Tuesday, May 26, 2009

“Why was I always choosing between my parents?”…..BSC # 58: Stacey’s Choice

Memory Reaction

So, either Stacey was really annoying in this book, or I was a bratty pre-teen. Or maybe a little of both. Cause my memory of this one is how Stacey was super-over-dramatic and annoying. Her mom gets pneumonia and Stacey acts like if she leaves her mom alone to go to school, or to see her dad, her mom will be totally helpless. Not to sound insensitive, but her mother is an adult. She doesn't need you that much.

I also remember a major typo in the book where they mention Mary Anne’s mom showing up to take care of Mrs. McGill. It stuck in my head cause, you know, Mary Anne’s mom is dead. It is in chapter two of every book, so the ghostwriter has no excuse for that one.

Revisited Reaction

I think I am going to go with Stacey is over-dramatic and annoying. Cause..yeah, she just is. Her mother passes out at a job interview and ends up in the hospital. They diagnose her with pneumonia (which is serious, but not a HUGE deal) and send her home. Stacey decides that since her mom always takes care of her when she is sick, she should do the same for her mom. Which is admirable, but remember how Stacey always says she wants her parents to leave her alone when she is sick? Maybe she should be a little understanding. Maybe I am biased because I like to be left alone when I’m sick, but it still seems a little over the top.

Stacey eventually decides she can’t miss weeks of school to stay with her mom, and she decides to line up “mom sitters.” She gets all the parents of BSC clients to come over to watch over her mom. Which, really? I think her mom can handle being alone for a couple hours. If an emergency happened she could call a neighbor. She is supposedly friends with Mal’s mom, who lives right near there. But, whatever.

Meanwhile, Stacey’s dad gets promoted to Vice President of his company, and they have a dinner in his honor. Her dad brings Stacey as his guest, but since Mrs. McGill is sick, Stacey is worried about going to NYC for so long. She finally decides to go for the night, but come back in the morning (instead of staying all weekend). Her dad gets a visiting nurse to show up, and Stacey lines up “mom sitters,” but Stacey still insists on calling home every five minutes and leaving the dinner (in honor of her dad) early so she can get up at 5 am for an early train.

When she gets home, they realize there were multiple people lined up to take care of Maureen (is that her mom’s name?) Then she and her dad argue, then reconcile, and Stacey angsts about being the child of divorced parents. Then her mom recovers and gets a job at a department store where she can get employee discounts. So everything is good.

Meanwhile, the BSCers who are not being melodramatic are dealing with a new sitting issue. The neighborhood kids decide to spend all their time ordering things from catalogues. Random stuff like “moon dust,” a “bust developer,” lotion for crows feet, a slicer and dicer, etc. After awhile the kids realize it is crap and since they have no money left, they write songs/skits/etc to try and sell it. No one buys anything, but most of the parents give them money for the show. So everyone is happy.


