Tuesday, December 30, 2008

“How could I not explore my own personal secret passage?”……BSC #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s house

Memory Reaction

I remember almost nothing about this book. I remember Dawn had a secret passage that she finds in this house, but I don’t think that is based off my memory of this specific book. I just know about it because it is mentioned in every Dawn book, and probably most of the non-Dawn books. The only thing I really can place being in this book is that Nicky Pike finds the passage first. But again, I think they mention that info in a lot of later books.

Revisited Reaction

Okay, this is an early book, and Dawn hasn’t lived in Stoneybrook that long, so she hasn’t searched the house fully for her precious secret passage. That is what she spends this book doing, including a search with the rest of the BSC. At first she only succeeds in scaring herself. Then one day she is sitting in the barn, and she falls through the floor into the passage.

Once she finds it, Dawn still keeps scaring herself. She keeps finding “weird” things in the passage, and they are different every time. Like, on day there is a key on the ground and the next day there is a pile of peanut shells, etc. She becomes convinced it is a ghost leaving/taking all these objects. Because, you know, she is an idiot who still believes in ghosts at the age of 13. (And even if she believes in ghosts I would think she should wonder why a ghost would be eating so much junk food…I think most ghost stories say spirits don’t need to eat, or can’t eat).

Then Dawn reads this book on the history of Stoneybrook, and she finds a story about some dude disappearing between his house and his barn. Dawn decides this MUST be her house, and the guy that vanished MUST be haunting the passage. When Dawn talks about this in later books, I always thought the book Dawn she read that story in actually referenced her house. But it doesn’t, it just says a house in Stoneybrook with a barn.

Meanwhile, whenever anyone sits for the Pikes, Nicky runs off and doesn’t come back for hours. He is sort of allowed to do this, but it still makes Dawn worried. She realizes that he might be in the passage (I don’t know how she figures this out, but she does). She checks it out, and of course, Nicky is in the passage. He admits that the stuff Dawn kept finding was his. But she still thinks the passage is haunted, because she hears noises at night. I can’t image any other reason a 200-year-old house would be making noises….but that’s Dawn for you.


  • Dawn talks about how on her recent flight to California, Jeff saved all the little packets of salt and pepper, etc. in a barf bag. I just thought it was cool because in the first Super Special, Dawn tells Karen and Andrew to use the barf bag for the same purpose.
  • Claudia gets a hollow book to hide her junk food…I remember her using that all the time in later books.
  • It has got to be really weird to sit for the people who moved into your old house…especially if it is only a couple weeks after you moved. Anyway, Kristy has to do that when she sits for the Perkins.
  • It is kind of weird how sometimes Jeff is old enough to stay home alone, and other times he gets a baby-sitter. I guess that is more normal though…I was allowed to stay home alone in the afternoons before being allowed to at night.
  • Ha. Kristy calls Karen out on how she always changes what part of the house Ben Brewer haunts.
  • Bratty Dawn doesn’t tell anyone she found a secret passage because she wants to keep it to herself.
  • Dawn talks about how her mom dates a lot of people…I know some people try to get right back out there after a divorce, but in the BSC world, her mom remarries in about a year. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to play the field and still get serious enough about someone to get married.
  • I totally remember this part. Dawn’s mom goes out with a guy name “Trip” so she calls him the Trip Man. I think she talks about him in other books or something.
  • Dawn and Jeff are both idiots. Or deprived or something. They find an ice cream cone in the secret passage. It is a sugar cone, which is what you get at most ice cream parlors (At least ones that I have been to). But Jeff thinks all ice cream cones are “flat and airy looking.” Meaning wafer cones, I guess. Dawn decides it must be an “old-fashioned cone.” But seriously, I worked for two summers at Baskin Robbins, and never heard anyone think a sugar cone was old fashioned.
  • Of course, later Nicky says he bought an “old-fashioned” cone from an ice cream truck, so maybe Ann M Martin is the idiot. But either way, it annoyed me.
  • This has what I think is the first mention of Cam Geary, that actor Mary Anne is obsessed with.
  • Since when do the Pikes pay extra for the BSC to do chores?
  • Dawn tries to move her furniture in front of the secret passage to keep the ghost from coming in. Her mom laughs at her, because, if you believe in ghosts you usually assume they can get through walls.

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.


  • 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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

“You know…I have never been hit in the face with a pie.”…….BSC # 19: Claudia and the Bad Joke

Memory Reaction

Whenever I think of this book, I think of my friend who got hurt falling off her swing set when we were in third grade. She didn’t break her leg like Claudia does in this book, she got a concussion and was out of school for ages. But I always associate the two in my mind.

I also remember that in later books, they claimed that Claudia’s leg hurt when it was going to rain because of this injury. Every once in a while they would have her lying down with her foot propped up at a meeting, and saying that it was a weather prediction.

Revisited Reaction

The BSC has a new client, Betsy Sobak, and Claudia is the first one that gets to sit for her. Claud is a little wary, because it turns out that the BSC wasn’t like the mafia yet -- they knew other kids baby-sat for Betsy and don’t get upset. But these other sitters refuse to watch Betsy anymore because she is an annoying brat who likes to play practical jokes.

So, of course, Claud shows up and Betsy instantly starts making jokes. It ends when she tricks Claudia into sitting on a broken swing, which leads to Claud breaking her leg. Betsy didn’t mean for her to get seriously hurt – she is not portrayed as a psychopath, just annoying. But, Claudia has to be in the hospital for awhile (to have the leg in traction), then stay home from school for a couple more weeks. This sucks, cause Claud needs all the school she can get. It also makes Claud worry that she might get injured again while baby-sitting and then not be able to be an artist…so we are supposed to think she is seriously considering quitting the club. But obviously she won’t because if Claud left the club, they wouldn’t have a place for meetings.

Meanwhile Mrs. Sobak has a lot of nerve, because she keeps calling the BSC for jobs. And they keep going, because they have decided to “declare a practical joke war” on Betsy. Cause getting revenge on little kids is such mature, good baby-sitting. At first this is a complete failure, because their attempts at pranks are lame, and Betsy has seen them all before. Then, Kristy gets help from Sam, and makes a fool out of Betsy in a movie theater. So, Betsy apologizes and Claud decides to stay in the club.


