12/30/09

Kristy's Big Day (RS#6)

Original Publication Date: 1987

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis:

Kristy's mom is getting married...in two and a half weeks. There's a buyer for the house, so they need to hurry up and move. If that happened to me, I'd probably plan a much smaller wedding rather than go ahead with the big one. For example, they have a full meal served buffet-style at the reception. The wedding's at 2 in afternoon! That's why you have mid-afternoon weddings: so you don't need to serve a full meal. Other people have suggested the Thomases move in and do the wedding later, with Elizabeth and Watson having separate rooms for propriety's sake if they wanted. But then there wouldn't be a book, right? Members of the Thomas and Brewer families come to help, and bring 14 kids who need watching, so it's the BSC to the rescue.

They each watch 2-3 kids while the adults prepare for the wedding. Karen tries to ruin the wedding by attempting to start the Salem witch trials over again when Mrs. Porter shows up with a wedding gift for the new couple. Brat.

Kristy comes with a cute idea for a wedding present by the book's end (oddly, at fourteen chapters): she draws a family tree of the new Thomas-Brewer clan. Sweet thought from a thirteen-year-old.


Established or continued in this book:


The Girls:

Kristy has never owned a pair of heels before this book, and it's made out to be a privilege...were heels that big a deal?

Kristy's the shortest person in her grade.

Kristy likes to sleep on Sundays, like the 1950s Biff Tannen in Back to the Future. Since I go to church early on Sundays (unlike the BSC in which no one goes), I'm more like the 1980s Biff at the beginning who sleeps in Saturdays.

Claudia candy: a large bag of M&Ms and Ring Dings in a box under her bed, Snickers in her jewelry box, and Life Savers in her pocket. She also claims that 120 $1 bags of peppermints is a year's supply. That's right about one every three days...I'd get sick of peppermints way before that.

Foreshadowing? Kristy, speaking about Dawn's hair, narrates "I hope she never cuts it or changes it." That attitude will certainly reappear in #60!

Mary Anne still likes yellow: she suggests it as a color for Kristy's bridesmaid dress. By the way, why wouldn't her mom just call her the maid of honor?

Kristy goes with Alan Gray to the Final Fling dance at the end of the school year, Claudia with Austin Bentley, and Stacey with Pete Black. Dawn and Mary Anne go have pizza with their families (see: Mystery Science Theater short "A Date with Your Family").

Dawn doesn't believe in Martians. But we find out later that she believes in ghosts. I wonder where she draws the line? These seems to fit under the category of "Things that might exist, but I wouldn't bet more than a beer on it" (Credit to my astronomy professor re: aliens).


Their Families:

Charlie turned 17, Sam 15, and Andrew 4. Karen is still 6. Andrew's also a picky eater.

Kristy's mom is called Elizabeth here, not Edie. But that could be a nickname.

David Michael teaches us to be champion whiners: turn one-syllable words into two, e.g.; I wanna stay he-ere.

Karen and Andrew's mom is Sheila and their stepdad is Kendall in the older version I have of the book. In the new cover version it's changed to Lisa and Seth.

Kristy's cousin, Robin, who has diabetes isn't mentioned in this book. Maybe she's on her dad's side? I know Robin write Krisy a letter in the Chain Letter book...we'll have to see if she references to Grandma (Patrick's mom) or Nannie.

How does Sam deliver groceries without a car?

Nannie is introduced here, Elizabeth's mother. She's in her seventies. We know that Elizabeth is mid 30s...Nannie was 35 or so when she had Elizabeth? And Kristy's Aunts Theo and Colleen are younger.

Karen calls Nannie "Nannie" in the same way that other people call Mimi by that name. I've read comments that some people wonder about this, but it makes sense to me. I think the only people I know of who don't call my grandmother "Granny" are her kids, sons- and daughters-in-law, and my grandfather.

David Michael doesn't like vitamins. He must not have Flinestones vitamins, then. Oh, and I forgot to take mine today (not Flinestones, sadly).

David Michael gives Elizabeth and Watson goldfish as a wedding present, but like the Pikes' cat, they are never heard from again.


The Club:

Kristy doesn't miss a meeting here, but she six minutes late for one. I wonder if anyone gave her a Look.

