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The Scholastic Book Club

Scholastic book club

Does anyone else remember the Scholastic Book Club?

When I was in elementary school, once a month the teacher would distribute the book club flyers. They were printed on flimsy paper, almost like tissues, but they were full color and advertised all sorts of books. There was something about flipping through the flyer, reading the descriptions and seeing the covers, that was almost more exciting than reading the books, perhaps because the book club combined two great things: reading and shopping!

Every promo listed the price of the book and an id number for you to pencil in on your order form to be submitted to your teacher with your payment. I had a budget, so I could not order all the books I wanted at once. Sometimes I would keep an eye on a book advertised in every issue until I finally marked it on my order form. Then the teacher sent in the orders and a couple weeks later the books would arrive! The best part however was the lovely anticipation, knowing books were on their way and you had something to look forward to. This was before online shopping, which currently fills my need for joyful anticipation.

I didn’t keep any of the fliers, and I doubt the paper would have survived after so many years anyway. They have a web site now, but it’s really not the same. I sort of miss those little Scholastic book club fliers, and just thinking of them makes me want to put in an order for The Westing Game.

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75 Comments

Kimmi • May 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

Oh I remember those! I saved all my baby sitting money so that I could buy those books! Sure we always had the book fair but it wasn’t the same. The day they all came in with their bright covers…I had a teacher that would put them out on our desks when we were gone to recess so that when we came back there they would be! All sitting in a stack on your desk….the simple joys of life are always the best aren’t they?

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Elizabeth • May 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

Wow, I remember those …. I think what is most distintive memory I have of them *is* the paper – the way the newsprint would rub off, the way if you circled a book, if would press through to the other side. I really miss those and am kind of bummed to hear about the website.

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Sally • May 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

Yes, I loved ordering books from those flyers and I love that my kids get them now. They enjoy them as much as I did.

And The Westing Game, what a great book that was!

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Lynn • May 7, 2009 at 10:16 am

I remember! A lot of those books are still at my parents’ house. It was wonderful to buy books instead of just going to the library for them. Like you, I could never get as many as I wanted at one time. It’s a good memory!

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PastaQueen • May 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

@Kimmi – OMG, I’d forgotten about the book fair! I LOVED the book fair!

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msmezzo • May 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

I think this club was part of my life-long love affair with books! The excitement of getting that stack of books! Oh, nothing was as good as that. I think I would read them all in a week. I don’t think my parents kept any of them, too bad. Thanks for a great memory!

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Barb Cooper • May 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

Dude, I can send you some if you want. We still get them monthly from the kids’ schools. My husband once made the rash statement that “we should have an unlimited budget for books.” He might be regretting that, although sometimes my kids don’t order EVERYTHING they want because they’ll have trouble carrying it home.

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Kris • May 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

The flyers still come home with my kids. They are on the same paper and even have the same appeal for me. I love looking through it, seeing the great deals and wishing we could afford more.

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Keri • May 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

I was all about the Mad Libs, yo.

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cc • May 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

ooh we had that too. but growing up in a non-English speaking country where (at the time) there were no English language children’s books available, it took on a whole extra value as it was (apart from the occasional holidays home) the only source of books. thanks for bringing back these memories! i also remember wanting EVERYTHING and distinctly remember one afternoon having a long argument with my mum convincing her that i really would make ‘pop up cards’ from the ‘make your own pop-up cards’ book i wanted. she knew well enough that i was both impatient and not crafty. but i pestered her so much, and promised until i was blue in the face that this was my new hobby.

the pop-up book still sits on my book shelf making me feel guilty and i’m still waiting for my artsy craftsy streak to kick in. it lies there on the shelf with the intention to lose another 15 pounds. :-)

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sandy • May 7, 2009 at 10:58 am

I get these home all the time still also. My daughter has a knack of picking everything under the sun BUT a book.. imagine that! :)

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cher • May 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

My son brings those home once/twice a month, and is always wanting something.

