Tuesday, December 23, 2008

“I felt like talking to Dawn made me an official member of the BSC”………BSC # 90: Welcome to the BSC, Abby

Memory Reaction

I liked Abby when she first joined. I think it was nice to have a fresh perspective on everything. He books were the only ones that felt “different” and like I was actually not reading the same thing over and over. If I actually read more than one or two of her books, I probably would have ended up hating her though, I can see how she would be grating.

This was also around the time I gave up the books, so I was probably getting bored because they were too easy for me, and not necessarily because of the repetition.

Revisited Reaction

Okay, this is Abby’s first book. She was introduced in the one before it, so is already in the club. She is just getting used to it. I guess in a way it is like Dawn’s first book, because Abby also has to deal with Kristy having issues with her.

The problem starts when Abby has a bad asthma attack while baby-sitting. She has to go to the hospital to get oxygen, but she recovers quickly, and Kristy covered the end of her sitting job. Unfortunately, this totally freaks Kristy out because if it happens again, it could be…bad for the kids? Bad for the club? I mean God forbid, someone isn’t 100% perfect. Abby is all, it is not a big deal, it rarely happens, but Kristy still is worried. It’s dumb cause really, anything can happen and the important thing is that Abby could deal with an emergency. But, whatever. Kristy pretty much gets over it by the end, but they don’t really explain why.

The subplot is kind of tied in with all this – there is a fundraiser going on in Stoneybrook to raise money for the schools’ arts program. Of course, the BSC has a booth. And of course, all their clients have booths. So, on their sitting jobs, they all help the kids set the booths up. Abby also tries to get her mom and sister to start a booth as well. They agree, but are not as enthusiastic about it as Abby. She basically does all the work herself (baking to sell cakes and cupcakes).

Meanwhile, Anna and Abby are slowly unpacking their stuff. They come across a box of stuff that belonged to their dad (who died), and get all emotional. They don’t want to make their mom sad, so they hide the box. Then on the day of the fundraiser, Abby’s mom gets stuck on a train because of an accident, and Abby think she might have been hurt. But, she wasn’t, and when she gets home the family bonds. You know the drill. Then the twins pull out the “dad box” and they all have a happy/sad conversation about how it is important to remember their dad.

High/Lowlights

  • Kristy is helping her siblings make “pasta jewelry,” and Abby asks if it is rigatoni. Kristy can’t believe Abby knows the names of the different pastas. I can…I think most people at least know the standard ones. But maybe I just eat too much Italian food.
  • Abby tells us how she doesn’t think Stacey is really sophisticated because of when she quit the club. I….don’t think that is the reason. But I admire her ability to think for herself.
  • Abby doesn’t think Shannon (the person) should be flattered that the Thomas’s dog is named after her. I pretty much feel the same way about that.
  • The Papaddakis kids have pets named: Pat the Cat, Myrtle the Turtle, and Noodle the Poodle. They actually say the full names like that too. “Did you see the trick Pat the Cat did? Did you feed Noodle the Poodle?” That has to get annoying.
  • Abby is surprised that everyone in the club called her to see if she was okay after the asthma attack, cause she doesn’t know them that well yet. I wonder if that says more about Abby or about the BSC.
  • Is asthma really that big a deal? I knew people who had it as a kid and never thought anything of it. Kids in school who had it, just carried around inhalers and sometimes got to skip gym.
  • Watson rents carnival rides and hires people to run them for the fundraiser. Nice that he is putting his money to good use, but if he wanted to give that much, wouldn’t it have been easier to just donate money?
  • Wow, Abby and Anna talk about how they are writing letters to their friends from Long Island. Actually letters, not e-mails. That alone makes this book seem so outdated.
  • When did a farm start to exist in Stoneybrook? The Arnold twins get an idea to borrow this goat from a neighbor with a farm so people can take pictures with it. And they just walk to this farm and ask the woman who lives there if they can borrow the goat. She agrees, and comes to help out, but it still seems rude.
  • Why are none of these parents helping out with booths? It is all these little kids and their baby-sitters doing everything. Do they even care?
  • Everything at the fundraiser is priced really cheap. Like, thirty-give cents for a cookie, $1, for a photo, etc. How can they make enough money to fund an arts program in multiple Stoneybrook schools at those prices?
  • I can’t believe Abby’s family moved to Connecticut when Abby’s mom works in NYC. According to this book, that is a two-hour train ride. Which means her door-to-door commute must be longer than that. Why do that to yourself – especially as a single mom? It is not like there are no nice areas closer to the city.
  • See, I can get some continuity errors – some ghostwriters probably didn’t read the other books and clearly, no one did any editing. But this book just has a plain error. Abby hears someone talking about the 11:45 train derailing. Then she immediately says, “What happened to the 12:45 train, my mom was on it.” They are like one line apart. How can you even write a page with a mistake like that?
  • They talk about her mom having a cellular phone, and wondering why she didn’t use it to call. They don’t try to call her, and it turns out she didn’t even have it with her. Wow, a time when it was rare to have a cell, that people didn’t carry them around 24/7? Again, something that totally dates the books.
By the way, do people like Abby books? I have done less of them then the others, just because there are not as many of them. I can try and hunt some down if people want to read about them.

