Wednesday, July 30, 2008

“Everyone in Stoneybrook is shocked”…….BSC Mystery # 4: Kristy and the Missing Child

Memory Reaction

I remember reading this book, and yet I don’t remember reading it. I know I owned it, because I owned the first tweny or so mysteries, but it clearly did not make an impression on me. It is probably a book that went in the “never re-read pile.” Until I got too old to read them, I liked the later mysteries better – even though they were unrealistic, they had stuff happen. My friend and I used to wish we lived by more crime, so that we could solve a mystery like the BSC. I know, we were lame.

Revisted Reaction

This book isn’t really a mystery. I mean, I guess you could call a missing child a mystery. But this book is not like looking for a missing person on Without a Trace. We already know the kid who is missing and know he will be alright. So, it is just boring.

Anyway, after a Krusher’s game Jake Kuhn tells Kristy he is allowed to walk home by himself (which is true). So, they say good-bye and walk in different directions. Later that day, Mrs. Kuhn calls and says Jake is missing. At first, Mrs. Kuhn is not at all worried when she can’t find Jake, she just assumes her ex took him and gets annoyed. She must have a realization later on though, cause she does call the police. Then she spends the rest of the book freaking out and making other people watch her daughters, because she is too stressed about Jake to take care of them. But she does keep telling people that she thinks her ex was behind it.

Meanwhile, Kristy and the rest of the BSC decide that they know better than Mrs. Kuhn, and that her ex could not have taken Jake. They start search parties to look for him, which (of course) involve a bunch of kids. Eventually (as in about 48 hours later), they find him at a construction site. Well, really Matt Braddock finds him, but he is with a group of people Kristy is leading. Jake had been walking through a house that is being built and fell into the basement, but couldn’t climb out since there were no stairs.

Subplot: Mary Anne is failing Home Ec. She recovers when she thinks she invents Jello Jigglers. It is kinda funny, because Mary Anne doesn’t get real involved with looking for Jake, because she is busy doing Home Ec stuff. Good thing she has her priorities straight.


  • Mr. Kuhn is fighting to get joint custody of his kids…while he moves to Texas. I bet moving to a different state looks great to a judge.
  • Jake is all about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Remember when they were cool? My favorite was always Leonardo.
  • Oh, THIS I remember. Mary Anne and Kristy sit around outside making noises by blowing on grass. I think I actually tried to imitate them when I was little, but couldn’t get any noise to happen.
  • Gold lamé high-tops? Wow. I have no words for that.
  • How come David Michael is just a klutz, but Jackie Rodowsky is a walking disaster?
  • I really don’t understand the deal with Charlotte Johansson being a cheerleading for the Krushers. She is so not the type.
  • Kristy’s grandmother makes chocolate chip cookies with extra chips and less walnuts and people are surprised they are extra good. Personally, I have never made chocolate chip cookies without adding extra chips.
  • So, while Jake is missing his sisters (Patsy and Laurel) end up at the Pikes. Mrs. Pike makes spaghetti, but five-year-old Patsy refuses to eat it. Mal makes her a hot dog, which all the kids end up wanting. And Mrs. Pike just lets her huge pot of spaghetti go to waste. No wonder her kids are annoying.
  • The BSC talk about how their parents all say nice things about Mr. Kuhn, so he couldn’t have taken his own son. I love how they think they know better than the man’s ex-wife.
  • While Kristy is at an emergency BSC meeting at Claud’s, the police show up to talk to her (because she was the last person to see Jake). Janine just leads them up to Claud’s bedroom to talk to Kristy. That seems…. inappropriate.
  • Mrs. Kuhn just sort of blows Kristy off when she tells her about the BSC having an emergency meeting to help Jake. Which would be funnier if Kristy doesn’t end up being there when they find Jake.
  • Patsy and Laurel eat popcorn with maple syrup and garlic. Not mixed together, but that still sounds disgusting.
  • This is weird. Kristy wants to make an announcement at school to recruit volunteers to search for Jake. So, she goes to Mr. Taylor’s office (the principal) and then talks about how nice SHE was about it. The use of “Mr.” seems to suggest HE would be an appropriate pronoun.
  • Claud makes a flier saying “Mising sinse last nihgt – help us fine him”
  • Bart was with Kristy when they last saw Jake, but the police only talk to Kristy. Huh.
  • I remember this too: Stacey saying she would find Charlotte Johanson in a “nanosecond” if she went missing. It was where I learned what nanosecond was.
  • The recipe Mary Anne keeps screwing up for Home Ec? Jello. How do you mess up jello?
  • I bet Haley Braddock gets really tired of hanging out with her little brother and translating for him all the time.
  • Jake is pretty cheerful at the end, especially for someone who has been stuck in a dark hole with no food/water for two days. Even more especially, when you consider that he seems to have a broken leg.
  • Kristy almost wears a dress in this one. “It’s blue, with a drop waist and a full skirt.” But she changes her mind and wears jeans.
  • At the end, there is some awards ceremony that the eighth graders have where they give out “silly” awards. It is kind of random.
  • Mary Anne gets an award for “Most Improved Home Ec Student.” That sounds seriously embarrassing. She makes Logan go on stage with her to get the award. Didn’t Angelina Jolie do that at some award show back before she started collecting children? Only with her brother, not her boyfriend.
  • Kristy gets an award because she helped find Jake, but they don’t tell us the exact name. But when they give it to her, Bart kisses her in front of everyone. How sweet.


Laura said...

Yeah, no father would ever just kidnap his own son. Not like Ham Barrett Sr. did... Actually, weren't the Jell-o Jiggler and flavor-your-own popcorn things originally Dawn's, too?

(I've never tried maple syrup on popcorn, but freshly ground pepper and garlic is really good...)

Happy said...

oh wow, you were not kidding. I had NO idea i read this book until the grass blowing and the popcorn flavoring part. Wasn't it stacy's idea to flavor the popcorn?

colleenn said...

I think I must have read this one too, even though I don't remember reading it at all and definitely don't own it, since I only own Beware Dawn and Kristy and the Little Vampires for mysteries. But that "nanosecond" thing is so familiar... I too remember learning the word from this book. And I think the grass-blowing thing works better if you use bigger blades.

Anonymous said...

Loved the recap! I don't actually remember reading this, but i like that Mary Anne just sort of ignored the whole missing kid thing.

Off topic: On the poll, how could you leave Karen Brewer off of that list? Even as a kid I used to want her gone; as an adult, she annoys me even more!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a book where one of the kids was actually kidnapped by their Dad? Maybe a Dawn book?

I really liked that sign that Claudia made, by the way - those seem like spelling mistakes that someone could actually make, although probably not all in the same sentence, LOL.

SJSiff said...

I think I'm in the minority on this, but I sort of liked this one. Not because the plot was great or anything, but because as the BSC mysteries go, it was almost believable. Little kids do like to wander into construction sites (and when I did my mom would get mad as I might have gotten hurt), and the way the mom freaked out made sense to me: if her husband took Jake, then he's probably safe. And the little girls' reactions made sense, as did Kristy feeling guitly.

But still, for all the realism (relative to BSC mysteries)...boring.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Yeah, there is a Dawn book where Buddy Barret's dad kidnaps him, but it only lasts a couple chapters. I think that was more the father trying to teach Mrs. Barret a lesson or something, and he always meant to bring him back.

Ann: I left Karen off the poll because I thought she would have gotten 100% of the votes and everyone else would have been irrelevant. Maybe I should have started it with, "Other than Karen, what kid did you want to disappear...."

Beth said...

Wow, I'm with you on this one. I didn't (and still don't, even reading your recap) remember the main plot of the book at all, but I remembered Mary Anne "inventing" jigglers, Stacey using the word nanosecond (that's where I learned it too!), and the popcorn and maple syrup. Amazing the things that stick with you!

Anonymous said...

I did not remember reading this book either- until I read about the cookies Nannie made- boy those sound good!!

Lauren said...

I always liked this BSC mystery best, but then again, I always liked kidnapping books.

I am sorry that I know this, but there is a lot of fanfiction out there about Haley Braddock growing up to be clinically depressed and slutty because of the pressures of being responsible for Matt for so long. It's kind of disturbing.

(my apologies if this double-posts, the computer is being strange.)

Anonymous said...

What kid doesn't want to eat spaghetti?