While babysitting the horde of children, the BSC makes about $3 an hour per person, which is slightly more than normal. How little are they charging? I guess when Jenny's dad each gave Mary Anne and Dawn an extra $10 in #4 it was a huge deal.


SMS:

Students: Austin Bentley (7th grade, 8th after the summer)


Misc:

I think it's really sweet that Elizabeth (Thomas) asked Charlie to give her away at the wedding. Whatever your views on "being given" it's a great way to acknowledge all the work her oldest son has done since Patrick took off.

In #3, Stacey said Stoneybrook has only one middle school, but people who live in Watson's area are supposed to go to Kelsey Middle School. I suppose that could be in a another town, but I think this counts as a continuity error.

The BSC ends up watching 14 kids, seven boys and seven girls, ranging from 10 years to 8 months. I only mention this because I have an aunt who's one of 14, seven boys and seven girls. They're a little more spaced out than this, but I wonder what Aunt Mary would think about watching that many.

PSA time: if you go to a barbershop with two barbers, have your hair cut by the one with the worse hair...because guess who did his?

Here's proof that the stupid "Us babysitters..." grammar error (see the notes for RS#2) isn't Claudia's fault: when she write a notebook entry she correctly uses "we babysitters."


The numbers:

BSC Fights: 2

Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)

Students: seventeen 7th graders, four 8th graders

Clients: 9

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 16 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, Ding-Dongs, gumdrops, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Twinkies, Lifesavers)

Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)

12/26/09

Dawn and the Impossible Three (RS#3)

Original Publication Date: 1987

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis:

This is Dawn's first book. She's trying to adjust to living in cold Connecticut among people who eat red meat instead of tofu and to her parents' divorce. Of course, she has no trouble making friends because she's part of the most wonderful BSC. She does have some tension with Kristy, who's jealous that Dawn is now Mary Anne's other best friend, but they work it out and Dawn becomes the Alternate Officer.

Dawn starts baby-sitting a lot for the Barretts: Buddy, Suzi, and Marnie. Their parents also just divorced, and it wasn't a pleasant one. Mrs. Barrett (AKA, fashion model) is having trouble keeping things organized while she looks for a job. Dawn helps clean and so forth, and Mrs. Barrett comes to rely her. She also fails to tell Dawn important things: where she's going, that Marnie is allergic to chocolate, etc. She also forgets when Mr. Barrett has visitation days, and he ends up taking Buddy on what was supposed to be his day, thinking it will serve his ex-wife right, that she'll panic for a minute then remember. Too bad Dawn is sitting that day. Buddy is safely returned, and Dawn has a talk with Mrs. Barrett about where the line should be drawn as far as her responsibilities.


Established or continued in this book:


The Girls:

Dawn hates the cold. I'm shocked, too.

Dawn thinks her house has a secret passage. We'll find out about that later, but for now we do know it has an outhouse.

Geez, Dawn is touchy. Claudia and Stacey mentioned that an egg rinse and some lemon juice would give her hair some shine and body, and it sounds like they just mentioned it because they do that once a week, but Dawn says "What I do with my hair is my business."

Dawn and her family has a lot of stuff in the attic from their old house. I think her dad still lives there; why wouldn't Dawn and Jeff leave some things in their old rooms? They are going to visit their Dad sometimes.

This is a little better: Dawn seems more distressed by messy things like spilled food than disorganized things like her house. That will fit better with the continuity, but not perfectly.

Claudia's junk food: salt water taffy, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, M&Ms...and Dawn ate some taffy.

Mary Anne got contact lenses to replace her reading glasses. Now, I'm nearsighted, so I could be wrong, but it seems like that would be more of hassle than glasses. Would she have to take them out to see things further away? When I do close-up things like knitting or reading, I prefer my contacts out.

Mary Anne wears her first pair of jeans in this book. She wore a jean skirt in RS#4, but I guess that doesn't count.

Mary Anne can't stand pink. She likes navy blue and yellow.


Their Families:

Dawn's parents divorced in the fall, but her mom waited until after Christmas to move across the country. I've seen lots of criticism for such an upheaval, and I agree that it's a lot to put two kids through. At least she waited until the holidays were over.

Dawn's brother play ice hockey with the Pike triplets.

Dawn's mother likes personal artifacts that have historical significance because she thinks they're romantic. I think #64 should hold true to that.

