Jessi and the Jewel Thieves (M#8)

Original Publication Date: 1993

Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles


While Jessi's parents, aunt, and brother go out of town for a wedding (Squirt will be baby-sat during it) and Becca stays at the Pikes' (the Johannsens weren't available), Jessi gets to visit New York. She heads over with Stacey for the weekend, and gets to spend time with Quint. While at his apartment, they overhear two men in another apartment across the alley. They're arguing loudly enough for Jessi and Quint to hear that they're planning a jewel heist. But they don't know many details, and decide to find out more before going to the police. But, in a fantastic twist, the two would-be thieves are actors rehearsing a script! Oh, what tomfoolery!

Also, Jessi and Quint decide to be just friends until they're older or live closer.

Back in the 'brooke, Becca is being a major pain about being "abandoned" by her family. She gradually calms down enough to somewhat enjoy her stay at the Pikes', but is of course still overjoyed when her parents return.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Munchos (what?), Doritos, Lifesavers, jawbreakers, Kit-Kats, Snickers, Ruffles

In the last book Jessi narrated, she practically agreed with Mallory's assessment of herself as "not pretty" but now she's amended that to say she does think Mallory's cute but Mallory won't believe her.

Stacey and Jessi both love zoos.

Their Families:

Becca's awfully whiny for an eight-year-old. Certainly I've met whiny eight-year-olds, but I've also met younger kids who handle disappointment better. Fortunately, this isn't too typical of the Becca I've seen.

I think Stacey's dad is still spoiling her/trying to make up for not seeing her; he takes her to VERY fancy places to eat, takes her shopping all day, and so on. Especially when he promises another night out to justify that he's going in to the office on a Saturday.

Becca has a good appetite, and loves tacos.

The Pikes call empty wrapping paper or paper towel tubes "hoo hoo tubes." Please. They're "dir-di-dirs."

The Club: nothing new

SMS: nothing new

PSA Time:

You know, emergency services never get mad at people for calling 911 when the callers legitimately think there's something a reasonable person would call an emergency (meaning, "I heard a crash and I think it might be a cat burglar but I'm not sure" vs "THE FAST FOOD PLACE WON'T GET MY ORDER RIGHT").


I don't know, no-kid weddings seem weird to me. There are always kids in my extended family (when you have 15 first cousins ranging from mid-thirties to less than a year old, it happens), and it wouldn't seem right to invite some cousins and not others. I sort of understand; certain venues are geared to adults, or the bride and groom aren't comfortable around kids. But it still seems odd, because parents can usually handle their children for a couple hours. Oh well, the only wedding guest list I needed to concern myself with was mine.

John Lennon is described as "the Beatle who died." Uh, true, but not JUST died...

Thanks to some editing weirdness, we have a BSC notebook entry from Claudia in front of a Mary Anne sitting chapter, and the entry is from a different sitting job (chapter 10). Mary Anne's entry shows up in front of Claudia-narrated Chapter 13.

This is Jessi's one and only mystery. Apparently Scholastic didn't want to encourage eleven-year-olds to solve mysteries. But thirteen-year-olds? Go for it!

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: 8

SMS Staff and Faculty: 32

Students (other than the BSC): 96; 63 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 18 6th graders, 12 unspecified

Clients: 29

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 72 (Okay, this list is getting out of hand. I'm still keeping track in a Word document, and when I finish I'll post it all)

Crushes (same here; too long):
Mary Anne-2


Laura said...

Jessi and the Jewel Theives is one of my favourites in the Mystery Series. This one was at least believable, in that two 11-year-olds (or Jessi and a kid however old Quint is - is he the same age as Jessi?) could overhear actors rehearsing a jewel-heist scene for a movie/play and believe it was for real.

I was sorry that Jessi and Mal only got one book apiece in the Mystery Series.

I think it's nice to see more depth in Stacey's relationships with other BSC members besides Claudia. (Well, actually, I like seeing all non-traditional friendship pairings in the BSC.)

I always wished we could've "heard" Quint's conversation with Red outside their buildings. Not cool of Jessi to leave Quint in the lurch like that. (Though she DID have a train to catch and I'm sure Quint did fine.)

I didn't know what Munchos were either so I Googled them and it seems that Claud is showing brand loyalty - because Munchos are a Hostess Frito-Lay product, just like her beloved Twinkies. Munchos are potato crisps, similar to Pringles or Lay's Stax.

I was so confused by the Claudia's Notebook Entry turns MA's sitting job mix-up when I first read the book. Finally I decided to just continue and when I got to the second Pike job, I finally understood. (I also used to think that I was the only one who had a book containing that mistake. I didn't really know how that would happen but no-one ever mentioned that their book had the same mistake so I figured it was possible.)

As for the John Lennon thing, maybe they thought the murder of a rock/popstar wouldn't be the best subject matter for a book geared towards 9 to 12-year-olds.

As for Stacey's father spoiling her (for the record, I also believe he does), maybe in Stacey's mind, he isn't. I'm reminded of Stacey and the Missing Ring when Stacey tells Maureen that "Dad would buy [the ring] for me" but she later tells the reader that doesn't believe her dad would buy her the ring after all. She says that when the divorce was new, he often bought her presents to try and make up for the pain the divorce caused her. But now he understands that she doesn't need or want him to get her big, expensive things but sometimes he still buys her things, but small things mostly.

What I'm trying to say is that we readers might see Stacey as a spoiled little rich girl but that kind of life is just normal for her. I mean, think about it: Her family lives in one of the most expensive cities in the WORLD to live in and, from what I gather, in one/two (pre- and post-divorce) of the most expensive neighbourhoods, in one/two of the most expensive apartments (big enough for a table and chairs in the dining room in Stacey's Mistake) in said neighbourhoods. Her best friend's dad is a broadway play producer (I always picture Mr. Cummings as Maxwell Sheffield from The Nanny.) that often gets her and her family and friends tickets to opening-night performances of Broadway shows. Stacey's always had or gotten these things automatically and so she doesn't see anything wrong with or even different about it.

So when she tells her mom that Ed doesn't spoil her, she really doesn't think he does because that kind of thing's just a natural way of life for her.

I hope I don't seem rude with this - nor do I hope I'm actually being rude with this - but may I ask why Kristy only has one listing under the Crushes tally? Shouldn't she have 2: Bart and Alan? (Or do you have some criteria for the crushes that I am unaware of? Maybe you do and Alan doesn't meet all the requirements.)

Oh, and, I'm also grateful we don't see much of THIS Becca in the series.

bonclyde149150 said...

Becca dealt with the stranded on an island mess better than she dealt with staying at the Pikes' while her family is away.

SJSiff said...

Laura: Yeah, John Lennon's murder might be a bit much for this book (although later mysteries get more intense than these early ones) but why mention at all then?

I didn't include Alan Gray in Kristy's crushes since she seems to hate him so much. They did go to that one dance together in the second book, but she never really likes him (at least, not that I saw).

Thanks for finding out about the Munchos! How do people come up with such weird names for junk food, anyway?

I agree with you about Stacey; that she doesn't walk around demanding everything but she does have an expectation that comes from how she's growing up.

BonnyClyde, EXCELLENT point about Becca!