Starring the Baby-sitters Club! (SS#9)

Original Publication Date: 1992

Ghostwriter? No, this one's all Ann


Complicated book!

The Stoneybrook schools are putting on a production of Peter Pan. It's mostly being done through the middle school, so it's not too crazy-far-fetched that some of our favorite sitters get big roles. All the members of the BSC are involved somehow:

Jessi tries out for the lead, assuming she's a shoe-in (dance background). She's so convinced she feels bad for anyone else trying out for it, and arranges to be a correspondent to the SMS student newspaper about the play. Of course, pride goeth before fall. She ends up cast as a pirate, but she backs out of it as it's beneath her, and ends up assistant choreographer. And bitter about the whole thing. She even removes her credit as assistant choreographer from the programs because she's not listed as assistant producer. But just before opening night, Pete Black breaks his nose and Jessi gets to take over his part, so she ends up still in the play after all.

Kristy decides to try out for the dual role of Nana the sheepdog and the crocodile, but winds up as Peter Pan! (Pete Black gets the animals part.) She has trouble learning such a big part, but comes through in fine form. Just a little slip near the beginning of the play, and bit of revenge on Cokie.

Dawn auditions for Tiger Lily and gets Wendy, but tries to turn her into Wendy the Rude Feminist by changing her lines A LOT. I get that she wants to make a point, but this wasn't the right time.

Stacey just wants any small part, so of course she gets Mrs. Darling. Sam Thomas gets Mr. Darling! They're still seeing each other, so initially it's fun. Sam starts joking around a lot, in part because his friends tease him about robbing the cradle by dating Stacey. But he goofs around so much that Stacey is constantly embarrassed by him. They work it out, though.

Claudia is the set designer. She's paranoid a piece of the set will fall and maim or kill an actor, but of course that doesn't happen.

Mary Anne expressly does NOT want to be involved in the play, but that cannot be. She winds up wrangling the little kids during rehearsals and being Jackie Rodowsky's assistant. He needs the help, too: he's afraid of the crocodile costume. He does overcome it in time for the play, fortunately.

Mallory is the apprentice costume designer, and gets the awkward job of measuring the actors for their costumes, which she makes more awkward by being Mallory. Once she gets through that, her job isn't awkward anymore, but it is boring: just keeping track of the costumes and repairing as needed. She ends up stepping on Mary Anne's toes a lot due to her boredom before focusing on what her job actually is.

Logan is given a minor role as a pirate, and while goofing around backstage, gets himself kicked out of the play. But only temporarily; he learns his lesson.

Also, Jackie Rodowsky earns the role of Michael Darling, Cokie Mason gets Tiger Lily, Alan Gray is Smee, and several sitting charges and siblings get small roles as Indians, pirates, and lost boys. And Karen brats her way into having the director create a Tinkerbell role for her. Ugh.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: none

Mallory is always cold.

Logan's still on the track team, for which he had just qualified in the book he narrated.

Their Families:

Stacey's mom is so sweet to her in this book. Offering moral support but being willing to not insist on it is a great quality.

And Richard! He tapes the play so Dawn's dad can see it. Aww...

The Club: nothing new


One reason Jessi wanted the role of Peter is that none of the kids outside the BSC have seen her dance. What about Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation? She did ballet in the talent show which she organized.

SMS has eight class periods in a day. I only had seven. Was I deprived?

Why do students at SMS make fun of each other for bringing their own lunches to school? We never cared at mine. Maybe the extra class period makes them grumpy?

New SMS teachers: Mr. Cheney (drama), Miss Stanworth (home ec)

New student: Savannah Minton, Ellie Szilagyi (8th), Barry Soeder (unspecified)

PSA time: nothing stood out


I love this: remember in Dawn's first book when she had a conversation with Janine? "'Continue on' is redundant!" In one of her chapters, Dawn narrates "But our feud continues." Not "continues on." She learned!

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 4

Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Summers after 8th grade: 3

BSC Fights: 7

SMS Staff and Faculty: 32

Students (other than the BSC): 95; 62 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 18 6th graders, 12 unspecified

Clients: 29

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 63 (bonbons, bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate marshmallow cookies, Chunky bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, dark-chocolate caramels, Devil Dogs, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, fruit pie, gumdrops, Gummi Bears (regular and sweet-n-sour), Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, jellybeans, Kit-Kats, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, malt balls, marshmallows, Mentos, Milky Ways, mini candy bars, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf and chocolate-dipped), Payday bars, 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, tortilla chips, Triscuits, Twinkies, Yodels)

Crushes: Claudia-8 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Arthur Feingold, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-5 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Price Irving, 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-3 (Daniel, Curtis Shaller, Quint Walter)


Laura said...

Yay, my fave SS!

No Claudia Candy? Doesn't she eat a chocolate bar in her chapter before the play starts? (Because she decides she needs sugar for energy to check the sets when she gets to school to make sure they're not going to fall and kill anybody. And, hello, Claud, of course they're not. This isn't Jessi and the Dance School Phantom.)