Dawn says her parents divorced because her mom is "disorganized and [her] dad just couldn't live with that." I wonder how long they were married.

Mary Anne's dad got contacts.

Stupid Karen, who Dawn says talks too much, now thinks the attic is haunted, too.

Watson Brewer isn't much of a cook. I think that changes, but I'm not sure.


The Club:

Dues are fifty cents, but are raised to a dollar at the end of the book so they can pay Charlie to drive Kristy to and from meetings. One thing that has never made sense to me: during the school year, why doesn't Kristy just hang out with one of the other members or at the library or something? I don't get why Charlie always takes her from school to home to Claudia's to home again.

Stacey brings the treasury home with her, apparently.

Kristy gives Dawn a look (but not a Look) for having a personal conversation on the phone during business hours.



SMS: Nothing new here.


Misc:

Mrs. Pike is one of the library trustees.

Dawn's house was still built in 1795, and when she thinks of the history it saw she comes up with the War of 1812, which I doubt she knows anything about other than the year, and the Gay Nineties. Other things on her list make sense, like the Civil War and the first airplane (since she just flew across the US), but the Gay Nineties? Really?

Mallory really likes hearing the story of Richard Spier and Sharon (Porter) Schafer, which will fit nicely with her storylines when she spies and in #29.

PSA time: Jeff says "Dogs love leftovers." That may be, but make sure no onions or garlic is in said leftovers if dog is going for them. They're bad for dogs. Cats, rats, and hedgehogs, too. Also, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

PSA time #2: You can't test brownies for doneness with a knife, Dawn, unless it's made of wood. Cake-like things need a wooden thing, like a toothpick, to which uncooked dough will stick. You use a knife to cut open chicken or other meat and see if it's cooked through, but you wouldn't know anything about that, Dawn, because no one from California eats meat.

April 28 fell on a Tuesday during the BSC 7th grade year. May 2 was Saturday. So far, so good.

WSTO is on the FM band at 1313.

"It was a statement, not a question." Dawn narrates the exact same thing in #9.

Hello, Bizzer Sign. Ha ha, even Mallory gives it to Byron (whose name, until I was 22, I thought was pronounced like Brian).

Jordan Pike plays piano.

Welcome, Barretts. They have a basset hound named Pow. Marnie makes her "ham face" when she's happy, which I assume is like my older brother's "sniffy face" of yore. One thing I don't get is that Mr. Barrett has visitation rights, but he's only allowed to talk to the kids on the phone on alternating Tuesdays...that just seems weird.

WAIT! Marnie ate some M&Ms on page 49! On page 85 we find out that she's allergic to chocolate. Foul!


The numbers:

BSC Fights: 2

Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)

Students: sixteen 7th graders, four 8th graders

Clients: 9

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 15 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, Ding-Dongs, gumdrops, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M$Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Twinkies, Lifesavers)

Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)

12/24/09

Mary Anne Saves the Day (RS#4)

I got a blog award! Thank you to Ali of Travel Rambling (http://mytravelrambling.blogspot.com). It's the beautiful blogger award. I'm probably going to screw up posting it but I'll try. Here are the rules that came with the award:

1) Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
Thank you, Ali!

2) Copy the award & place it on my blog.
This is the part I'm screwing up on. And I'm sure Janine would be upset that I just ending a sentence with a preposition. That is something up with which she will not put.

3) Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
Her blog (which I'm enjoying) is at
http://mytravelrambling.blogspot.com/

4) Tell us 7 interesting things about yourself.
-I have a hedgehog named Jennifer.
-My favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption. When it was re-released my husband took me to see it on the last day it was showing and I was able to get the movie poster that the janitor was taking down to throw in the trash.
-I have never read the Twilight or Harry Potter series, not because I hate them but because I don't care.
-I have a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) due to coaching high school sports (track and field and cross country) and needing to drive a school bus to meets and practices.
-I have autographs from two members of the band Jimmy Eat World, Joel McHale, Stacey Dragila (US record holder and 2000 Olympic gold medalist in women's pole vault), Tommie Smith (think Black Panthers at the 1968 Olympics), and Dave Johnson (world record holder in points for second day of decathlon and Olympic bronze medalist 1992).
-I know American Sign Language, so watch for my head to explode whenever the BSC sits for Matt Braddock.
-Like Ali who nominated me I've been every state except Alaska and Hawaii. I've also been to two Canadian provinces (British Columbia and Ontario).

5) Nominate 7 bloggers. & 6) Post links to the 7 blogs I nominate.
Regretsy: http://www.regretsy.com/
Cakewrecks: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/
Dibbly Fresh: http://dibblyfresh1.blogspot.com/
BSC Chronologically: http://bscchronologically.blogspot.com/
Baby-Sitters Club Revisited: http://bscrevisited.blogspot.com/
Psyched on the Prairie: http://psychedontheprairie.blogspot.com/
Children of the 90s: http://childrenofthenineties.blogspot.com/



And now, Mary Anne Saves the Day!

Original Publication Date: 1986

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis:

The BSC has its first major fight when everyone in it sort of blows up at each other at once. Members stop attending meetings and it gets to the point that just one person will man the phone, checking the schedule on her own and calling the others to fill jobs. Things come to a head when they are all working at Jamie Newton's birthday party and nearly ruin it. They have an emergency meeting (the third so far) and make up.

Mary Anne grows a bit of a backbone, showing her dad that she is starting to grow up and he loosens up a bit. Dawn also moves to Stoneybrook in this book.

This book is one of my favorites. It's also weird in that is has sixteen chapters instead of fifteen.



Established or continued in this book:


The Girls:

Mary Anne's room hasn't changed since she was three. I bet that has a lot to do with her dad putting up the stuff her mom had gotten and not wanting to take them down.

Claudia's junk food: Ring Dings in her pajama bag

Claudia still seems insecure in this book.

Kristy has been to Florida, and it was one of the six times Mary Anne had not walked to school with her. Another was when her dad left and the other four she was sick. Even assuming a few days for Mary Anne being gone, that's a great attendance record.

We are introduced to Dawn in this book. She's fancy like Stacey: her family has a VCR in its 1795 farm house.

Dawn hates dim rooms and has lots of lamps each with 100 watt bulbs. That seems odd for environmentally-conscious Dawn, but it sounds like her room has only one little porthole for a window. And maybe she's not so into protecting the environment yet, though she is already a healthy eater.

Dawn is neat, as in tidy. Let's see how that one pans out.

Claudia offers an olive branch to Mary Anne (by way of a smile). I like how she's the peacekeeper in these early books. Of course, Mary Anne is the main one here, but Claudia still gets a "part."


Their Families:

Mary Anne and her dad eat "a proper dinner" at 6:30 every night. Presumably, not when she has a babysitting job. They say grace before eating, which is one of the few times religion is mentioned with regard to the main characters.

Mary Anne's mother was named Abigail in the older versions of the book, but the newer ones are updated to have her named Alma. She also went to high school in Maryland...but Mary Anne's grandparents, we will learn live in Iowa. The new cover version also says she grew up in MD.

Mary Anne's dad tries so hard to raise her well. Too bad he goes overboard, but you can tell he really has her best interests in mind.

Mary Anne's paternal grandfather was a mailman.

Mrs. Thomas has been like a mother to Mary Anne. They never seemed that overly close, though. Maybe Mrs. Thomas was always the one Mary Anne felt she could ask about girl things or whatever but it's never showed.

Stacey can't eat the processed cheese that's on pizza. I thought it was just mozzarella?

Dawn's mom has short, curly, pale blonde hair. I think the cover of #64 (posted on BSC Chronologically) would beg to differ.

Dawn's maternal grandfather is a banker.

I'm sure I don't even need to mention it, but Mary Anne and Dawn find out in this book that their dad and mom dated in high school.


The Club:

Kristy misses another meeting. That's one in each of these last two books.

This is Jenny Prezzioso's first appearance. She is here described as NOT prim and fastidious. Rather, her mother, Madeline, is and she and her father, Nick, try to keep her happy.

I'm sure I'll get sick of the babysitting chapters as time goes by, but they're fun for now. All the girls really sound like responsible, fun sitters.

Finally, the original four all have permission to stay out until 9:30 on school nights and 10:00 on weekends.

First pizza toast!



SMS:


Teachers:

Students: Jo Deford (7th grade)



Misc:

Good continuity: Mary Anne is finishing the scarf she started for her father in #3.