  • Stacey is surprised her mom only went on two job interviews in one day. How much time does she think an interview takes?
  • Are the kids in BSC-land really going to buy stuff like bust developers and baby-bottle liners? And are their parents really letting them?
  • I totally remember this scene: Krsity says how she once ordered an album called “Sixties Rock and Roll by the Original Artists.” And it was all covers by a band called the Original Artists. I think of that every time I see commercials for collections of old music.
  • Jessi talks about how she once unwittingly signed up for a “cassette club” – where she got a lot of tapes for a low price, then needed to keep sending money. How does a kid join one of those things without their parents’ involvement?
  • In this book, they talk about a new restaurant called “The Rosebud CafĂ©” – which is where Logan works later on. But they keep referring to it as “Ye Olde Ice-Cream Parlour.”
  • In the mail order thing, the Barrets get a personalized book for Marnie. They send her name and stats and get a book about a girl named Marnie. It actually sounds cool – like a longer mad-lib or something.
  • Vanessa Pike orders a bust developer, and Claire keeps asking her what it is for. No one will tell her, not even Mr. Pike. It is actually kind of funny. And Kristy makes jokes about wanting to use it as well.
  • Ouch, this is cold. Stacey’s dad tells her she is the only one he has to bring to the dinner, and she is all, “maybe that’s cause you’re a workaholic.”
  • So, Patsy Kuhn, who is 5, is deemed too little to order any stuff with her siblings. Meanwhile, Claire Pike and Suzi Barrett both get to do it. They are both five too, right?
  • Stacey’s dad is promoted to Vice President…do we know what he does? Because I can’t believe he is the only Vice President in his company? The one I work for has dozens.
  • Okay, this is freaky. The part that talks about “Mary Anne’s mom” says “Dawn’s mom.” Now, I know that mistake was in the book. I got this one from the library, and it has a new cover, so I guess they fixed the type in a reprint. Is it wrong that I am upset to see it fixed. It feels like a cover up or something.
  • Stacey’s outfit for the big dinner: “a hot pink (fake) silk jacket which fell to [her] knees, new black leggings, pink-and-black socks, and a black body suit. [She] planned to wear the outfit with black flats, and to dress it up with some jewelry and maybe a couple of barrettes.” I actually think that sounds cute, but it is not exactly formal-ware.
  • Stacey shops at “Zingy’s” which is the store they mention a lot. But this time, it is in downtown Stoneybrook, not the mall.
  • One of these companies the kids buy stuff from sells “moon dust,” and it claims there are only twenty in the world. Isn’t that just blatant false advertising? Also, would anyone over ten fall for it? It doesn’t seem like a smart business plan.
  • Wow, when Stacey goes to New York, she packs her outfit for the dinner, but plans to wear the same outfit (as the day before) on the train home. I am shocked that Stacey of all people would do that.
  • Stacey’s dad introduces her to the president of his company, and she is all amazed at first…I guess thinking that it was the president of the U.S.?
  • I can’t believe Stacey’s dad lets her decide when they leave. The dinner isn’t even over, and Stacey is all, “we must leave so I can get up at the crack of dawn.” That should be when he tells her he hired a visiting nurse for her mom.
  • This is kind of random, but when I was reading the book, I started thinking about that homeless woman, Judy, that Stacey talks about in some of the NY books. Then she actually mentions her to her dad (who just sort of shrugs).
  • The kids make up rap songs to sell their crap, so they all get together to rehearse. And poor Mallory is sitting for one family, then has to watch like a dozen of them at once.
  • Mrs. Barrett gives the kids a quarter for their show. That seems…cheap. When I was little, my friend and I had a lemonade stand and when we sold stuff for a quarter, people gave us twice that. (Which is why, I now always stop when I see kids selling lemonade). But anyway, she wouldn’t have to give them any, if she hadn’t let her kids waste their own money.
  • Apparently the kids made up a skit about the bust developer. I really want to know what this was like.
  • Ha, Claud actually does buy wrinkle remover from the kids.
  • So, Stacey’s mom missed her job interview at Bellar’s cause she was sick. So, when she calls the company about it, they just reschedule. Cause I am sure a company would just wait to make a hiring decision.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“I had no idea what a sitting job inew neighborhood would really mean”…..BSC # 11: Kristy and the Snobs

Memory Reaction

For some reason, what really sticks in my head from this one is the funeral they had for Kristy’s dog. And I remember how they made this huge deal out of Stacey using “reverse psychology” and even remind people of it in later books. Because whenever I hear the term, or see an example of it I think of the BSC.

Revisited Reaction

This book starts out a few weeks after Kristy has moved into Watson’s “mansion.” She is predisposed to hate the kids in her neighborhood for being “snobs,” so, she is a little bitchy to them. Of course, they are a little bitchy back, then they call each other snobs and jerks. There is sort of two levels of this conflict – one is the Delaney’s, the snobby kids she has to sit for. The other is Shannon, who ends up joining the BSC.

