‘Claudia Kishi Club’ Documentary in Development

Claudia Kishi was one of the characters in the popular “Baby-Sitters Club” series for young adults.

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for “The Claudia Kishi Club,” a love letter to an iconic character.

This documentary explores the legacy of Claudia Kishi from the hit “Baby-Sitters Club” books — and one of the only Asian Americans in ’80s and ’90s popular culture. Claudia inspired a generation of young readers of color, many of whom are now successful writers and artists creating stories of their own.

Claudia is an eighth-grader who loves art, elaborate DIY outfits, and her grandmother Mimi. She’s a terrible speller, but an avid reader of mystery books. She hides junk food around her room because her parents don’t approve. She’s also Japanese American.

For many Asian American women — and other women of color — Claudia was the first time they saw themselves represented in popular culture. A main character in Ann M. Martin’s best-selling series, she was one of the only Asian Americans in popular media when the books debuted in 1986.

Not only was Claudia a rare Asian American protagonist, but she also defied stereotypical portrayals of Asian and non-white characters: She was creative, fashionable, popular, and (gasp!) bad at school. For young readers of color who craved seeing themselves in the media they consumed — not as distant historical figures, exotic outsiders, or diversity lessons, but as fully realized human beings — Claudia was a revelation.

As a blossoming artist, Claudia was an especially meaningful role model for creatively inclined readers. Th