Original Publication Date: 1991
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
The girls are in a competition for Sitter of the Month. They're trying to not let the contest get them in a fight, but they do each want to win.
Then creepy things start happening during sitting jobs: phone calls with no one on the other end, threatening notes, a bouquet of dead flower stems, a decapitated doll (seriously). At first, Dawn thinks it's Alan Gray, remembering what she's been told about the incident way back in book #2. But he's quickly ruled out. For a little bit, Dawn even wonders Kristy (to whom nothing has happened) might be trying to scare the other sitters in order to win the contest. Eventually, it slips that Mel Tucker (remember him from teasing Susan and the Hobarts?) is doing "sitter checks" for the contest. The BSC sets up a sting operation and catch him in the act. Turns out he was scaring them to get back at the club for telling Mrs. Hobart about his continued teasing, which got him in trouble. This isn't the first issue he's had, and the Tuckers tell Dawn they're going to set up an appointment with a child psychologist to help figure out why he acts out so much.
As for the contest? A seven-way tie. I'd call foul, but several years ago my older brother and I did win "Best Sitter" along with five other sitters in our area. It can happen!
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Hershey bar under her pillow, pretzels and Tootsie Pops
Dawn thinks Mary Anne and Logan will always be together.
Dawn also thinks it's her place to lecture Claudia about her eating habits.
Dawn hates Candy Land. So does Kristy...I wonder if all the sitters do.
It's implied that Adam is the oldest triplet, then Byron, then Jordan. But it's subtle so I'm not sure.
Becca's favorite TV show is The Cosby Show, dame as Charlotte Johanssen.
The only food all the Pikes like is spaghetti. What happened to Daddy Stew?
I think it's interesting that Stacey and Dawn both needed the BSC as a solid group of friends when they first moved to Stoneybrook, but that Dawn was never as into in as Stacey. Can you see Dawn being willing to wear a BSC sandwich board to school? On the other hand, we have the Stacey story arc that's coming up in about 35 books...
Dawn says she's glad she doesn't have to sit for all four Hobarts at once. I guess this is when Ben Hobart goes from capable eleven-year-old to sittee? But he's still going out with Mallory in this book.
The Kormans are still doing the stupid toilet monster thing.
Staff: Mrs. McCarthy (6th grade)
Jessi learned from my PSA a few posts back! She gives Squirt plain water, not milk or juice for his nighttime bottle. Hooray for no rotten milk or tooth decay!
Calling Stamford is long-distance from Stoneybrook.
Starting 8th grade: 3
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 2
BSC Fights: 6
SMS Staff: 21
Students (other than the BSC): 63; 40 8th graders, nine sixth-graders, nine unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 52 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, Chunky bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, dark-chocolate caramels, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, Kit-Kats, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, marshmallows, Mentos, mini candy bars, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf), Planter's Peanut bar, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, pretzel sticks, red hots, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Triscuits, Twinkies, Yodels)
Crushes: Claudia-7 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-4 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Richie Magnesi), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-7 (Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, Ross Brown, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart), Jessi-1 (Quint Walter)