Here's the first time a BSC member thinks long and hard about what she's going to say (in this case, Mary Anne confronting her dad about giving her more privileges), but instead just blurts things out and makes the situation worse.

I find this amusing: Mary Anne's teachers write on her report cards that she is a joy. That's what my teachers would often write, which was was great because my middle name is Joy.

Byron Pike is established as the foodbag in this book. And Mallory helps "write" a play for some of her siblings to perform, which will fit well with her desire to be a writer.

Mary Anne says something important here: "some twelve-year-olds are ready to date and some twelve-year-olds still need baby-sitters." I don't think this is ever brought up again, but it does help a little to explain why there will one day be eleven-year-olds in a club that sits for ten-year-olds.


The numbers:


BSC Fights: 2

Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)

Students: sixteen 7th graders, four 8th graders

Clients: 8

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 12 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, gumdrops, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Twinkies, Lifesavers)

Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)

12/13/09

The Truth About Stacey (RS#3)

Original Publication Date: 1986

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis:

The BSC is threatened by the Baby-sitters Agency, a group that finds older babysitters who can stay out later. At first, the Club is in danger, as parents like having the wider variety of sitters. But few of them are responsible and the Agency self implodes.

Stacey also has to deal with her parents' overprotectiveness. They're terrified at the thought of her diabetes causing her serious harm and drag her to all kinds of clinics and doctors, causing Stacey to miss out on school and her social life. While in New York to meet with a doctor who's basically a charlatan, Stacey is able to talk with her parents and, with the help of a competent doctor, she is able to take control of her life more.

This book is okay, but it has never stood out to me.



Established or continued in this book:


The Girls:


Mary Anne still has reading glasses.

Mary Anne "performs" a reading of The Little Engine That Could, complete with funny voices.

Mimi is teaching Mary Anne to knit.

Claudia candy: Lifesavers in a shoebox under her bed, butterscotch candy in her pillowcase, gumdrops (and Saltines) under her armchair. What's with the girls having armchairs in their rooms?

Claudia's role as a peace maker is getting fleshed out. Here, she suggests the Club go ahead with some of Kristy's ideas to compete with the Agency, but save the more drastic ones for later. When Kristy and Stacey are still a little annoyed, she gets everyone excited to decorate their Kid-Kits. She also tries to makes things go smoothly when they talk to Mrs. Newton about whether they can babysit the new baby. She's the peace maker in a few other books. Super Special #1 comes to mind.

Stacey's diabetes symptoms showed up in her sixth grade year, including the horrible wetting-the-bed-she-was-sharing-with-Laine incident. A psychiatrist first suspected diabetes. Stacey practiced giving insulin shots on oranges. She hates that she has to give herself shots because it reminds her that she has the disease.

Stacey has a crush on Pete Black.

Stacey's favorite charge is now officially Charlotte Johanssen.

Stacey has a savings account.

Stacey has taken French since kindergarten.

Kristy really does know a lot about kids. For example, at Jamie Newton's big brother party, she knows to only let the kids eat for a little bit so they don't ruin their appetites, and she comes up with fun games on the spot.



Their Families:


Mimi came to the US when she was 32.

Stacey's parents became overprotective when hit with the double whammy of Stacey's diabetes and the news that they wouldn't be able to conceive anymore children.

Stacey has an Aunt Carla and Uncle Eric who have a daughter named Cheryl, and an Aunt Beverly and Uncle Lou who have children named Jonathan and Kirsten. Stacey prefers the latter family.

Charlie takes David Michael to SHS to watch cheerleader practice because DM likes to learn the cheers. Sure, Charlie, sure.


The Club:

Ah-HA! This is when Kristy starts wearing the visor, during an emergency meeting to discuss the Baby-sitters Agency. It's also the start of Kid-Kits (which I used to bring to sitting jobs).

It's interesting to see Stacey be so gung-ho about the Club.

The Club gets 14-15 jobs a week.

Kristy and Mary Anne both miss a meeting to clean up after Jamie Newton's party.



SMS:


Teachers: no new ones

Students: Janet Gates, Leslie Howard, Liz Lewis, Michelle Patterson (8th grade)



Misc:


Good continuity! In Kristy's Great Idea, the Newtons' baby is due in eight weeks. Here, after Stacey states the club has been in business about two months, the club is expecting the baby to be born any day. The baby is born in the first third of the book (a little girl, Lucy).