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heather • May 7, 2009 at 11:06 am

OMG! I always looked forward to those too, and I can’t tell you how many times I have read The Westing Game. I might still have a copy lying around some where. It is one of my favorites.

I have moved on to more adult mysterys now, but that one started it all.

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Amalily • May 7, 2009 at 11:07 am

Oh my goodness I can’t believe these are still aroundI feel pretty old just thinking about it lol.

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Mrs darling • May 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

Yep they are still passed out at the schools. My kids come home with them all the time. Im sorta wishing they would go away because the kids theink they need everything they see in them because they are cheap!

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Kasey • May 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

I LOVED SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUB!! And book fairs!! I got some of the BEST books from those little handouts! I wish they had an ADULT Scholastic book club!! :)

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Amy • May 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

We still have book fairs at work! They were here this week.

I preferred the Pizza Hut BookIt program because I got free pizza!

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Kimmi • May 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

@Amy – BOOKIT! I remember having the little pin and getting stars for all the books that I read so I could get pizza! That was so much fun! Though in retrospect probably contributed to my pan crust addiction….

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Jen @ The Short Years • May 7, 2009 at 11:28 am

Gosh, I loved The Westing Game!

One of my happiest surprises from being a parent of a school-aged kid came when a Scholastic Book Club flyer came home in my daughter’s back pack! I think I was just as eager to order things as she was. Although the actual order is placed online now, the flyers are just like I remember.

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dg • May 7, 2009 at 11:30 am

I LOVED THE BOOK CLUB! My mum is a primary school teacher and she went through a phase f geting ALL THE BOOKS and i could read as many as I wanted… book binge, baby. Does anyone remember the writers that used to come up over and over again… RL Stein, Gordon Korman, and of course the Babysitters Club.

The web only format doesn’t seem half as fun… drooling over that catalogue and trying to figure out which ones i could afford… good times :)

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The Better Idiot • May 7, 2009 at 11:32 am

Scholastic UK did a book fair but we never had the club thing we could order from. Probably best for my carefully hoarded pocket money but hearing this I can’t help but feel slightly gypped. I demand UK book club! Er… and a time machine!

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Stacy • May 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

I just re-read The Westing Game and was SO disappointed in how many of my colleagues, friends and family hadn’t heard of it. What schools did these people go to!?

Loved Scholastic — I was a total book geek. While the rest of the class got geeked about pizza day in the cafeteria, I was all about book orders and delivery.

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The Better Idiot • May 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

@dg – Do you remember the ‘point’ books? Point Horror, Point SF, point Romance etc? Ahh, the memories.

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Kimmi • May 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

@PastaQueen – Gotta love the Book Fairs! I still go to the ones that they have in my hometown….it’s a super small town so it’s like a big event! They actually send out flyers to everyone!

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Erica • May 7, 2009 at 11:57 am

There really was not a better book than the Westing Game. Except maybe “The Girl with Silver Eyes” or “The Face on the Milk Carton”

I loved, loved, loved Scholastic fliers. It was like, finally – shopping that even nerds can love.

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krambow • May 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Have a 9 year old, and he gets them all the time, and we buy books from them all the time!

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PastaQueen • May 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm

@Erica – OMG, “The Face on the Milk Carton”! I was tempted to buy that one but never did. I eventually saw a TV movie with Kellie Martin in it.

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Kari • May 7, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Wow, thanks for the great memories…I loved getting those every month. I would always order 3 or 4 books. And I also LOVED the book fair…it was so great to get to go “shopping” when you were supposed to be at school. LOL

Amazon just isn’t the same…I miss those fliers too.

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Yet Another Jenny • May 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Ohmigosh, my mom is a retired reading teacher and so she didn’t mind spoiling me book-wise. I was so lucky that way. And The Westing Game was awesome–I think I may have to look for it next time I’m at the library.