Shannon is pissed that Kristy is taking her baby-sitting jobs. So, they play some practical jokes on each other and try to ruin the other’s sitting jobs. But, they sort of bond over the fact that Kristy’s dog Louie is sick and gets put to sleep. Shannon ends up giving one of her dog’s puppies to David Michael. He names her Shannon, cause everyone wants to have a dog named after them. After that, Kristy and Shannon become friendly and they ask her to join the club.

Meanwhile, the Delaneys, are acting like a couple of spoiled brats. She calls them snobs, complains about them, etc. Stacey is apparently a mini-psych major and pulls “reverse psychology” on them. That weird them out, and they eventually, they start to behave.

  • Amanda is really annoying. Every day she talks about how much money her cat costs. You’d think they could make the rich snobs interestingly evil, like Gossip Girl, or something. Talking about a cat is just dumb.
  • Shannon always seems to be hanging out with Amanda Delaney in this book….it is kind of random considering their ages.
  • So, this is kind of cute. This book is right before Mrs. Perkins had her baby, and Myriah and Gabbie are talking about names they like. Myriah likes Laurie and Gabbie likes Beth…. which seems sweet since they end up naming her Laura Beth.
  • The Delaney’s living room is apparently all white. That doesn’t suggest rich to me, it suggests stupidity. Even rich kids can get messy.
  • Kristy lets the Delaney’s order her around because she wants the kids to be happy (so their parents keep calling the BSC). But, she can’t really turn around and complain about the kids, can she?
  • In this book, Kristy describes Dawn and her family as “semi-vegetarians.” Inconsistent, much?
  • Dawn sits for her brother, and they have a fight about him wanting to live in California. So then Dawn waits up until her mom comes home at 1:00 am. That seems pretty late to leave a 10- and 13- year old alone. I guess I never realized how much Jeff’s move to California was built up before it really happened.
  • I don’t really think reverse psychology would work….when I was ten, I would say I liked a messy room. If someone came to baby-sit me and tried to mess it up more, I would just go with it.
  • Wouldn’t people as rich as the Delaney’s have a maid? Why are they cleaning up after themselves anyway?
  • Stacey teaches them to play “Snail” which I remember them playing in later books.
  • So, Shannon orders pizza to come to Kristy while she is baby-sitting. Then Kristy tells the pizza guy to send it over to Shannon’s house. And of course, Shannon gets annoyed.
  • Kristy orders diaper service for Shannon? Is that like, an actual thing?
  • This is ANOTHER book where the Pikes are all sick. Five of them have chicken pox at once. Then during the job, Nicky and Vanessa end up coming down with it as well. And of course, they all eat dinner in their bedrooms cause they are not allowed out of bed when sick. I was five when I had the chicken pox, so I don’t remember that much, but I know I didn’t stay in my room the whole time. I just remember how they didn’t let me go to school on the last day of Kindergarten, and I was totally devastated.
  • Are cream cheese and jelly sandwiches really “sick” food? That is what the Pikes all eat while sick. Maybe the Pikes should serve them vegetables some time, instead of always letting them eat whatever they want…it might keep them healthier.
  • It is so sad to read about Kristy’s dog dying.
  • Kristy really does egg the “snobs” on. At least Shannon. She calls her jerk-face when they talk to her for the first time.
  • They drive Louie to the vet’s twice a day to get shots, as a final treatment method. Can’t they be taught to do it? Why drive to the doctor twice a day if you don’t have to.
  • They have a funeral for Louie. Kristy thinks it was Watson’s idea, even though Karen tries to claim credit for it. Brat.
  • Charlie gets all embarrassed to be digging a “grave” because Karen invited all the snobby neighbors.
  • Kristy actually misses a BSC meeting because she is so upset about Louie.
  • Karen is talking about the ghost “Ben Brewer” and says he roams the halls to get exercise. Then Mary Anne is all, “don’t you mean e-x-o-r-c-I-s-e?” Karen doesn’t get the joke, but wasn’t she always kind of a spelling snob? I know she is young, but I think she would have understood.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

“Will Karen’s wish come true?”…..Baby-Sitters Little Sister Super Special # 1: Karen’s Wish

Memory Reaction

I never actually read this book as a kid. In fact, I only read a few of the Little Sister books. I read the BSC books after I was too old to, but the Little Sister books were at an even lower reading level, and I just didn’t bother with them. But, I got this in a package of BSC stuff on e-bay, so I figured I’d blog about it.

