they get used to living without him. A real tearjerker.

    I’m so looking for Slam Book Fever at the library tomorrow. It looks worth reading.

  16. Miranda says:

    That book with the president’s daughter is one of my favorite books ever – it’s called Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White and she just released another in the series called Long May She Reign. The previous ones are being updated and re-released in 2008.

    I love this site! I just got a bunch of my old favorite books for xmas – some Candice F. Ransom and Ellen Emerson White. I had totally forgotten about Slam Book, but I remember being freaked out by it. And my dad and I still talk about The Girl in the Box because it totally creeped him out too!

  17. MaggieCat says:

    “I don’t remember how Courtenay got grabbed though…if I recall, she was 4, and shouldn’t have been out alone so maybe the older kids were irreponsible.”

    It wasn’t their fault; in fact in a roundabout kind of way it was sort of Courtenay’s mother’s fault- she was the one who didn’t want Maggie telling Courtenay things like how to call 911 and basic safety information because it might scare her. So when psycho-mom showed up at school and knew the family’s nickname for her, Courtie believed that it was okay to go with her rather than get on the school bus like she was supposed to.

    Not that I read this one a thousand times and probably still have a copy in a box at the bottom of my hall closet along with all my other favorite childhood books or anything. Heh.

  18. Abby says:

    Maggie, do you remember what the mom’s deal was? Wasn’t she like a schizophrenic or something?

    Definitely a departure from BSC. Kidnapping, crazy, estranged mothers, a brutally stabbed 4 year old girl, some serious implied pedophilia and/or sexual predators…even for a slighty older audience it was very disturbing.

  19. Laura says:

    At our tiny (I mean teeeeensy) school library in my small primary school in NZ there wasn’t much scope for my beloved BSC books but we did have Ten Kids no Pets and With you Without You. I always though WYWY was a rather lovely book, really well written and touching and sad. Am kinda glad I didn’t read Slam Book – it mighta scarred me as a 9 year old BSC fanatic! I think in NZ maybe one kid gets kidnapped every eight years or so. Candice F Ransom – that name rings a bell though I can’t remember what she wrote – so does the name Jana M Malcolm. Just had a thought – probably not an original one – you should SO recap those awful, mass produced teen romance novels – Sweet Dreams or whatever they were called. They always had a protagonist called Marcy, or Carsy, or Macy, or some variation thereof.

  20. EnidRollins says:

    I read the SVH slam book book–SLAM BOOK FEVER. Well, now I know a slam book isn’t something the SVH ghosties made up. I was so upset when Elizabeth angsted and ruined friendships because of the slam book. This is worse.

  21. downtomarsgirl says:

    Speaking of all these kidnapping stories, I remember a (rather funny) book about a girl who was mistaken for a rich girl and kidnapped. Or, wait, no…she was with the rich girl and both were kidnapped together. I believe that hilarity ensued. Anyone have any ideas?

  22. Lois Waller says:

    I think the only non-BSC AMM book I read was _Yours Turly, Shirley_. I don’t remember much except for some similarities between the main character’s storyline and a few BSC members’ (Claudia’s dyslexia or whatever and Kristy’s adopted Vietnamese sibling).

  23. Eli says:

    OMG I LOVED The Face on the Milk Carton and the sequel. And although the books were better, I also enjoyed the movies with Kellie (no relation to Ann M.) Martin. Good times.

  24. MaggieCat says:

    Abby: I couldn’t remember so I managed to dig out my copy and check, and they never say specifically. How disappointing. But I suppose vague and correct is better than specific and wrong. Just comments about “her illness” and at the end that she’s been committed indefinitely. Armchair diagnosis from the descriptions and her dialogue makes me think of severe Borderline Personality Disorder though, for whatever that’s worth.

  25. Jess says:

    downtomarsgirl: That book was The Kidnapping of Courtney Van Allen and What’s-Her-Name by Joyce Cool. I remember it vividly because I wrote a report on it in sixth grade. As I recall, the book was indeed packed with hilarity. The narrator is given, as a birthday gift, a portable gadget that’s a combination television set, radio, and cassette player, and I lusted after it but was never able to find anything similar.

  26. MLO says:

    The Kidnapping of Courtney Van Allen and What’s Her Name! Thank you for reminding me of the name! Joyce Cool, the author was my 4th grade teacher and gave us all a copy of the book, I loved it, but somehow I misplaced it and have been thinking about it lately. I’m 36 years old and am going to read it again!!

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