Stoneybrook has only one middle school. Hmm...that could be a problem later.

Stacey mentions Allison Ritz. Keep that in mind for Super Special #11.

Charlotte Johanssen doesn't have many friends. Maybe because she's seven and sucks her thumb. Seriously, page 41; look it up.

I wish I had a Polly's Fine Candy store near me. It sounds awesome, if even just for the window shopping.

Stacey wants to make Laine an honorary member of the BSC. Good luck with that one.

By the way, when Kristy calls and claims to be Candy Kane? My mom knew a girl named Cindy Kane.


The numbers:


Fights: 1

Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)

Students: fifteen 7th graders, four 8th graders

Clients: 7

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 11 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, gumdrops, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Twinkies, Lifesavers)

Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)

12/7/09

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Call (RS #2)

Original Publication Date: 1986

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis:

A Phantom Caller is on the loose! He calls to see whether people are home, then burgles the house when they’ve left (not robs; robbery is when the victim is aware of the crime). Kristy and Claudia get some hang up calls so the BSC devises plans for what to do if they’re in trouble. But the Phantom Caller isn’t after them, boys are. Alan Gray wants to ask Kristy to the Halloween Hop; Trevor Sandbourne wants to ask Claudia. Both say yes. Aww.

Like most Claudia books, I enjoy this one. Because of all the storms it describes, it’s a good read for a blustery day.



Established or continued in this book:


The Girls:


Claudia has a crush on Trevor Sandbourne.

Claudia’s family is still checking her homework following a letter the school set about her falling grades as established in Kristy’s Great Idea. Janine finds the homework so boring she will sometimes give Claudia the answers.

Claudia’s IQ is above average. But she doesn’t know that the fourth dimension is time (in her daydream about Trevor, she thinks they’ve gone to the fourth dimension).

Claudia hates spiders.

Claudia’s hiding of Nancy Drew books is established here, with only Mimi knowing.

Claudia candy: licorice whips in her desk, root beer barrels under her mattress, giant chocolate bar in her notebook, and salt water taffy in her pencil jar.

Claudia is massively insecure in this book.

Mary Anne still dresses up her stuffed animals.

Mary Anne isn’t allowed to ride her bike to the mall.

Mary Anne wears reading glasses.

Stacey has a VCR! Gasp! But it’s broken.




Their Families:

The girls decided to keep the Phantom Caller a secret from their parents so they won’t be forced to stop babysitting. This starts a long tradition of never telling their parents anything.

Janine’s IQ is still 196. She’s still portrayed as a know-it-all in this book but it seems to come more from her having trouble finding something to talk about rather than being a show-off.

Claudia’s maternal grandfather died before she was born.

Kristy mentions “Grandma.” Not Nannie…would that be her dad’s mom, then?

Sam and Charlie share a room.

David Michael was born two weeks early.



The Club:

Foreshadowing to #4? Stacey seems to imply that Claudia is job-hogging: taking jobs when the parents call outside business hours. Claudia admits she’s forgotten a few times, but not lately.

First emergency meeting! Held to discuss the Phantom Caller. At the meeting they invent the famous “Have you found my red ribbon?” exchange and the burglar alarms. A few months ago, my best friend dreamed she was kidnapped and her captors let her have one phone call. She called me and asked “Have you found my red ribbon?” When she was telling her dream I asked her, “Did I say ‘No, the blue one’?” In the dream, I had!

There’s a mysterious Mr. Willis, for whom Claudia has apparently babysat. I don’t remember that name.



SMS:

Teachers: Mr. Miller (7th grade social studies), Mr. Peters (7th grade math), Mrs. Pinelli (music). Mr. Taylor is the principal.

Students: Trevor Sandbourne, Alan Gray, Alexander Kurtzman, Lauren Hoffman, Miranda and Mariah Shillaber, Dorianne Wallingford, Emily Bernstein, Howie Johnson, Pete Black, Rick Chow

As established in #1, Claudia thinks the food experiments the boys do are funny.

Kristy’s the only one who’s ever fought back against Alan Gray, in fifth grade. By bragging that she had a fantastic lunch, which he stole. He gathered a crowd to watch the unveiling. The lunch, packed by David Michael, was full of dead spiders and mud pies. Odd fighting, but apparently it embarrassed him.