Revisited Reaction

The basic plot is that is December and Karen is looking forward to Christmas and all the new toys she thinks she is going to get. Seriously, she is a little spoiled brat about it. Then, Nannie falls and injures her hip, and might be in the hospital for the holidays. Karen decides the only thing she will ask for will be for Nannie to get better. Which, shockingly, she does, and she comes home on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Karen has been talking to her friend Nancy about Hanukah and the girls “trade holidays,” where Karen goes to Nancy’s house and celebrates Hanukah with her one night and Nancy does the same thing on X-mas. And they get each other the same Bobbsey Twin book as a gift because they are just that close. It was really predictable.

Like I said, I never read this book, but I must have read the surrounding ones. Karen talks about how “last month” at Thanksgiving she had two turkey dinners (which I do remember happening). I also remember some book where Karen is a little bitch telling people they aren’t keeping their New Years resolution, and tells Nannie she isn’t working hard enough in physical therapy. I am guessing that was right after this book. Although, I don’t remember any mention of Nannie getting hurt in the regular BSC books. That was really the only thing I liked about the Little Sister books, that their was sometime crossover stuff.


  • I think I may have lost IQ points reading this one. It is supposedly at a grade three reading level, but the sentences are all so simple, it was painful to read. It is like, “My name is Karen and I am seven. I have blonde hair. I like Christmas.” It continues like that for the whole book.
  • Supposedly, Karen, Hannie, and Nancy are the “three musketeers,” but Karen and Nancy totally leave Hannie out of everything they do in this book. Karen invites Nancy to go do all this Christmas stuff, and Nancy invites Karen to do all this Hanukah stuff, and Hannie is barely mentioned. Also, Karen spends hours thinking of a good gift for Nancy and finding it in the store. For Hannie she gets ponytail holders, which Hannie told her to buy. No thought whatsoever.
  • Karen keeps feeling sorry for Nancy because she doesn’t celebrate Christmas and won’t get gifts. Then, when Nancy tells her she gets Hanukah gifts, Karen still doesn’t believe she’ll get as many presents as her. It is either a spoiled attitude or a closed-minded attitude. I know she is only seven, but really.
  • Karen and Andrew sing “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel, and Commissioner broke his leg.” Is that how it is supposed to go? Cause when I was little, we always sang it “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away.”
  • After she starts talking to Nancy about Hanukah, Karen gets all enlightened and starts wondering why the mall only has Christmas decorations and not Hanukah ones. I am thinking this book is supposed to be a lesson on kids about diversity.
  • When Nannie starts to get better, Karen decides to write a Christmas list after all, but as soon as she does, she finds out Nannie got some infection. That probably isn’t supposed to be funny, but it is.
  • Karen and Andrew don’t mail letters to Santa, they throw them in the fireplace, where they “magically fly up the chimney to the North Pole.” I would have made fun of that, but last December I saw one of these ABC Family Christmas movies where the characters did the same thing. It was the first time I had ever heard of it, but I guess it is more common that I thought.
  • Karen wants a doll called “Baby-Grow-a-Tooth.” I TOTALLY had a doll like that when I was about six. But it wasn’t just a tooth, it was a growing doll, and if you turned a crank on her back, the doll got taller and her teeth came in. Then you could change her clothes.
  • I can’t believe Karen’s parents allowed her to call her mother’s home “the little house.” It is really quite mean.
  • In the token introduction chapter, Karen talks all about how sometimes being a “two-two” can be bad. Because even though she has two of everything, that can sometimes make life hard. I guess this is Martin’s commentary on how divorce effects kids, but she could probably be more subtle about it.
  • Karen and Nancy both talk about books by saying the author after. Like, “I want to read Matilda by Ronald Dahl.” I barely do that now, let alone when I was a kid.
  • So, this makes no sense. Karen and Andrew go over to “the big house” on X-mas Eve to spend the night. On Christmas morning, they go back to their moms’ place. So, why does their “big-house” family give them the gifts on X-mas Eve and not in the morning before going to their mom’s? It is only Karen and Andrew who open gifts then, so it is not like their tradition is to open them early. I can see Karen and Andrew opening the gifts on Christmas Eve if that was the only day they were going to see their Dad, but it is not. Maybe they were being nice and letting the kids open gifts early, but then wouldn’t Emily and David Michael have been allowed to do the same? It is just dumb because on Christmas morning, Karen and Andrew sit around while everyone else opens the gifts. They only open their stockings, which are from “Santa.” (Which are the only things Santa gives them, although at the “little house” he gives them bigger gifts. Which, you think would confuse a four-year-old). THEN, when they go back to the “little house” they wait until after dinner to open gifts.
  • Of course, Karen gets everything she wanted. Even though she never made a list. But she still decides to write a list for next year.
  1. My two families to be healthy.
  2. Everyone in my two families to be home for Christmas
  3. To celebrate Hanukah with Nancy
  4. Nancy to celebrate Christmas with us
  5. No more plane crashes
  6. No more bombs or wars
  7. Houses for everyone in the world to live in
  8. No guns
  9. Ricky Torres to ask me to marry him.
  10. Three Madama Alexandra dolls.