  • In this book they are still claiming Jessi doesn’t want to dance professionally.
  • At the beginning the girls are at this slapstick film festival, and Kristy talks about how much she wants to wear food. It’s a little weird.
  • They end up at the film festival because Logan called Mary Anne and told her about it. Then she called the rest of the BSC. I bet Logan was thrilled about that.
  • I still can’t believe Claudia can tell Kristy that she knows other kids who baby-sit without Kristy hiring a hit man.
  • This is a weird little bit. Claudia tells us how Dawn often stays at her house for dinner after BSC meetings because her mom is working late and Jeff is back in CA. I wonder if that was supposed to be real drama or character development or something that got lost as the ghostwriters took over.
  • Betsy’s outfit sounds like something Claudia would wear. “A very snazzy pair of red pants that were held up by red suspenders. Under the suspenders was a blue-and-white striped T-shirt. The legs of her pants ended in cuffs, and on her feet were running shoes tied with purple laces.” Seriously, a total Claud outfit.
  • However, Claud’s actual outfit includes: “the shirt was one I’d made myself. I’d taken a shirt of my dad’s, painted it, and sewn sequins all over it.”
  • The BSC still have meetings in Claud’s room while she is in the hospital. The Kishis are WAY to nice.
  • Claudia is a total mean girl in this book. Her roommate in the hospital has a broken elbow and had surgery on it. Then Claud makes fun or her for crying, and she keeps calling her a baby (not to her face, just in the narration), and thinking it is not a surprise that a girl that cries doesn’t have as many visitors as her.
  • The Pikes get on board the “playing practical jokes” band wagon, which is really annoying. Jessi and Dawn get them back by….pretending they see an elephant on the loose in the yard. Yes, it is as lame as it sounds.
  • When Claudia gets home from the hospital, her homeroom teacher arranges a phone call so everyone in the class can say hello. That…seems awkward. But maybe I am just thinking that cause I hated everyone I went to school with in 8th grade.
  • These bitches make Claud pay dues for the meetings she missed while in the hospital.
  • Claud gets tons of flowers and visits from BSC clients. I can’t really imagine that happening in real life. I mean, I can see the flowers, but not the visits.
  • According to Mallory, Mrs. Sobak doesn’t think her daughter does anything wrong when she plays jokes that lead to people breaking limbs. Stoneybrook is the capital of bad parenting.
  • Dawn is obnoxious. The Pike triplets want to make sundaes for everyone (as an excuse to play a joke on Nicky). Dawn is all annoyed because she has to put sugar and unnatural ingredients in her body. God, the horror of someone making you eat ice cream. If it is that bad, don’t eat it.
  • So, the girls are talking about how great the BSC is to try and get Claud to stay in. They bring up the trip to Disney World, then add a note that Mallory and Jessi look left out because they weren’t in the club then. But, um, Mallory was still on the trip. Hell, her family was the reason for it.
  • Kristy tells Betsy she shouldn’t play jokes because they embarrass people. I think…that is not the most important reason.
  • Do kids really have such screwed up sense of time when they are 8? Claud goes back to school three weeks after the accident. When Kristy tells Betsy about this, Betsy and all, “but she broke it months ago!”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

“This was nothing like my first ballet class”….BSC # 55: Jessi’s Gold Medal

Memory Reaction

I totally wanted to be a synchronized swimmer after I read this book. At least, I think this book is what led to it, since it was around the same time. I tried to sign up for classes at the YMCA, but I didn’t rank high enough after their swimming test and had to take lessons first. Then, by the time I reached the appropriate level, I had sort of lost interest in getting up early on Saturday to go swimming.

Revisited Reaction

This book takes place during the summer Olympics – the 1992 ones going by the date it was published. Anyway, SMS is also having its annual Sports Festival. Interesting that it is called annual, but it never showed up in other books.

Jessi’s gym class is doing a swimming unit and when she takes her test for placement in the classes, this synchronized swimming coach sees her and is so awed by how graceful she is, she invited Jessi to join her team. Jessi is paired with another girl Elsie, who is a great swimmer but not so graceful. They figure they are a good match because Jessi is graceful, but sucks at swimming. The pair is competing in the sports festival, and they are really nervous because they are the worst in the class.

Everyone keeps telling Jessi how they know she will win the competition, because she has done so well with dancing before. But Jessi and Elsie are actually horrified at how much they suck because they are used to doing so well at dance and swimming respectively. So, they spend hours of extra time practicing, and at the festival, they win first place. They both decide to quit the team anyway, because they don’t want to work that hard at being good. Because you shouldn’t do things if you aren’t naturally good at them, I guess.

Meanwhile, there are a couple subplots going on.

1) Jessi decides that since everyone is Olympic crazy, the BSC should throw a mini-Olympics for the kids they watch. It is pretty dull, Charlotte Johanssen and Becca refuse to participate but have fun watching. Andrew Brewer can’t win anything, because he is four, but he gets a prize for trying hard. Etc.

2) Kristy challenges Alan Grey to some obstacle-course/race at the festival. They bet a week as a personal slave. Kristy wins, so Alan has to do all the grunt work at the mini-olympics. I would really like to see what would have happened if Alan won. Remember…he has the hots for Kristy.

3) Mallory acts super-lame. She doesn’t want to compete in the festival, because as we all know she hates sports. For some reason her friends are all: “You don’t want to be in the festival? Why not? It is all in fun.” They do this to Mary Anne too, who ignores them. But Mal tries to pretend she sprains her ankle to get out of doing anything. Only, she really sprained her ankle while doing so.