18 comments:

Jenna said...

I don't think that's a typo. That's the whole point: that Abby misheard, and her mom was actually on a different train than the one that de-railed.

Asthma is overdiagnosed, so a lot of people who supposedly have it aren't going to have severe symptoms, which may be why it doesn't seem like a big deal to most people. That said, I think this is an extension of the Stacey/diabetes thing. A BSC member can't just be diabetic, she has to be a BRITTLE diabetic.

Susan said...

Hmm, Abby. She's usually interesting, if only for being different. I liked reading her reactions to the other sitters. Seen through fresh eyes and all that. I liked how her family was somewhat dysfunctional without falling apart. It seemed a little more real, similar to reading Shannon's book. I'd like to read more recaps of Abby books. If you get a lot of people hating her, you could recap #110: Abby the Bad Sport to fuel the hatred.

As for the asthma...I have mild exercise-induced asthma. Usually it's fine. If I'm really pushing myself I need the inhaler beforehand and sometimes during. But when it gets bad, it's scary. Add allergies to that, and you'd have a problem if things went south. But if Stacey's diabetes works out, asthma should be okay.

nikki said...

I'm going to disagree with you on the Papadakis' pets names. I think they are ADORABLE! My sister has a kitty named Molly Pitcher and she is always called Molly Pitcher, not just Molly.

I don't have much more to add...I never read an Abby book.

glittergirley said...

I didnt read an Abby book until recently since I grew out of the BSC before Abby was introduced .. but now that I'm rereading I must say I do like the Abby books - EXCEPT abby and the bad sport. God, that whole book was about soccer, and retards (I think they're actually mentioned as mentally retarded) and .. the book just sucked. I like Abby though - her broken family and her terrible jokes make her seem like she'd be a fun real friend.

emaus said...

Abby actually became my favourite baby-sitter, because she was like me - loved bad puns, old music, had a big mouth but (unlike Kristy) wasn't bossy. Even thought Dawn was supposed to be the "independent" one, Abby actually was independent, and was happy to be friends with the other girls rather than craving their acceptance.

I think the reason people dislike is because she simply arrived to the books so much later than everyone else - I don't see that there was anything particularly objectionable about her. I haven't read Abby and the Bad Sport, though, which does sound rather awful.

I'd definitely love to see some more Abby books though - Abby and the Secret Society was probably my favourite book :D

BananaBomb said...

I haven't read many Abby books either, I tapered off reading BSC long before Abby was created. By the time I found any of her books, I'd read the latest Super Specials and was ambivalent about her. I didn't much like her in this one, but she's better in #127 (the only other Abby book I've read). Maybe #90 was just badly written? After I read it I thought she was a re-written Kristy.

Emilia said...

I think the only Abby books I read were the one where her sister has scoliosis and maybe the one where she has her Bat Mitzvah? Oh, and the Super Special where they go to Hawaii. You should definitely recap that one--it's ridiculous.

zanne said...