Don't you love how cliche it is? All the "I want world peace" stuff along with the fancy dolls?

Lastly, check out this picture. Whoever did this illustration should be fired:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“I was already a beauty”…..BSC # 37: Dawn and the Older Boy

Memory Reaction

All I remember is Travis giving her gifts. And this scene where Dawn is surprised that Travis could drive at 16 – because even though it is the legal driving age, most parents make their kids wait until they are 17. Or, so Dawn claimed. I didn’t believe it at the time, but I grew up in NJ where you can’t get your license until 17. So, I have no idea what people in other states did.

Revisited Reaction

At a sleepover at Kristy’s, Dawn meets this guy who is friends with Charlie and Sam. He is from California, so Dawn is instantly into him. For some reason, he decides to talk to her, even though he is at least three years older than her. Plus, afterwards, he visits Dawn, then gives her jewelry and hair clips to wear. Then he starts giving her “advice” like saying she should cut her hair or get another ear piercing, etc. Some of this she does. Cause, as we already know, Dawn will change anything for a guy.

Then she finds out that Travis is actually dating a HS girl and feels all betrayed. But she eventually does tell him off for leading her on. And, she kind of has a right to because he shouldn’t be giving gifts to some girl he has no interest in. Especially a thirteen-year-old. So, good for her. Then Mary Anne gives Dawn Lewis’s address, and they start to exchange letters.

Interestingly, the BSC doesn’t know about all this as it is happening. She finally tells them the whole story, but not until the end. What they are doing in the meantime, is dealing with a baby-sitting crisis: The Perkins and the Hobarts are putting on a play. James wrote it, which makes one of the assholes from THIS book make fun of him. Plus, the Perkins dog is in the play, which makes things difficult. I always pictured that dog as this huge monster-size one. I think they had a similar one in Sleepover Friends…One of the girls had a large dog, and the scenes always made me think it was a crazy-big animal. But, anyway, the play goes well enough, I guess. And James sort of makes friends with the asshole. Of course, I think he did this in an earlier book too, so who knows how long it will last.


  • Claud outfit: “Today, for example, she had stuck to two colors: black and white. Black cotton bib overalls over a white turtleneck with a shiny black parent leather belt lopped around her waist. Black suede ankle boots and white cotton socks. Long black hair swept off her face with giant white plastic barrettes.” I actually think it sounds kind of cute.
  • Stacey does some weird style to Mary Anne’s hair where she scrunches it into a tangled “mane.” I am not sure I am picturing that correctly, but I am also not sure I want to. Anyway, Mary Anne hates it, but is afraid to tell Stacey.
  • Mary Anne wakes the other girls up after a sleep-over at Kristy’s because she thinks the Brewers will be expecting them for breakfast. Um, really? The parents of a teenage girl expect them to get up early after a slumber party.
  • Kristy convinces everyone to go down to the kitchen in their pajamas and old makeup cause no one important would be there. And of course, this is where Travis enters. Dawn and the other girls keep hiding behind each other, than run up to change. Then spend over an hour primping before going back down. I can’t believe that Stacey (who had a crush on Sam), wouldn’t look in a mirror before going downstairs.
  • Dawn’s after sleep-over outfit: “A pale blue ten-button top with my favorite jeans.
  • Travis hears Dawn is from California and is all, “I like to take long walks on the beach.” Then Dawn says she didn’t live on the ocean. Even though she always talks about the ocean. I mean, I know she didn’t live right on it, but I would think she would mention going there.
  • And also, long walks on the beach? Cliche, much?
  • How big are kid-kits supposed to be? I always picture them as shoeboxes, but they can’t fit that much stuff in a shoebox. But do they really carry around huge boxes.
  • The timing is really off in this thing – the sleepover was a Friday night, so Dawn met Travis on a Saturday morning. Then at the Monday meeting Dawn asks Kristy if she has seen Travis again. I guess it could have been a full week away, but it seems weird to expect him to be there every day.
  • Dawns says she sometimes gets a feeling when it is going to be an exciting day. Apparently, it happened the day Claud broke her leg. If Dawn thinks she is psychic, she should warn her friends.
  • Now Dawn’s house has a smoke house and an out house? Seriously?
  • Travis just pulls up outside Dawn’s house when she and Mary Anne are raking leaves and chats with her. How did he know where she lived?
  • Would the Hobarts really be hanging out with the Perkins girls? I know they live next door, but they are not really that close in age – at least not James Hobart.
  • I still think kids would think kids from Australia and being like “Crocodile Dundee” was cool.
  • Travis is kind of an ass. He keeps talking about how all these sports teams and clubs at school are begging him to join them, because he is just so good at everything.
  • If Kristy didn’t know Travis and Dawn had a ‘thing’, why would she start talking about him? I don’t know how much time has passed, so it is hard to judge, but it seems like it is supposed to be over a few weeks. Would the BSC think what Charlie’s friend does is interesting?
  • Dawn totally stalks Travis. Twice. She goes down to his school and follows him downtown. She is lucky that those two days he just happens to walk downtown, not drive.
  • Travis’s new girlfriend wears “a white cotton flight suit” that is supposedly like something Claud or Stacey would wear. WTF is a flight suit?
  • Dawn doesn’t let Travis talk her into getting her pierced ears (as if she could get it done without her parents) and she says she had to work hard to get permission for the earrings in the first place. That’s not really how I remember it. She just makes a random phone call, right?
  • So the kids just decide what day they want to perform the play, and expect people to show up. They want an adult, so Mary Anne calls Mrs. Pike, but it doesn’t seem like any other adults show up. Wouldn’t these kids want to put on the play for their parents?
  • When Travis’s girlfriend is all, “I heard he turned you into a beauty.” Then Dawn is all “I already was a beauty.” Even she realized how conceited that sounded. But, I actually don’t think it was so bad to say.
  • On two separate occasions Dawn’s teacher lets her out early and she gets to leave school ten minutes early. That never happened in my school. I think there was supposedly a legal thing.
  • She writes in a letter to Lewis that she will make him vegetarian food….which she actually does. So, yea, continuity.

By the way, sorry if this post isn't showing up correctly, I am having issues with blogger.