  • I totally remember this part: Mme Noelle’s saying that hoses sweat, gentlemen perspire, and ladies “glow.”
  • Would an eleven-year-old really be guest in the lead of actual ballets? Like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty? When I was eleven, my ballet class had a recital every year, but it wasn’t an actual show. I’m sure Jessi’s class is supposed to be more intense, but I can’t see the youngest kid in class getting that many lead roles.
  • Becca’s bathing suit was plain white, so she colored it with markers. What kind of kid gets a plain white bathing suit?
  • Jessi wants her parents to get a pool and when they say it is too expensive, she offers them her baby-sitting money. Right, Jessi.
  • Claud outfit: “Pastel-green, cuffed shorts; a wild Hawaiian shirt tied at the waist, with vibrant colors that picked up the green; and sandals with crisscrossing ankle straps to her knees.”
  • I can’t believe a middle school class would have a swimming unit. Especially if there is no pool at the school. Mal and Jessi had to walk a good five minutes to get to the community pool. Then they still have to change. How long is their class that they have time to do this?
  • Also, I doubt the school would be allowed to leave campus to go use a pool – my high school was right next to our town pool, but we were never allowed to go there because of various liability issues that exist if a teacher takes kids off school property.
  • Mallory is so embarrassed by her bathing suit, that she hides behind Jessi the whole time. Why would she bring a bathing suit she thought looked babyish? She claims she wouldn’t have done it if she knew the boys were going to be able to see her, but wouldn’t she have worried about the girls too? They are the ones more likely to insult her taste in fashion.
  • Would a swim test really make people do the dog paddle? I always thought that was a “bad” way to swim, and while it would keep you afloat, you should be taught “real” strokes. I mean, you didn’t see Michael Phelps winning a medal for his awesome dog-paddle, did you?
  • In the sports festival, Dawn enters the javelin throw. Her reasoning is that no one knows how to do it, so she won’t be the worst in the class. Again, would middle school have something like that?
  • What is wrong with these girls? Charlotte Johanssen does want to be in the mini-Olympics. So, Stacey tricks her and Becca into having their own races, then says, “so isn’t this fun? Are you sure you don’t want to do the Olympics? Then Charlotte feels bad because she thinks Stacey is mad at her.
  • When Kristy hears Charlotte doesn’t want to enter, she can’t believe it. Has she met Charlotte?
  • Mary Anne calls Charlotte to tell her she isn’t being in the sports festival, so Charlotte shouldn’t feel bad about not being in the mini-olympics. Charlotte actually convinces Mary Anne to sell refreshments at the festival. Meanwhile, poor Mal still can’t admit she doesn’t want to do it.
  • Of course Jessi gets to choreograph the swimming routines.
  • Claudia enters a “backwards race,” and I am pretty sure she only did it to show off her outfit: “Electric pink track shorts with a turquoise racing stripe, a matching top with cut off sleeves, brand new high-top track shoes with no socks, and floral print suspenders.”
  • I can sort of see Jessi not wanting to keep swimming, because she wanted to save her energy for ballet. But I really think she just didn’t like being naturally good at something.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

“If I become the sister of Little Miss Stoneybrook, I will absolutely die”…..BSC # 15: Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn

Memory Reaction

I remember reading this, and not fully understanding why Mal and Jessi called beauty pageants sexist. I watched Miss America as a little kid, but never really thought about the sexism angle. I do now, so maybe I have the BSC to thank for being a feminist. But probably not.

Revisited Reaction

Stoneybrook is having some lame little girl beauty pageant, and Claire and Margo Pike want to enter. Dawn gets a job helping them prepare, because, God forbid Mrs. Pike help her kids with something. Dawn is jealous of Mal and Jessi, because Kristy makes a big deal out of formally inducting them to the club, and everyone gets jealous because Charlotte Johnassen requests Claudia sit for her (so that she can feel close to Stacey, who just moved). Because of all this jealousy, Dawn wants to make sure one of the girls wins, so she can prove what a great person she is.

Claire and Margo are not exactly beauty pageant material – Claire sings a Popeye song as her talent, and Margo peels a banana with her feet (which is just gross). But, they seem to be having fun. Meanwhile, other kids sign-up and the rest of the BSC coaches them – Kristy helps Karen, Mary Anne helps Mariah Perkins, and Claudia helps Charlotte Johanssen. Mal and Jessi refuse to have anything to do with it. The rest of the sitters, all get a little competitive about who will win.

On pageant day, the BSC decides the pageant is kind of silly, and the kids (except Mariah) all kinda suck, so they just naturally shrug off the competitiveness. They also realize Mariah is the only one with a chance of winning and root for her. She ends up coming in second, and the winner is this chick named Sabrina Bouvier who encompasses everything wrong with little kid-beauty pagents. She also somehow ends up in eighth-grade by book 60. I’m thinking Ann M. Martin knew somebody with that name. If you haven’t already seen it, this did inspire an awesome fan fic.

Subplot: Jeff Schafer hates Stoneybrook and wants to go back to California. This is in the intro chapter of every book, but this is the one where it actually happens.


  • When Charlotte requests that Claudia sits for her, Kristy gets mad at Claud for taking the job. Jessi and Mal don’t get why…shouldn’t someone have explained the club rules before they joined?
  • Jeff is surprisingly self aware of the fact that he acts out because he misses California.
  • Dawn tells us how even though she misses California, she could never leave her mom. Sure, Dawn.
  • Dawn doesn’t really help Claire and Margo very much. She knows their talents are lame and just lets them go ahead with them. I guess it is good she is letting them be themselves, but she should prepare them for not winning.
  • How is Mariah Perkins so talented? She is five and has taken ballet, tap dancing, theater, and gymnastics. Plus, she can sing a ridiculous number of songs. I was in some kind of tumbling when I was that age, but I couldn’t really do much.
  • Mrs. Perkins is the only sane parents, because she tells Mariah she can be in the pageant, but she should know some people will take it really seriously, and to only do it if you can have fun without winning.
  • I like Charlotte and all, but reciting something from a book isn’t really a talent. Also, Claudia thinks this is unique, but really it is the same as Margo’s talent (She recites a poem while she eats the banana she peeled with her feet).
  • Mal and Jessi are sitting for the Pikes and they get really annoyed with Claire and Margo rehearsing for the pageant. I kind of like that they actually show these girls getting annoyed by the little kids they are around.
  • The girls also train the kids to answer the questions right. Mallory thinks it is awful that they are not letting the girls be themselves or creative. I can’t help but kinda love Mal in this book.
  • When Jeff leaves for California, Dawn and her mom get to go right up to the gate and wait for him to board. Remember when that was possible?
  • There are only fifteen girls in the pageant, which means a third of them were coached by the BSC.
  • Margo picks out who Sabrina Bouvier is just by looking at her. She thinks only someone with a name like that would wear makeup at age six.
  • Backstage, most kids have their pushy stage moms with them, but do the Pikes (or the other BSC parents)? Nope, that is what they pay someone for.
  • I don’t care where you are, putting makeup on a six-year-old is wrong.
  • Karen Brewer sings the Wheels on the Bus as her talent, and Dawn thinks she is making up verses as she goes along. The judges can’t stand her though, and they keep looking at their watches.
  • Charlotte freaks out, forgets her speech, and runs off the stage crying. That’s what happens when you force a kid to do something they don’t want, Claudia.
  • After Charlotte runs off the stage in tears, Claudia has to go find her parents. If you were watching a beauty pageant and saw your daughter run off stage crying, wouldn’t you go look for her?
  • Dawn, Claire, and Margo think it is funny that the pageant coordinator thinks Dawn is their sister. Well, maybe she assumes most families want to do things together.
  • Karen gets asked what three things she would rescue in a fire, and Karen can’t pick between her brother and a pen that writes in three colors for her last item. I guess it is at least realistic.
  • Margo is asked what she hopes will happen by the year 2010. It is freaky to be reading that now, when we are actually close to that.
  • When Jeff gets back to California, he talks about how his dad helps him with his math homework, and Dawn points out she and her mom never did that with Jeff. Way to ruin the book’s feminist message with a message that girls can’t do math.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“The problem is that boys are pains and girls are not”…..BSC # 59: Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym)