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Rebecca Hoover • May 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm

My Ex is a Branch Manager for Scholastic Book Fairs. It was almost enough to make me keep him around. God I loved those flyers when I was a kid. Alas, I don’t remember book fairs, apparently I’m too damn old, or maybe Utah was just behind the times. I have the whole Harry Potter series in hardbound – I told him that his daughter should have those ;)……but they’re MINE. Hehe. Oh, and sometimes they have sales at their book fair warehouse that are open to the public, if you have one in your area. And they do have some adult books, but then who wants to read adult books when there are books like Harry Potter and Twilight?

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Rebecca Hoover • May 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm

@Rebecca Hoover – Oh, and I’m less geeky than I sound, really.

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Grace • May 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm

My kids’ school still distributes these fliers about once every two months. Each time I give the kids’ their budget. It’s fun watching them look through the fliers and figure out which books will fit into their budget.

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Sam • May 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Loved those fliers, and all of the Babysitter’s Club Books they advertised. I love technology and what it’s done for us for the most part, but every once in a while you lose the little things, and it’s just not the same. Those almost see through paper fliers are one of those things, aren’t they?

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sally • May 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Oh YES! I love the book order. I’m a second grade teacher, so I get them every month. However, I can’t describe the sheer excitement I felt when my daughters brought THEIR first book order home from preschool! I love the book order. You can’t beat those prices, and still no shipping! AND–The Westing Game was my favorite book in 4th grade. I rarely meet anyone who’s even HEARD of it. Good stuff.

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PastaQueen • May 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm

@Sam – OMG, Baby-Sitter’s Club! I was a fanatic. I once arranged all the books on my shelf by color and they made a beautiful spectrum. I gave them to an old friend who still has them.

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Rachel • May 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm

My son still brings those home at least once a month. They are still brightly colored and printed on super flimsy paper. We still order books occasionally. I’d buy lots more if it was in the budget.

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cloudy • May 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for reminding me of a great memory.

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Caroline • May 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Wow! I hadn’t thought about these in years. I LOVED getting the book order. I remember reading and rereading the flier until I narrowed down what I wanted. My mom would always be more flexible with money when it came to books (what a wonderful thing!), but I still couldn’t get EVERYTHING I wanted.

Now I’m having reading flashbacks – I’ve got to dig up my old Sweet Valley High books. Those were my ADDICTION! Oh yeah – and all of the R.L. Stine books! I’ve really got to go dig through some boxes now…

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petunia • May 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

YES!

It was a bit of a delayed pleasure (like ordering girl scout cookies), but the day your order came in it was sooo fun!

Loved Scholastic old school (literally) style. It’s not the same!

You could also order posters with like, a cat hanging off a branch that said “hang in there”, right?

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Penny • May 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm

We get the same book orders still for my kiddos. And they hold the same appeal. I think the only thing better than those orders is the distinct smell of a scholastic book order book. When the kids bring their orders home, i have to sniff the books. LOL.

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Tina • May 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I used to love those! I remember once holding my breath during the morning announcements b/c there was a contest and the winner got extra $ to spend on books. I was so excited when I won!

I still love to read.

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fbdave • May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Wow was this post a blast from the past. I used to LOVE picking out books from the flier.

And despite being over 30, I went out a couple of years ago and picked up a copy of The Westing Game. Such a great book.

I’m having a hard time deciding how old my nephew should be before he gets my copy …

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Stacy • May 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Those scholastic flyers were the best!!! I was absolutely thrilled when we would get them, and you’re right…reading through the descriptions of all of the books that you could choose from was fantastic. We had a budget too so it was quite a lesson in prioritizing as a child! I remember them fondly…

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Shannon (The Daily Balance) • May 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

i LOVED Scholastic Book Club AND book fairs! I wish I could go to them now without looking like a creep ;)

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psychsarah • May 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I adored the scholastic book club. It was the highlight of grade school (and I loved school, so that’s saying something!)

