Kristy's Great Idea (RS#1)

Original Publication Date: 1986

Ghostwriter? No


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.


-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)


-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)


Sadako said...

Sam being in math club explains why he likes Stacey. (1 developed breast + 1 developed breast = twiterrpated Sam!)

The World of Lurlene Mcdaniel said...

I actually like this book. Love the scene where Stacey and Sam saw each other for the first time.

and wtf Buffy and Pinky? lol was that name funny.

noseinanovel said...

In the beginning Claudia's spelling was poor but not unrealistic. I think it was when the ghostwriter's took over that it become ridiculous and something of a running joke.

Anonymous said...

I liked this book and still do. They seemed more like normal girls.

I've always wondered when Watson and Lisa divorce. They say it was recent but their both all ready in serious relationships.