Memory Reaction

Sadly, my memories of this one just prove how pathetic I was in middle school. I probably hated gym at least as much as Mallory, especially when it came to volleyball. Of course, it shouldn’t be that surprising that someone who is writing a BSC Blog as an adult isn’t really an athletic type.

However, I do remember being annoyed at Mal, because she thought it was a big deal to go to gym twice a week. I had it every day from 6th grade through 12th grade. And it was always co-ed. But, I think I probably would have hated it just as much if it was all girls.

Revisited Reaction

Mallory’s gym class starts a unit in volleyball, which they are doing with the boy’s class. This freaks Mallory out to no end because (a) she hates volleyball and totally sucks at it, and (b) she is afraid of boys, thinks they are obnoxious, and so competitive it is hard to play with them. Anyway, the other team figures out immediately that Mal sucks, so they start constantly serving the ball to her and heckling her. Her gym teacher is not really any help, because she just stands there shouting at Mal to “get moving.”

So, Mallory does what any mature baby-sitter would do. She refuses to play. She just benches herself and sits on the sidelines every day. Her teacher gives her detention every day that she does this, but that doesn’t convince her to change her mind. She even steals the notes from the school saying she got detention, so her parents don’t see them. Eventually though, her mom sees one of the notes and convinces Mal to give volleyball another chance. Mal talks to her teacher, who agrees to ask the guys to lay off Mal. Then, as soon as she gets used to playing, they switch to archery. Amazingly enough, Mal is an idiot savant at this, and manages to get a bulls eye her first day. So, then she tries out (and makes) the archery team.

Subplot: The BSC has been having some trouble with normally nice kids acting up. Mallory points out it is all boys, and comes up with a theory that gym classes are the cause of male obnoxiousness. The other sitters tell her she is full of crap, but she sticks to her guns. However, she does still like Ben, and thinks his brothers are nice. So, she amends her theory that it is only Stoneybrook gym classes that make boys annoying (in Australia, they only have gym once a week). Ben tells her that his brothers can be annoying too, and the two work out a “brother swap.” Of course, the Hobart boys act like brats at the Pikes and the triplets and Nicky are on their best behavior at the Hobarts. I am thinking this says more about parenting styles then anything else. But it does get Mal to calm down a little by the end.


  • Poor Byron Pike. He is always labeled as the “more sensitive triplet” or the “least athletic triplet.” I’m not saying it is bad to be sensitive, but it comes off that way in the books.
  • Mallory actually acknowledges that Kristy’s family is the same size as hers. Of course, she claims Kristy has it better because her family can spread out to a mansion.
  • “Claudia was wearing a pair of soft, balloony, purple pants; a neon green long-sleeved leotard top; a wide red braided belt; and a pair of soft, red, ballet shoes. Her hair was swept into a French braid with wispy tendrils hanging loose. From one ear, dangled a long earring made up of small paper mache tropical fruit. In the other ear, where she had two holes, Claudia wore two small paper mache hoops.” Since when is paper mache jewelry cool?
  • Dawn’s “California Casual” Outfit: “Black stirrup pants, a long, fleecy red-and-pink rose-print top, and black high top sneakers.”
  • Mallory wears a one-piece denim jumpsuit to school, just so she can get in and out of the locker room quickly. It sounds like something a baby would wear. Although, it doesn’t top this one in that regard.
  • Mal totally freaks out and yells at he gym teacher. The ball hits her in the face, and when the teacher blames it on Mal’s daydreaming, Mal flips out and yells, “Why don’t you try getting hit in the face with a ball!” That time, the teacher actually benches her as “punishment.” Which of course gives her the idea to do it herself.
  • Ben Hobart says how he doesn’t like playing volleyball with the girls, because he is worried about stepping on them. And Mal likes this thinking. I guess she is a fan of sexism.
  • Apparently, Logan has to read the BSC notebook too (he mentions doing so, anyway). It doesn’t really seem fair that he and Shannon have to read it when they don’t really sit that often.
  • Mal’s teacher makes her wash pinnies. (I am guessing those are the ugly things I sometimes had to wear in gym class to suggest teams). That is pretty gross.
  • The book says how Kristy likes spending time with Karen and Andrew when they are at the “big house.” That is admirable, but it would be nice if Watson felt the same way and didn’t always plan to go out those weekends. Not that I blame him.
  • Stacey points out to Mal that when measuring statistics (such as how many boys are annoying), you have to look at all the boys in a sample, and not just the ones that are annoying. The other girls all look at her like she has two heads for being such a “math genius” that understands this.
  • Mal is surprised that the Hobarts act all crazy at her house. But, she sets them loose, tells them they can pick who sleeps on the top bunks, then leaves them unsupervised with her sisters. So, of course, they go crazy. Also, her parents don’t really do anything about this – I think they are trying to teach her a lesson about the grass always being greener or something.
  • Mal asks for extra help in gym, and her teacher says no, but she does say she’ll talk to the most annoying guys about laying off her. But really, all the guys do is serve it to her to try and win. And the guys on her team yell at her when she misses. But they don’t really say anything that bad about her personally.
  • What the hell middle school has not only an archery unit it gym class, but a fucking archery team. Seriously!
  • Awe, Mal’s brothers make her a cake when she makes the team. She calls it silly, but is flattered enough to stop hating the entire gender.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

