I have read this book before, but it wasn’t as a kid, it was a few years ago shortly before I started this blog. However, I remember very little about it….just that it had a very predictable plot. Kristy and Watson meet some famous baseball player and are upset when he isn’t nice. But then Kristy gets him to see the error of his ways. What would the world do without the BSC?
Kristy’s about to spend her spring vacation at a “dream baseball camp” that’s run by a bunch of former major league players. This includes Bill Bain, Watson’s childhood hero, which is perfect because Watson’s going too….it’s a special father-daughter session of the camp.
Before they go, Kristy tries out for the school softball team. Apparently she’s a returning player, but she makes no reference to the events from this book. Anyway, since the coach knows her, Kristy’s not that nervous about trying out. She also doesn’t really put all her effort into it and ends up on the second string team. So, she’s all upset and thinks she won’t enjoy the camp. Once there, she keeps angsting about each little mistake she makes. All the softball also makes her think of her dad, who first taught her to play. She’s upset that he isn’t there to see her play, but she’s also upset that she even cares about her dad when Watson’s there.
Some of the campers are getting anxious because they aren’t seeing very much of Bill Bain. When he finally shows up, Watson tries to introduce himself, and Bill snaps at him. One of the other coaches talks about how Bill’s having a hard time because he’s getting older and can’t play as well as he used to. So then Watson starts to angst…partially because Bill Bain isn’t as great as he expected and partially because he realizes that he’s getting older too.
The other issue about the camp is that the coaches are not as organized as President Kristy. This annoys her, so she keeps stepping up to “help” by organizing the campers, giving players tips and semi-pep talks, and helping sort out the equipment. When Bill yells at one of the other coaches (who was doing nothing wrong), Kristy tells him off. She’s actually pretty nice and respectful about it, but Watson’s annoyed at her for being “rude to a legend.” It turns out okay, because Bill decides she’s right and tries to be nice/spend time with the campers. He even apologizes to Watson for being rude. So, the end of camp’s great, and Kristy decides that since she loves playing, she doesn’t care about being on second string.
The subplot’s also about baseball, so I guess the ghostwriter had some kind of fixation. David Michael has been collecting baseball cards and trading them with his friends. One kid’s super into the value of cards and only wants to talk about how much money each one’s worth. He influences the other kids, and soon they’re all focusing on the money part. But the BSC gets David Michael (and some of his friends) to see that they shouldn’t just think about money, they should find cards that mean something to them and have fun.
- I kind of like that Kristy was put on the second string team, but I wish they didn’t have it be because she didn’t try very hard. It’s kind of annoying that these girls are all so good with whatever they like to do. I mean, Claudia sucks at school, but she’s fabulous at art, which is what she really loves. Abby and Kristy are good at sports, Mallory’s a great writer, Jessi’s this gifted ballerina, and in the book where Stacey tried out for cheerleading, she was great at that. In real life, some people just aren’t that talented.
- In this book Kristy describes her wardrobe as that of a seven-year-old boy's, but “minus Spiderman underwear.” This basically translates into jeans a T-shirt, and sneakers. I think this is a lot more realistic for a “tomboy” than jeans, a turtleneck, and a sweater, which used to be Kristy’s standard outfit.
- Kristy said that Mary Anne used to be the only BSC member with a steady boy friend, but that Claudia recently dated a guy named Josh. But what about Stacey? She dated Robert for a good thirty books, all before Claud even met Josh.
- Kristy refers to how Jessi has seemed lost since Mal went off to boarding school. Maybe if they had given Jessi her own book after that happened, or even a storyline in another book, we could find out what she was thinking about it. But no, Jessi hardly even gets mentioned outside of the backstory chapter.
- It’s so AWKWARD when Kristy finds out she’s on the second string team. She sees some other girl looking at the list who was placed on second string. And Kristy’s all, “oh, second string’s a great place to work on your skills.” Then when she can’t find her name on the first string list, the girl’s like, “um, you’re Kristy, right? You’re name’s over here.” I hate scenes where people embarrass themselves like that.
- Kristy mentions that Watson’s older than her mom, and refers to him as “old.” But how much older can he be? Karen and Andrew are seven and four, how old was he supposed to be when they were born?
- One of the things that supposedly shows how disorganized the coaches are, is that one of them tells people to split into two groups, but doesn’t give them any instruction on how to do it. Kristy has to get up and tell people to count off by ones and twos. But do you really think that would happen? I think most people would just naturally group with the people standing near them. It’s not exactly hard.
- There are references to e-mail and cell phones in this book. It feels strange to see that in a BSC book, but I guess all the later books are like that.
- Kristy makes friends with a camper named Vicki. Vicki’s only at camp because her dad wants her to play softball – she doesn’t really like it. She also doesn’t care about some of the other activities her dad wants her to do, which basically makes her Rosie Wilder. Kristy convinces her to tell her dad this. And of course, the father’s immediately okay with it. Because when you’re honest with someone, they’ll never even be a little upset about it.
- David Michael forgot to bring his “value list” with him to a baseball cad trading session, and ended up agreeing to a trade where he gave up an “expensive” card. He keeps whining about how he was cheated. So, Abby’s all “you weren’t cheated, you agreed to it fair and square. It’s not his fault you forgot your value card.”
- These kids seem to have baseball card trading sessions daily. But how many people would have been getting new baseball cards every night? Cause otherwise, there could only be so much trading.
- It seems kind of out of character for Kristy to not put all her energy into the softball try out.
- I wonder how much this dream camp cost. Assuming that everything Kristy mentioned was included in the price (food, hotel, uniforms, video highlight reel, autographed baseballs, evening entertainment, not to mention the coaches and playing), it seems like it could get pretty expensive. Good thing Watson’s a millionaire.
- There’s an awards dinner on the last night of camp, and after the rest of the awards are given out, Kristy gets a specially created "best coach" award. Because her leadership skills are just THAT good.