@dg – it’s almost scary how much we have in common- “RL Stein, Gordon Korman, and of course the Babysitters Club” These were my favourite books growing up. I read every Gordon Korman and then started re-reading them until a new one came out. I think I had about 60 Babysitter’s Club books, including the “Super Specials” where oddly, people would bring their babysitters on holiday. Do you remember Christopher Pike too? Kinda like RL Stein… oh the memories..

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Ginny • May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm

@petunia –

They still have the posters you can order. It’s usually animals. My niece is interested in those and anything else on the order form that’s NOT books. I keep trying to get her to like reading! =)

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Julie • May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm

My kids still get them but we hardly ever order. I’m a mean mom lol. Library books are free!

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adrienne • May 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm

When I picked up Ranger from preschool, there was a plastic bag full of books waiting for me.

The good news: it’s just as much fun to order Scholastic books for your kids as it was for yourself.

The other good news: the prices are very good.

The kind of bad news: it’s addictive and you start finding books tucked everywhere in under 1 year.

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Dina • May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

When the box of books arrived each month, it was so exciting. I remember the very first book I ordered from Scholastic ( I was in the first grade) — The Frog Prince. Another thing– does anyone remember Dynamite Magazine? I always looked forward to ordering it.

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Rollercoaster • May 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I LOVED those!! Gosh, I love reading so much. I love the smell of books and the excitement of cracking open a new book. Babysitters Club, totally there! Mrs. Piggly Wiggly, The Boxcar Children.

Did anyone have a bookmobile?!?! I LOVED Tuesdays when it would come and I could exchange my books out. I think I could live in a library/bookstore.

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Dennille • May 7, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Not only do I remember, I am a teacher now and we still send them home once a month. If you want an authentic tissue paper book order form I can send you one. It is a great affordable way for kids to get books. There is always one book for 99 cents. I bet you could order them all now.

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Kelly • May 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Scholastic still has those flyers. My 9- and 10-year-old kids bring them home every month. Now, in addition to the book order ones, they also offer kid-friendly software and PC/video game order flyers. Times, they are a changin’. The flimsy paper they’re printed on is the exact same, however.

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Lynda • May 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

As a child I loved Scholastic!! I am now a 3rd grade teacher and love the Scholastic Club- I love that I get bonus points for what the kids order and I can order books for the classroom for FREE! I love looking at the brochure and enthusiating (my word) about which books I think are best- and 9 times out of 10, the kids order those books. :)

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Jon Gray • May 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Haha wow…now THAT’S a blast from the past. way to take it back. ;)

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Nicole • May 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I remember them well, and had a total flashback when my daughter started bringing them home from 1st grade this year! I *still* get excited looking through them for the cool things that I might find for her!

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Kalyn • May 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm

We still use them! In fact, when I go back to school tomorrow I’ll be sending in the last order of the year.

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Laura • May 8, 2009 at 1:28 am

I loved Scholastic too and was so happy when my son started bringing the fliers home. There was a book fair at his school a few weeks ago and I bought myself a book there-“The Wimpy Kid Diary”. It’s supposed to be a kids book, but I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to hurt myself. My kids looked at me like I was nuts!

Amazon.com is kind of like Scholastic for me now. I am currently waiting in anticipation for two more “Wimpy Kid” books…I can hardly wait for that UPS truck to pull up!

Does this sound pitiful? Aw…who cares! :)

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PurpleGirl • May 8, 2009 at 5:26 am

OMG, I haven’t thought about those flyers or The Westing Game in YEARS! I was always of two minds about those flyers. On one hand, yay books! And everyone else was ordering them!

On the other hand, they took way too long to arrive. I wanted to read the latest Boxcar Children RIGHT NOW! Plus, I was a little book snob, and often wouldn’t deign to read things like R.L. Stine. (sniff) ;)

Now I read trashy violent sex-filled vampire books. I got over myself, it just took a long time. :)

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Miz • May 8, 2009 at 6:04 am

my favorite favorite days at school were the book fairs.

LOVE.

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Kathy • May 8, 2009 at 10:42 am

They still have these — my kids get the flimsy papers about once a month and can’t wait to spend, spend, spend! What’s wrong with the library?!