“Some of our adventures were scary, some were exciting….and mine was funny!”…..BSC Super Special #7: Snowbound”

Memory Reaction

I remember the basis of this “telling the super special thing” is that Kristy wants to write an article for the local paper about the BSCs adventures during the blizzard. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that the editor didn’t tear up her submission. But now that I think about it, I actually buy it. I worked for a local paper, and my editor loved anything that involved stories or pictures of little kids from town, because when kids have their names/pictures in the paper, their parents buy a dozen copies. So, that may be why some Stoneybrook newspaper person would let the BSC write about their little snowstorm adventure.

Revisited Reaction

This is probably one of the more “realistic” Super Specials. There is no exotic vacation or anything, just a blizzard. It is a little unrealistic that they all have “adventures” but what are you going to do? No one would read a book about people sitting home curled up in bed watching the snow fall.

The first few chapters of this are really boring. We know it is going to snow, but are forced to read a bunch of crap about the girls not believing it is going to snow. I don’t really see this happening these days. Now, (at least in New Jersey, which would be the same as Connecticut), when they predict snow it is like the apocalypse coming. All you hear about for days is how to prepare for the storm. It almost always snows when they predict a storm. Once, last winter it didn’t snow after predictions said it would, and the news people were so embarrassed, they actually had a story about how they were wrong. One anchor, even talked about how it was all the weekend news teams fault.

Anyway, the snow finally starts to fall, and the various members of the BSC are all shocked. Everyone except Mary Anne and Mallory are separated, most are stuck somewhere, most are with kids (of course), and all have some sort of “adventure.” Except, only Stacey’s is the least bit interesting. And by “interesting,” I mean, the least boring.

Mal and Mary Anne were on some all day sitting job for Mal’s siblings while Mr. and Mrs. Pike were in NYC. The Pikes get stuck in the city, so Mal and Mary Anne get stuck with the brats overnight. To make things more exciting, they start to run low on food and the power goes out.

Dawn was with her mom on the way to the airport to pick up Jeff. Her mom sucks at driving in the snow and scares Dawn to death. They make it to the airport, but Jeff’s plane can’t land. So, Dawn and her mom have to spend the night in the airport.

Jessi is at a dance rehearsal for some performance and no parents can come pick anyone up, so they are all stuck there. There are little kids there too (who are in the performance), and instead of hanging out with the kids her own age, Jessi volunteers to help take care of them. And she wonders why she is an outcast at her dance school? Also, Quint (her sorta BF from the NYC Super Special) is around, because he was coming to visit and when Mr. Ramsey couldn’t pick him up at the train station, he walked to the dance school.

Claudia was sitting for the Perkins girls and their parents get stuck somewhere so she gets to sit for them overnight. Mr. Perkins suggests taking the girls to her parents’ house and Claudia’s mom offers to come over, but Claudia is all, “oh no, I can do this myself.” I don’t know why one of these adults don’t insist that the 13-year-old listen to them, but they don’t. To make this job more exciting, the stupid dog gets lost. But they find him, of course.

Kristy was just hanging out at home, but had invited Bart over so he gets stuck at her house. Kristy is all embarrassed about her family and about Bart seeing her first thing in the morning. She gets up at the crack of dawn to put on makeup and shave her legs for the first time. Her brothers make fun of her, but Bart says she looks beautiful. I wonder what she is going to say about this in her article. I can’t exactly see her admitting it to the whole town.

Stacey and her mom were at the mall, so Stacey could get a perm. Stacey’s mom rushes to leave and ends up running out of gas. Some stranger sees them on the side of the road and offers to let them spend the night at his house. Stacey thinks this is crazy, but her mom is all, “better than dying on the side of the road.” And the guy ends up being perfectly nice with a wife and baby. Only they don’t call anyone, so the rest of the BSC notices they were gone and wonders what happened. Okay, it wasn’t really exciting. But, it was the least boring when reading the book. I swear.

  • Kristy makes a big point of saying how the weather person on the radio station is a woman, but everyone else refers to a weatherman. By the way, wouldn’t most people in the 90s get their weather on TV?
  • Karen’s stupid pet rat goes missing. Isn’t that way people wouldn’t let their kids get a pet rat?
  • How do you get “disapperntented” as spelling for disappointed? Oh. If your name is Claudia.
  • Since when is Kristy all excited about dances?
  • They actually cancel a club meeting. It is really just a contrived way to have the snowstorm happen on a Wednesday, although, I am not sure why it was necessary.
  • A black velvet “knicker outfit” with lots of silver jewelry? For a formal/semi formal dance?
  • No, Stacey. Most adults don’t wish for snow. In fact, you know you have become an adult when you stop wishing for snow and start getting annoyed by it.
  • I have a slight problem with the timing in Kristy’s story: She gets home from school, does her homework, calls Bart, goes to the video store, then he comes over and they manage to watch Uncle Buck and most of Back to the Future before eating dinner? What the hell time does she get home from school? Or how late do they eat dinner?
  • Bart doesn’t know that XYZ means examine your zipper? Isn’t he a 13-year-old boy?
  • No, Jessi, you did not go to New York for summer vacation. It specifically says in the New York Super Special you went for a two-week school vacation. Stupid continuity error.
  • Jessi says Quint gave her her first meaningful kiss. As opposed to all those meaningless kisses she had when she was ten?
  • Dawn’s mom drove in snow all the time before moving to California. But, didn’t she move there when she went to college? How much driving could she have done before that?
  • It is kinda sucks that they have the two women both be nervous drivers in snow.
  • Dawn’s mom keeps cursing while driving in the blizzard. Dawn is all shocked by it. They don’t actually reveal the curses - Dawn just says that her mom used a word she has only “heard on movies mom doesn’t know I have seen.” But I think that is the closest we’ll get to vulgarity in the BSC.
  • When Dawn and her mom are at the airport, Dawn says everything is labeled Connecticut. But wouldn’t Jeff be flying into a NYC airport?

  • Stacey is surprised her mom doesn’t wear her wedding ring anymore. What the hell does she think divorce means?
  • Claudia lets the Perkins girls eat snow with maple syrup on it…..that can’t be sanitary.
  • So, the snow is cleared just in time for everyone to go to the school dance. Cause that is the important stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“Who did Aunt Cecilia think she was? Oh, yeah. My baby-sitter”…..BSC # 36: Jessi’s Baby-sitter

Memory Reaction

I have a really vivid memory of Aunt Cecilia telling Jessi she couldn’t go to a BSC meeting. I am not exactly sure what I thought of it at the time. I am guessing I sided with Jessi and felt so bad for her having to live with a mean relative. But other than that scene, I don’t really remember having much of a reaction to it. Some books I remember scenes, and other books I remember liking/disliking something.

Revisited Reaction

Mrs. Ramsey decides to go back to work, so Jessi’s Aunt Cecilia moves in to help take care of the house and the kids. This is also because Aunt Cecilia wants a change after her husband died, although I still think she is getting a raw deal. The problem is, Jessi and Becca HATE their Aunt. This is mainly because Aunt Cecilia is strict and thinks that the Ramsey’s are crazy for doing things like…going away for a weekend and leaving their eleven-year-old in charge (which happens in a Super Special). Silly Cecilia and her conservative views, doesn’t she know Jessi is in the Baby-sitters Club?

Anyway, as soon as Cecilia moves in she starts taking over the house and calls herself the baby-sitter. So, Jessi feels all unimportant and embarrassed. Later, Cecilia starts doing things like telling Jessi and Becca what they can and can’t have for a snack and that they can’t go to friends’ houses. She even stops Jessi from going to a BSC meeting because she was ten minutes late getting home from a sitting job. Instead of talking to her parents about this, or asking them to let Cecilia know what the house rules are, Jessi just sulks. She and Becca also play all these pranks on their Aunt, like putting shaving cream in her shoes and fake spiders in her bed. I guess they are trying to prove how mature they are.

Meanwhile, the Stoneybrook Elementary School is having a science fair, and some of the girls are helping kids get ready. Jessi is “helping” Jackie Rodowsky make a volcano. Jessi assumes that she and the other BSCers will be competitive over whose kid “wins,” but it turns out no one else really cares except her. Also, the other girls only give a little guidance to their kids. Jessi pretty much does Jackie’s project and keeps forcing him to stay in the fair when he doesn’t really want to. Of course, Jackie doesn’t win (because he couldn’t answer any questions) and Jessi realizes she was taking over and apologizes. This also convinces her to talk to her parents, who talk to Aunt Cecilia and work out how to all get along. Aunt Cecilia actually says she came on strong to prove how capable she is. Cause she is going up against Jessi the greatest baby-sitter in the world. Seriously. Oh, and Jessi and Becca don’t get punished at all for their tricks… Aunt Cecilia just puts fake spiders in their bed once and they all call it even.


  • Jessi’s dad picks her up at dance call at the beginning of the book, and she is surprised because her mom usually does. But I could have sworn in other books she says her dad usually picks her up on his way home from work.
  • When Jessi first hears about her mom going back to work, she thinks it just means she’ll get to baby-sit more. Sure.
  • Jackie wants to build a volcano because he saw it on the Brady Bunch. I know repeats of it are always on, but wouldn’t a more modern reference be better?
  • Jackie tells Jessi he doesn’t wanted to do any research; he just wants to see a lot of lava. But does she listen? Nope. She also criticizes his spelling and any of his suggestions for his project. Nice.
  • Mal’s brothers are playing a game called “Wandering Frog People,” that they made up. So, I guess the only reason that sounds familiar to me is these books?
  • We waste a bunch of time on a chapter where the Pikes set up a library in their house. It is boring and means nothing to the plot.
  • Cecilia brings a whole U-Haul’s worth of furniture. She moves into the guest room, which makes me wonder if they took any furniture OUT of said guest room.
  • So early in the book, Mrs. Ramsey said she is starting her job on Monday. Then, a week or two pass, and Cecilia moves in (on a Saturday). But then Mrs. Ramsey says again, that she is starting on Monday. Why is continuity within the same book a problem? Did they let the intern edit this one?
  • Cecilia tells Jessi and Becca to go to bed at 8:30. Jessi complains to her mom, who is just like, “no, you don’t have to go to bed now.” But Jessi doesn’t ask her mom to tell Aunt Cecilia that.
  • Are cookies really a better snack then half a sandwich? That’s what Cecilia wants to give Jessi, but I think the sandwich sounds healthier.
  • Cecila tries to tell Jessi she can’t go to the Rodowsky’s or the Kishi’s because she (Cecilia) doesn’t know them. Well, how the hell would she? This is why the Ramsey’s should have had a real conversation.
  • I feel bad for Cecilia. She is basically becoming a maid/nanny and isn’t even getting paid.
  • Charlotte Johanssen has a kinda cool science project, and wins third place. She plays different kinds of music to plants to see which one grow best. It is the one that listened to Duran Duran, if you are curious.
  • Does a science fair for all elementary kids really only give one set of prizes? It doesn’t seem fair for second graders to compete with fifth graders.
  • What exactly is a gum chain? Mallory and Jessi like to build them, but I can’t figure out what that would be.
  • The other girls try to tell Jessi she is doing Jackie’s whole project and she pretty much ignores them. Was there another book where Jessi acted like a bitch? Cause it seems familiar.
  • Jessi is the one who has to light a match for Jackie. Cause little kids are too young to play with fire, but a mature eleven-year old can do it no problem.
  • When she can’t come to the meeting, the BSC calls Jessi about a dozen times so that her aunt will think she really needed to be there. Mature.
  • Stacey outfit: “Tight black pants that reached just above her ankles, and sported a column of four silvery buttons at the bottoms…Over the pants she was wearing a long blue jacket made of soft material. Under that she was wearing a sleeveless blouse.”
  • Claudia outfit: “A fake leopard-skin vest, a fairly tame blouse and blue leggings. She had also made her jewelry herself – five paper-mache bracelets that were painted in soft desert colors.”
  • A lot of the BSCers have family move in to help “take care of the house.” Kristy’s grandma moved in, Claudia’s grandmother lived with her, and now Aunt Cecilia. It makes me admire Kristy’s mom, because David Michael was a baby when Mr. Thomas left, she had three other kids, and she still worked full time and took care of them by themselves.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

“And you’re the president of the Baby-sitters club, so you have experience”…. BSC # 53:

It didn’t occur to me to do a Halloween book last week, but Kristy for President came in a batch of books I got on e-bay recently, so I decided to post it for Election Day.

Memory Reaction

Is it wrong that this book is what taught me that light blue looks good on television? Actually, I am not even sure if that is true, but I know this book made that claim. I also remember that Kristy used K+ as a campaign slogan…. which I didn’t get. I mean, I get that they were going for a logo, but I don’t think it has a lot of meaning. If her name started with an “A,” I can see using A+ as a logo. But it doesn’t really work for the K.

Revisited Reaction

The BSC talks Kristy into running for 8th Grade President because she has “good ideas” about running the school. Her main ideas are that the cafeteria should serve better food and the kids should get to pick the play they do each year. What radical thinking. She is running against Alan Gray, Grace Blume (Cokie’s sidekick), and Pete Black, and she thinks they are all horrible candidates. Of course, the BSC is all into helping her campaign. At least the 8th graders are – Jessi and Mal are busy trying to get Mal elected 6th Grade Secretary. This is almost a sub-subplot, because we don’t see any action, we just hear Jessi and Mal reporting on it. Which is sort of sad for them.

Unfortunately, once she starts campaigning, Kristy starts to feel a little pressed for time. She has to call off a Krusher’s practice, she fails a test, and she is even late to a BSC meeting. She is all worried about what to do, but finally decides to drop out of the race. Once she does, she decides Pete is the lesser of three evils, and votes for him. Pete wins, Kristy has time for the BSC, and Mal gets to be 6th Grade Secretary. So, happy endings all around.

Meanwhile, Jamie Newton spends the whole book desperately trying to learn to ride a bike. Whenever he has sitters, he makes them help him ride a bike. They get sick of it, but finally a neighborhood kid agrees to help Jamie and he relaxes a little.


  • At an assembly, Alan Gray and his friends start walking out, and everyone follows them, thinking it is a fire drill. Which is kind of funny. Then, the BSC are all, “That Alan Gray! Who would follow him anywhere?” Even though they all just did. Idiots.
  • Stacey outfit: “A black skirt and tights that were two colors: one leg was red and the other was black. Her shoes were shinny black and laced up to the ankles. She was also wearing this enormous black turtleneck sweater with red flecks in it, and one round red earring and one square black one.”
  • Claudia outfit: “Lime green bicycle pants, a long, long, bright pink shirt, and a cropped lime green striped shirt over that. She was wearing black high top leather sneakers with pink butterfly barrettes clipped to the laces. She had two feather earrings in one ear (lime green of course), and a tiny pink heart in the other.”
  • Kristy turns down a sitting job for Jamie Newton because of a Krusher’s practice. But isn’t Jamie on the team? So would he need a separate sitter? I mean, I guess the job could be for longer than the practice, but it still seems a little odd not to mention that.
  • Kristy talks about how doing Mary Poppins as a school play is babyish. But, isn’t that Stacey’s favorite movie? Also, don’t they do Peter Pan as a play in aSuper-Special, and get excited about it? They both seem pretty equal in terms of age-level.
  • Claudia is suddenly all about marketing in this book. She is Kristy’s campaign manager and suggests the K+ logo, and all these ideas for “branding” and good places to hang posters. I can actually see her in advertising later on…except for the fact that she is dumb.
  • If the hot lunch is so bad, why does Kristy get it every day?
  • Janine sees the posters Claudia designed, and gives Kristy the same marketing spiel Claud did. Then the two freak out about having a similar thought. Which is just more proof that those two have the most realistic sibling relationship.
  • I have to say…last week I watched Desperate Housewives and there was this whole plot about Mike being upset that Susan’s boyfriend taught his kid to ride a bike. Now, I don’t have kids so I don’t know how realistic this is, but I am guessing most parents consider bike riding an important milestone. But we have already established that the parents in Stoneybrook suck.
  • Jessi and Mal have a sitting job at the Pikes after a BSC meeting. But I thought those two could only sit at night if it is at their own house. So, why is Jessi suddenly able to sit at the Pikes that late?
  • Want to hear one of Claudia’s “conservative” outfits? “White jeans, red shoes with big bows, a tropical jungle shirt with each button shaped like a piece of fruit and her hair pulled to one side over her shoulder with a banana barrette.”
  • Kristy owns things that aren’t jeans? Claud gets her to wear black pants and a sweater for a campaign speech. Kristy complains she looks “preppy,” but she should just be glad Claud didn’t make her look “cool.”
  • These kids spend a lot of time on their elections. They have a meet the candidate’s day, multiple assemblies with speeches, and a debate in front of the whole school.
  • I like Mal’s slogan better than Kristy’s: “Time to let Mal keep the minutes.” Short and to the point.
  • Alan Gray’s version of a campaign speech: Telling everyone to stand up, then telling them to sit down, then telling them he is obviously a good leader since they all listened to him.
  • Kristy is offended that Grace is treating the election like a popularity contest. Um, student council elections are all about popularity. At least in middle school. Not that I think that is good, but it is kind of true.
  • Some kid asks Kristy about her “platform.” And she answers him seriously. Who asks about platforms in eighth grade?
  • Kristy thinks Grace and Pete are being frivolous and making unrealistic promises when they talk about dances and pep rallies. Because school lunches are much more serious and easier to change?
  • Why would Mr. Newton agree to just take the training wheels off his four-year-old’s bike, when the kid barely knows how to ride?
  • These girls totally ignore poor Lucy Newton. They keep just sticking her in a playpen in the yard while they help Jamie with the bike. Dawn even leaves her there while she goes inside to get a band aid for Jamie. Wasn’t it bad enough when she did this with dogs?
  • Mary Anne keeps defending Pete Black when Kristy complains about him. It is so noticeable it is distracting.
  • For some reason, I thought Kristy threw her support to Pete when she quit. But she just gives a dramatic speech about why she is quitting.
  • Stacey: “Purple capri pants, soft black flat ankle boots, black-and-white striped socks, and a black-and-white checked sweater, only the checks were all different sizes.”
  • Claudia: “On the green hat ribbon was pinned a “Kristy +” button. Her tights were orange, and her dress was tie-dyed every color you could think of. She was wearing feather earrings, and she’d drawn a star on her face next to her right eye.” Orange leggings should not even be legal.
  • Kristy jokes about being the lead in the next play, but they all roll their eyes because she wouldn’t have time. Even thought she totally does end up doing that later with no conflict. Aah…continuity.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