I don't think I ever read any Abby books. I remember her, but I don't remember anything specific.

One of my good friends has a son who has asthma and she has had to take him to the hospital many times. I didn't realize asthma was that serious either. When I was in elementary school & junior high, I remember kids having inhalers but that is about it.

Carrie said...

Long time reader, first time poster. Sorry for the delayed response, but I hadn't checked this blog in awhile, and I was excited to see three new entries!

I too really liked Abby, but I stopped reading shortly after she was introduced. I really liked her Portrait Collection book. It had a chapter about when her dad died, which is pretty serious for the BSC. I think the Portrait Collection books were my favorite BSC books.

Thanks for the updates, they are hilarious!

Amy said...

Woo hoo! I have mild excercise induced asthma too. Most of the time I'm fine, it just is really bad when I run. Weird...
But on a seriouse note, asthma can be very serious. I have a cousin whose mother died from an asthma attack. I don't know the details (his father got married to my aunt) but I remember being shocked when I learned about this.
Also, I never read any of the Abby books, but I don't mind the recaps.

ameliaheartsu said...

as far as the money at the craft sale goes we can just assume that it hasn't been adjusted for inflation for close to 30 years. :D

My mom has asthma and when i was really little 5-8 yrs she had to go to the hospital. she had never been diagnosed before, and it was triggered by our cat. She still has a once a day inhaler, i guess those work really well. we kept our cat for many years after that and nothing bad ever happened again.

Maria said...

I remember hating Abby when I first saw Welcome to the BSC, Abby.
I had been reading older BSC books (courtesy of my outdated school library). I started reading BSC books almost 10 years after they first came out.
I happened upon the Abby book at a book fair and decided that a new member just could not be added.
However, Abby's super cool outfit on the cover won me over and I ended up loving her.
I too think she was truly independent. And I loved that she stood up to Kristy.

The only other Abby mentioned books I've read are Abby and the Mystery Baby, Babysitter's Beware and BSC in the USA. I loved her in all those books.

A little spoiler for the BSC in the USA. Abby ends up going cross country with Mal, Jessi and the Brewers.
How awkward is that?
Talk about the rest of the cliquey 8th grade BSC members ditching the new girl! Lame Kristy abandons her family (and that annoying brat, Karen) and goes with the other BSC members (I secretly think she didn't want Mary Anne to be alone with Dawn, leaving her more left out) with Mr. Schaefer.

geek queen said...

yes!!! i would totally love to read more of the abby books...

Anonymous said...

i fully hate abby she is a fucking jerk

charmecia said...

i absolutely love abby in the series
she always cracks me up
and i love the way she handles things
as well as the bsc
abby rocks

Anonymous said...

I was in India from ages 8-12, and our library section was PATHETIC, so I was still buying BSC books from the rare book fairs that occurred at my school in India. I dropped the BSC when I was 13/14 because I got really interested in other reading material and had no motivation to continue the series. I think I read three Abby books - Abby and the Bad Sport (which was awful because it was all about soccer, a sport I have zero interest in), Abby's Twin (which I remember being okay with), and Welcome to the BSC Abby (which I liked, but I thought Kristy was being a bit of a jerk). I also remember reading about Abby in the super-specials.
I think, in a way, Abby is one of the more believable characters in the series. She's wild, over-the-top, and incredibly exuberant, but she makes plenty of mistakes and judgments that seem rather typical of a young teenager. While I never really connected with Abby, I appreciated how she called out the club members on any things. Her humor was never my style, so that grated on me a bit, but overall, I kind of liked Abby. I especially liked how she annoys Kristy in the book previous to this one, "Kristy and the Dirty Diapers", and how she continues to challenge Kristy over many issues (it made me happy that someone stood up to Kristy).

Anonymous said...

I like Abby i just hate that AMM added a character so late in the series, but i guess they had to replace Dawn cause the BSC is soooo busy they just can't run with 6 members

Amanda said...

I hate Abby she bugs me to core and getting rid of Dawn was idiotic.