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Sam • May 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

@PastaQueen – Dude, there’s a sequel as well, ‘The Voice on the Radio’ I believe it’s called.Never read it though. I saw that movie and all of the actors pissed me off incredibly. Not sure why though.

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Sam • May 8, 2009 at 11:06 am

@PurpleGirl – I love the idea of a 10 year old literature snob who won’t read R.L Stein. I’m cracking up over here. Hahahaha

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Christy • May 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

@Sam – I think the Voice on the Radio is the third one. The second one is What Happened to Janie.

I still read The Face on the Milk Carton from time to time. It has everything in it– school drama, family drama, a parent in a cult, and falling in love with the boy next door

What more could you ask for?

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Christy • May 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

One of my most vivid grade school memories is from Book Fair day, 3rd grade.

Another student was absent for our spelling test so my teacher sent me, a very responsible student into an empty classroom to dictate the words to the student so she could take her spelling test. When I got back to my desk, my perfect white envelope with my name written in my mother’s beautiful penmanship, was GONE! Someone stole my Book Fair money. Oh, my 9 year old heart broke. Book Fair day was my favorite day!

My teacher, Miss Bradley, never found out who stole my Book Fair money but she did offer to buy me the book of my choice. I selected The Baby-Sitter’s Club #1 Kristy’s Great Idea. Even those we spelled our names differently, I always felt like Kristy and I were kindred spirits and my love of reading was connected to BSC books for years after that. I still consider Miss Bradley my favorite teacher and when I was in my 20s, I invited her to be a member of my book club. We talked about adult books then but I’ll always remember her for buying me that Babysitter’s Club book.

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Quix • May 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

I remember those! Though, since my mom worked at the library, she pretty much never gave me money to buy books (she thought it was silly). I did save up my allowance and between some of my friends and I, we had all the babysitters club ones because the library didn’t get them fast enough…

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My Mindless Thoughts • May 8, 2009 at 2:33 pm

My kids get these now and I love them as much now as I did when I was a kid :)

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PurpleGirl • May 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm

@Sam – Oh, I was terrible. :)

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Brandi White • May 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm

I remember loving those when I was younger. My daughter brings them home now but we seldom order because she either already has all the books, or what she wants is bundled with a bunch of overpriced junk. But they really are great to look at! :)

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Lyn • May 8, 2009 at 8:12 pm

My kids get these too. Or I should say GOT them in elementary school. No book club for teenagers… sigh.

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Jean • May 9, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I LOVED Scholastic Book Club!!

Sometimes my order was the one that allowed us to get ANY…there was some kind of minimum required.

“Little House in the Big Woods” was the first book I ever bought from them. I poured over each offering, arranging and rearranging my list. My parents were readers so I don’t remember them ever telling me I couldn’t order books.

What a great memory! Thanks for bringing it up!

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Lynn • May 9, 2009 at 6:44 pm

@Jean –

I mean this in the kindest way: You “pored” over your lists, rather than “poured.” I’m trying to be helpful, truly.

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Taren • May 9, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Oh, they still do them, at least in Florida. I sub down here and I have had to pass them out to *several* classes. So take heart, they do still exsist. Would you perhaps like me to try and find one for you (an extra etc) and send it to you for nostalgia’s sake?

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Ang • May 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I teach in a University and I hand them out to my Children’s Lit students–adults love these as much as the kids do!

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Ang • May 12, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I LOVED the Scholastic Book Club! Those soft, paperback books smelled so nice when they arrived. I was also a sucker for stickers.

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Andy Lee • October 23, 2009 at 8:37 pm

if you are seriously craving, I’d be happy to send them your way – we get them for both kids CONSTANTLY! It’s a fundraiser, remember, so they are relentless. No phone calls – this I appreciate so much. But seriously, the weigh like nothing, I’d be happy to send them to you. Feel free to purchase Bratz, or some of the other nasty stuff out there, but it’s all about the shopping, right?

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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