Original Publication Date: 1988
In one of my favorite books, Claudia goes to sit for a new kid, Betsy Sobak, the "practical joke queen." Betsy was recently energized by a slap-stick film festival, and hits the ground running: fake fly ice cube, dribble glass, pepper gum, and a broken swing. The latter ends up breaking at such a time that Claudia breaks her leg, badly. She ends in the hospital for a week, and stuck at home for another two. She's scared enough that she considers dropping out of the BSC: it's too dangerous.
Meanwhile, the BSC is trying to stop Betsy from playing jokes. Mallory, Dawn, then Kristy play jokes on her, which finally succeeds when Kristy embarrasses Betsy in front of her classmates at a movie. Betsy agrees to cut back, and goes to apologize to Claudia in person (seriously, her parents thought a letter was sufficient?).
Claudia ends up deciding to stay in the club, provided she never has to sit for Betsy again.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Doritos under her bed, Butterfingers in her jewelry box, pretzels and M&Ms under her bed, Tootsie Rolls under her pillow, Double-Stuf Oreos in a shoe box labeled "PANT BRUSHES"`
Apparently Kristy has long had a fascination with wearing food, "like a vest made of teabags." I had no idea, and I'm reminded of a particularly confusing and nonlinear MST3K movie wherein the audience says "Well, apparently the plot is none of our business."
Kristy gets mad that her father doesn't even send her birthday cards. That's really sad, and mean of Patrick.
Kristy still has had a broken ankle, good continuity.
Mary Anne has grown a few inches. She also likes to do needlework.
I miss the calm, practical, level-headed Mallory.
Jessi envies Claudia's wardrobe.
Hooray, Claudia's parents raised her right! She's going to write thank-you notes to the people who sent her flowers.
"The club members are prompt. Kristy wouldn't have it any other way." It starts!
New clients: the Sobaks. Yes, they have the gall to call the BSC again. And, yes, the BSC is dumb enough to sit for Betsy again.
I cannot believe the BSC expects Claudia to pay dues from when she's injured due to babysitting and can't babysit.
Claudia's English class is still reading the Newbery-Award winners, as it was in RS#12.
8th grade students: Gordon Brown, Diana Roberts
PSA time: nothing, really.
I'm glad Claudia didn't quit the BSC. I think she would make an awesome real-life sitter, and I recently found out that I'm pregnant.
Starting 8th grade: 1
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1
BSC Fights: 4
SMS Staff: 13 (2 6th grade, 3 7th grade, 4 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: 32 8th graders, six sixth-graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 29 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, marshmallows, Oreos (Double Stuf), pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-3 (Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas)