This was the first time I read this book, so no memory to write about.
Kristy gets a semi-regular job sitting for Shannon’s little sisters, Tiffany and Maria. It seems Mr. and Mrs. Kilbourne and Shannon are all even busier than usual and need the extra help. On her first day on the job, the girls tell Kristy they’re mad at Shannon for never being around. They come up with a plan to try and make her life easier so that she’ll have more time to spend with them. However, their version of “making life easier” is baking cookies and leaving the kitchen a mess that Shannon has to clean up, walking the dog and letting her run off so that Shannon has to help find her, changing all the X’s to numbers on her algebra homework, and making her room a mess in an attempt to clean it.
Anyway, after Shannon blows up at all their attempts to help, Tiffany and Maria switch tactics and declare war on her. They mess up her planner/calendar, throw out her phone messages, and do all sorts of stuff that siblings do to annoy each other. Kristy tries to stop them, but she can only do so much since she’s only there a few days each week. After the first couple days, Shannon tries to ignore them. But, when Tiffany and Maria dump cooked spaghetti into Shannon’s backpack, she’s ready to lose it. At this point, Kristy finally gets the bright idea to tell Shannon why her sisters are doing all this to her.
Meanwhile, there are a couple of subplots going on. The first is that there’s an “all-school dance,” being planned at the town community center, for all the middle school students in town (except Tiffany, who somehow hasn’t reached Stoneybrook “adulthood,” despite being 11). Claudia tries to set Kristy up with a friend of her seventh-grade boyfriend Mark, and ends up taking Kristy on a shopping trip to give her a makeover. Kristy insists on meeting the guy first, and decides he’s a jerk. She also decides she isn’t a big fan of Claudia’s boyfriend, which I guess is foreshadowing to a book when they break up, since Claud’s with a different guy later on. But anyway, Kristy ends up going to the dance with Shannon and still having a good time.
Secondly, since Maria and Tiffany are feeling left out because Shannon’s helping plan the all-school dance, and Mrs. Kilbourne’s on the parents’ committee, Kristy gets the idea to have an “All Kids” dance. Because elementary kids just love dances, right? Anyway, the first few planning meetings are a bit stressful and the kids are arguing. The BSC decides it’s because they’re nervous about having to find dates, so they make a rule that the kids aren’t allowed to bring dates. After that all the planning goes swimmingly. But they do all dance with each other at the dance and have a good time.
By the end, Kristy has convinced Maria and Tiffany to write letters to Shannon and their parents about how they feel about them being so busy. As a result, Shannon decides to quit the school play (for other reasons as well) to have more free time, and Mr. and Mrs. Kilbourne decide to adjust their schedules to allow for more family time.
- Apparently these days Abby has soccer practice every day after school. And I guess Kristy’s okay with that, although in the earlier books she would have hated one of the BSC members being that busy.
- When Kristy’s sitting at the Kilbournes,’ she helps Maria and Tiffany make cookies, and the kitchen ends up being a mess. Then Mrs. Kilbourne comes home and tells the girls they’re both late for evening plans, so Shannon will have to clean up. Kristy tells us how she knows she should do it, but she’s supposed to help her mother make dinner. But isn’t it out of character for Kristy to not make sure things are clean before Mrs. Kilbourne comes home?
- Outfit: “Claudia’s jumper was made out of an old pair of overalls, and it was decorated with embroidered birds, animals, suns, moons, and stars.” It doesn’t sound so bad, but I feel the need to point out that birds are actually animals.
- The whole thing with dumping spaghetti in Shannon’s backpack seems like it shouldn’t have been such a bad thing, unless there was actually sauce on the spaghetti…but that isn’t really specified.
- The outfit Claud picks out for Kristy’s pre-dance date is, “a flowered skirt, a soft fleecy vest, and a silky cream-colored blouse.”
- Another Claudia outfit: “A pink corduroy miniskirt with a lime green sweater…it sounds yucky, but on her it looked terrific.” I have a hard time believing that.
- Claudia does criticize the dance committee for picking a purple and orange color scheme. So, I guess she has some sense.
- Do you think Shannon’s supposed to read the club notebook like the other club members? Cause if so, she should know what’s up with her sisters. If not, you’d think her friend Kristy would warn her that her sisters are trying to drive her crazy.
- The planning for the middle school dance is a bit disorganized. There was a committee with representatives from all schools voting on what the decorations, food, music, etc. would be. That all sounds good. But, a few days before the dance itself, anyone who wants can come and actually put up decorations and finalize the plans…which means they get into all sorts of arguments about decisions that had previously been made. There has to have been a better way to do that.
- In a move that seems completely out-of-character, at this planning meeting, Kristy puts on some music, grabs Alan Gray, and starts to dance, in a successful attempt to get everyone to stop fighting. Then (again, out-of-character) at the actual dance Kristy and Shannon are the first two to start dancing, since everyone else is slow to get started.
- I do think it’s a little weird that the middle school kids are reluctant to start dancing. I mean, it’s realistic, but in all the other dances we hear about the kids are totally comfortable with it.
- A couple days after the decorating, but a day before the middle school dance, the kids’ dance is held in the same room of the community center. So, that seems like it would have ruined some of the decorating the middle school kids already did, but whatever.
- Kristy’s date’s described as liking sports, but it turns out he only likes to collect sports memorabilia that’s worth a lot of money, which she finds a bit of a turn off. It actually feels a bit like a cliché to me.
- Tiffany and Maria are both upset when they think Shannon and their parents can’t come to the kids’ dance they helped plan. I can imagine an 8-year-old feeling that way, but not an 11-year-old.
- Tiffany and Maria both end up with a crush on Jordon Pike. But then at the dance Maria realizes she actually likes Adam, and spends the evening dancing with him, while Tiffany does the same thing with Byron. I have no idea if this is realistic, but I feel like we’ve seen a similar plot before.
- In case you were worried, Jordon danced with Becca Ramsey the whole night, so all the triplets got some love.
- Here’s the part that drives me crazy….Tiffany Kilbourne’s eleven. So why does she need a sitter and have to be part of the kids dance, when Mal and Jessi get to be sitters and attend the middle school dance?