Misc:

The Marshalls have a cat. And don’t keep their house keys with their car keys, as evidenced by their being locked out after driving home. Strange.

The Brewers have peppermint stick ice cream, which I assume is the same as peppermint candy ice cream, only available here in the winter. I want to live in Stoneybrook where I can get it in the fall, too.

Boo-Boo catches and eats mice, but not all of the fur and tail. He left those on Mrs. Porter’s deck. When she gave the remains back to Kristy, Kristy was able to deduce (using logic!) that the woman was not a witch: a witch would have kept them for her spells. I would have deduced she’s not a witch because Mrs. Porter exists in the same reality, but that’s me.

The elusive Mr. Johanssen makes an appearance. The Johanssen’s schnauzer, Carrot, is also introduced.

Ugh. The spelled-out speech. David Michael has a cold and pronounces Mary Anne as “Bary Add.” Get used it; there’ll be lots and lots of this nonsense.

UGH. It’s also the start of sentences beginning with “Us babysitters…” WE! Remove the extra part and see if makes sense. “Us…have to stick together”? NO! WE! These books are usually so on-the-ball with grammar, too.

Mr. and Mrs. Goldman live next door to the Kishis.

The note from Ann M. Martin in the back mentions that she and her best friend had a code similar to the red ribbon one here.



The numbers:

Fights: 1

Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)

Students: 15 (7th grade)

Clients: 7

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 10 (bubble gum, a chocolate bar, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Twinkies, Wint-o-Green lifesavers)

Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-1 (Sam Thomas)

11/30/09

Kristy's Great Idea (RS#1)

Original Publication Date: 1986

Ghostwriter? No

Synopsis

Kristy has her first Great Idea, but it’s not in capital letters yet. While forming the club with Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey, she’s also dealing with the impending engagement of her mother to Watson Brewer. My parents have never been divorced, but I really feel for her in this book. She feels like her family life has finally settled down and now Watson’s threatening to change that.


Overall, I like this book.



Established in this book


The Girls:


-Kristy’s good at sports, as demonstrated by her tetherball prowess.

-Kristy broke an ankle the summer before sixth grade.

-Kristy and Mary Anne have hair past their shoulders

-Mary Anne loves New York.

-Mary Anne bites her nails.

-The first hidden candy: Claudia has peanut M&Ms under her pillow. Melts In your mouth, not in your bed? She also has “bubble gum in her underwear drawer (Matt Groening would point that underpants is a funnier word), a chocolate bar behind her encyclopedias (she has some?), a package of Twinkies in her desk drawer, and some Wint-o-Green lifesavers in her piggy bank.” She also has a box labeled “Sneaker” in her closet full of jawbreakers and licorice under her mattress. I’m not the only one who hides—I mean hid—candy around my room, right?

-Claudia thinks it’s hilarious when the boys smash up food in their milk to see what color it turns…and Kristy thinks it’s gross even though we know later that she likes describing gross food. But she can’t stand people chewing with their mouths open, so maybe that makes sense.

-Claudia babysits to fund her wild clothes, which her parents won’t pay for. They must save a lot of money, because very few items of her clothing aren’t wild.

-It starts in this book: Claudia has a creamy complexion.

-Stacey can stay out until 10:00 Friday and Saturday nights.




Their Families:

-Kristy’s mom only gets pizza when she has to ask the kids a favor. Her first name is Edie. She tries to spend a little time with each of the four kids every night, due to her feeling guilty about having to work full time to support them after her dad “ran off to California and got married again and doesn’t send much child support money.” That’s two marriages for Patrick so far. Edie’s been dating Watson for four months.

-Charlie plays Varsity football and Sam’s in Math Club. Opposite ends of the spectrum there, huh? And by the end of the first week of school, the Math Club’s had at least three meets (Sam says it’s won its third meet) and has emergency meetings. Really? See, I played sports (I earned four Varsity letters senior year, thank you very much) and I took honors classes. I don’t get this “Math Club” idea. But at least they’re not pretending it’s a sport. Academic Decathlon, your “events” may be difficult and take a lot of mental effort, but they’re not sports.

-David Michael and Sam have dark curly hair; Sam has sparkling blue eyes.

-Watson leaves his kids with a babysitter on his weekend with them: the first of several times, but this time Kristy doesn’t like it. He’s also established as going to the office on weekends here.

-Kristy’s cousin Robin has diabetes.

-Mary Anne’s father won’t let her talk on the phone on school nights, from how Kristy describes it.

-Janine takes classes at the local university and has an IQ of 196. Her best friend is a fourteen-year-old math nerd set to graduate that spring. She comes off as know-it-all in this book, rather than just awkward as she does later.

-Stacey’s parents have been married 15 years; Claudia’s 20. So Stacey’s mom got pregnant after being married about a year and Claudia’s mom after about four years (with Janine).



The Club:

-Kristy got the idea the first Tuesday of seventh grade. The original four meet for the first time that Thursday at 5:30 (after Mary Anne’s sitting job). The first official meeting is held on the second Friday of school, during which Sam pulls the “This is Jim Bartolini. Have there been any calls for me?” prank, which I think is a pretty good one. However, it provokes a fight between Sam and Kristy back home.

-When Claudia first designs the BSC logo, it seems that she spells it correctly.

-Stacey has the idea for officers, and the offices are decided unanimously by all four girls.

-I’m looking back through…when do they decide to meet Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 5:30?

-They advertise in the Stoneybrook News, by calling the families for which they already sit, and by making fliers.

-Mary Anne forgets to record the first two jobs in the record book until Kristy hands it to her…not quite a mistake.

-Stacey gets the first job, for David Michael. Kristy gets the second, with the infamous Pinky and Buffy McKeever, the job that leads to her ban on petsitting. Mary Anne gets the third, for Karen and Andrew Brewer. Claudia doesn’t get a job during the meeting. Mrs. Newton calls after and Claudia takes it on the spot, which seems fair in a way, especially since no one established that she couldn’t.

-Claudia sits for the Marshalls for the first time and Kristy gets the first job with Charlotte Johanssen.

-It is during the Buffy and Pinky job that Kristy decides to start the notebook. She earns $3.50 while thinking it up, sitting for at least an hour. And Claudia only misspells one word in her first entry.

-Clients: Johanssens, Marshalls, McKeevers, Newtons, Pikes, Thomases.

-After sitting for the McKeevers, Brewers, Thomases, and Newtons, the girls have earned $26.75.

-The Club has its first fight! Kristy accuses Stacey of lying, which is accurate (she’s still hiding her diabetes). Stacey gets defensive, Claudia first tries to shut Kristy up then defends Stacey while Mary Anne gets flustered.



SMS:

-Friday lunch is always Sloppy Joes (EW), red Jell-O with canned fruit in it, coleslaw, milk, and a Fudgesicle. Kristy hates it all except the Fudgesicle…even the milk?

-Seventh-graders still have recess. NOT FAIR! We lost ours at seventh grade.

-Kristy’s the only one in seventh grade who can turn her eyelids inside out.

-Teachers: Mr. Redmont (7th grade)



Misc:

-Mary Anne writes that Karen was a pill! Not all the time, but wow! The stupid Morbidda Destiny stuff starts here. In this book, Watson’s ex is engaged.

-There’s a brook walking distance from Kristy’s house (perhaps a stony brook?).

The Pikes have a cat named Sarge.

-Mrs. Newton’s baby is due in eight weeks.

-Watson had Boo-Boo before he met his ex. Boo-Boo is 17, Karen is five, Andrew is three, the mom’s already engaged and Watson’s about to be, but the divorce is recent enough that she’s still on Watson’s insurance…Wonder how long the marriage lasted?

-There’s a note from Ann M. Martin in the back of the new cover version (I have both covers for 1-10 and old covers up until the switch to new, except for #53). It’s a brief note about how she thought up the BSC.



The numbers:

Fights: 1

Teachers: 1 (7th grade)

Students: 4 (the BSC, 7th grade)

Clients: 5 (not including the McKeevers, for whom the club will not sit again)

ANOTHER BSC blog?

Yes, another. Similar to BSC Chronologically, I'm going through the books in publication order. I won't be recapping as much as she or others have done; my main focus will be keeping track of different things established in the books. How many students are in eighth grade at SMS? How many summers do the girls have? I'm going to find out!

When I'm all done, my plan is to go through the American Girls books...but that won't be for quite awhile: I have 225 BSC books in three boxes under my bed, which is the only place my husband can stand them to be.