Totally agree about Winter Vacation.

Isn't Barry Soeder in 8th grade? (Seeing as you've just read the book looking for things like that, you probably know better than I do.) Maybe he's just in 8th in my own mind but it doesn't actually say in the book.

You didn't mention this but: No-one can think of a nickname for Savannah that isn't Vanna? How about Sav/Savvy or Ann/Anna?

And now Mallory wants to be Miss Stanworth? But...but what about Pamme Reed?! (Though seeing as how AMM seems to hate her, she'd probably take any chance she can get to not be Mallory Pike.)

Jessi doesn't only try to remove her Assitant Choreographer credit, she does remove it. When she agrees to play Nana and the Crocodile Mr. Cheney says he's sorry that that won't make it into the program and Jessi says that it's alright, remembering that she's not in the program anyway. (She's also a complainer as one of the things she lists as proof that she deserves and AP credit is that she's been trying to help Kristy learn her lines. What? Jess, maybe you haven't heard, but that's what friends do, no official credit needed.)

It was totally sweet of Richard to tape the play for Jack. I still don't understand why Dawn didn't tell her dad/Jeff about the play, though. It's not like he's Patrick and out of her life. And don't Dawn and Jeff call each other fairly frequently? (And she says she didn't even tell her dad about the play and then complains that he's not there. Well, he can't be if he doesn't know there's anything going on. I'm sure he and Jeff could've hopped on a plane and seen at least one of her performances in person, if they'd known about it. Though I did think it was very touching when Jack said he hoped he and Dawn would never have to keep secrets from one another.)

One of their class periods during the day seems to usually be study hall, in which no one cares if you aren't studying/working (Dawn says in Dawn's Wicked Stepsister that she and Kristy talked right through their whole study hall and no one cared.) so maybe you were deprived, if you were looking for a place/time to get your homework done before the end of the day. I don't remember having any kind of period like study hall in Junior (or Senior) High.

Anyway, I'm sure I've rambled enough now. Great post, as usual.

SJSiff said...

Laura: There was no candy hidden in her room since they were hardly there. GREAT point about Jessi and the Dance School Phantom!

I'll double-check about Barry Soeder, but I don't think the grade is specified. However, I was reading the book at one in the morning...which is why I misread the part about Jessi removing her credit. Thanks for catching that.

Dawn came off as more sad that her dad wouldn't be there than whiny, but I agree, how did she know he couldn't come if she didn't ask? And what good would sending the program do after the fact? Just make him feel bad? I wasn't into drama, but when I had a sports competition my parents couldn't make, they wanted to know anyway so they could at least wish me luck. (And, actually, when I qualified for State-level competition, my dad, a lawyer, got a trial date rescheduled so he could go, because he's awesome)

As for class periods, study hall was an option at my school too, but would be counted as one of the seven class periods. But that's a real-life school in the Seattle area, not a fake one in Connecticut.

Thanks for all your great feedback!

noseinanovel said...

My junior high and high school school had nine periods. Sometimes I think that was overkill.

It's been so long since I've read this one that I don't remember how Karen finangles a part in the play when she doesn't even attend Stoneybrook Elementary?

First time commenter, but I look forward to your posts each week. Love your blog's voice and recap style :)

(My captcha is "dyebrat" very Karen Brewer appropriate is Claudia wrote it)

SJSiff said...

Thanks, noseinanovel!

Karen is just a brat during the tryouts. Kristy tries to restrain her, but the director ends up calling and saying that he thinks Karen would be a good Tinkerbell and that he's decided to cast the part instead of having the fairy denoted by a light effect.

SJSiff said...

Oh, and it was open casting because they'd need kids for the lost boys and other parts, and high schoolers for some older characters.

Laura said...

I'm sorry if I came off as insensitive to Dawn's feelings. I really did and do feel for her that her dad wasn't there in person. It just seemed to me that she was saying he couldn't've been and I just wondered why she didn't tell him because then he could've been.

Your dad does sound awesome!

noiseinanovel: Very Claudia-spelling-appropriate!

If kids from SA were allowed to audition why were SDS and Kelsey Middle School involved. It seems like there'd be a lot of theater-kids in those schools who'd like to try out - Shannon, for instance. (I realise less SMS kids could potentially be involved then but....)

SJSiff said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, Dawn was still being unreasonable. "I'm so sad my dad can't come, I didn't even tell him about it. But I'll send him a copy of the program later." All that's going to do is make him feel worse, Dawn! And I bet that if she had mentioned it to him and he wasn't able to come (which is likely), he could have suggested something like taping it and watching it together the next time she's in California.

Laura said...

Did Dawn say she was going to send Jack a program? I thought Elizabeth was trying to track down Patrick so Kristy could send him a program.

SJSiff said...

Yes, Dawn wants to send her dad a program but not tell him beforehand. How rotten of her! Kristy considers sending Patrick one, but that's a MUCH different scenario.