“Our house might have been disorganized, but the Barrett house was a pigsty”…..BSC # 5: Dawn and the Impossible Three

Memory Reaction

I have a vivid memory of Dawn and Kristy hanging out in the hayloft of her barn, and Dawn saying they were not supposed to go in there because it was not a safe structure. I think I only remember that because I thought of that scene in later books when the girls used the barn for their BSC parties and events. Even as a kid I was bothered by bad continuity.

Revisited Reaction

All right, so this is Dawn’s first book; it is right after she joins the BSC. She gets hired by the Barretts to sit, and finds Mrs. Barrett ridiculously disorganized. She is also annoyed because she thinks the house is always a mess. But, instead of mentioning this to Mrs. Barrett, she just cleans the house all the time. So, of course, Mrs. Barrett thinks Dawn is the most wonderful person in the world and wants her to sit all the time. After a few weeks of this, Dawn gets annoyed that all the Barretts are too dependent on her. Well, if she doesn’t want them to be dependent on her, she shouldn’t have done everything for them. Anyway, Dawn also wishes Mrs. Barrett would give her more baby-sitting instructions and get a little organized. But of course she doesn’t tell Mrs. Barrett this either (although, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to say anything when I was twelve either).

Anyway, Mrs. Barrett is also always screwing up her custody arrangement with her ex. Mr. Barrett is annoyed with this, so one day he decides to pick up Buddy without telling anyone to teach Mrs. Barrett a lesson. This happens while Dawn is sitting, and she thinks Buddy was kidnapped and gets the whole town to help look for him. Of course, as soon as Mr. Barrett realizes that Buddy was with a baby-sitter he brings Buddy home and everything is okay. But this makes Dawn tell Mrs. Barrett that she doesn’t want to sit anymore. Mrs. Barrett convinces her she will try harder to be organized.

Subplot: Dawn thinks Kristy doesn’t like her, but realizes that she is jealous of her friendship with Mary Anne. They talk and bond a little. This is when Kristy officially makes Dawn an Alternate Officer instead of just a member with no title.


§ In this book, Mary Anne wears her first pair of jeans. But I thought jeans were not stylish in BSC land. They give Kristy a hard time about it. So…why is this good?

§ Dawn gives Mary Anne a bunch of stuff from her old house in CA to redo her room. This includes a poster of London at night that was in their kitchen and an astronomy chart. First: They had a London at night poster in their kitchen? That is not how I picture Dawn’s CA house. Second: Why would they have this extra stuff? I thought her dad still lived in their old house…wouldn’t he want to keep some stuff? Third: When Mary Anne doesn’t want the astronomy chart, Dawn keeps trying to talk her into it. It is not her style, Dawn. Let it go.

§ Suzi wets her pants while Dawn is sitting, but Dawn says she won’t tell Mrs. Barrett. Shouldn’t a baby-sitter tell parents stuff like that? I mean, I don’t know if they should agree to keep that stuff secret. Maybe Mrs. Barrett needs to know because Suzi has some kind of problem.

§ Karen’s game Let’s All Come in sounds really boring. It is really an excuse to play dress up, but why does she need a reason to do that?

§ Why does Kristy know what Fennel and Coriander are? She doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl who spends time in the kitchen.

§ Stacey outfit: “A simple pink T-shirt under a baggy jumpsuit with big pink and red flowers all over it. Her premed hair bounced over her shoulders.” Pink and red?

§ Dawn outfit: “Blue jean shorts and a white T-shirt that said GENIUS INSIDE.” Dawn sure has a high opinion of herself, doesn’t she?

§ Seventy degrees on Memorial Day weekend is not cold. It is beautiful, wonderful weather. I live in NJ, which has weather comparable to Connecticut and people love 70-degee weather. Dawn is such a baby.

§ So the Schafer’s have a barbeque on Memorial Day and Dawn decides their guests won’t like Tofu. So, she encourages her mom to buy meat and pre-made potato salad. I am shocked.

§ So, Dawn’s grandparents didn’t like Mr. Spier back in the day, and Dawn is all worried about what they will say to him today. They ask a bunch of questions and it is obvious they know nothing about his life (because Dawn’s mom never talks about him). Which is kind of weird when you think about it. But he impresses them because he is a big shot lawyer now.

§ Look foreshadowing: When Buddy is missing, Mallory helps watch Suzi and Marnie. So, the BSC talks about how great she is with kids and that maybe she will be a sitter some day.

§ The BSC does really lame activities with the kids, but they all seem so familiar to me. Like, a puddle walk: When it is raining, they take the kids outside in bathing suits and rain jackets to splash one another. That must have been in more then one book, because I remember it happening a lot.

§ This is super-familiar too: Having races to clean up a room to get excited about cleaning.

§ Wow, I can’t believe this. Dawn uses a huge stack of paper towels to get Buddy to clean. I guess this was before she learned about the environment.

§ This book is called Dawn and the Impossible Three, but the Barrett kids are actually pretty decent kids, for Stoneybrook. It should be called Dawn and the Impossible Mother (as in Mrs. Barrett, not her mom).