Mary Anne and Miss Priss (RS#73)

Original Publication Date: 1994

Ghostwriter? Yes, Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner


I don't normally put up pictures of the books, but it's a good excuse to show off the early birthday present my husband gave me:

That's who's perched on my shoulder right now. Fitting since it's a Mary Anne book. My brother-in-law found it, stray behind his apartment. We're 99% sure it's a girl, and after she gets a clean bill of health at the vet Monday and we're sure my husband's twelve-and-a-half year-old cat won't try to eat her, she's ours! If Eddie is just a big jerk, my best friend has expressed interest. If it is indeed a girl, Jill. If boy, I really like the idea of Simon the Zealot because it'd be bizarre. (And yes, that is a Stegosaurus bath mat in the kitten quarantine bathroom.)

Anyway, the book. Jenny Prezzioso is acting more obsessed with her appearance than usual, and it's preventing her from joining the kickball team the Pike triplets are organizing. She doesn't want to join and get dirty and no one wants her on the team, so I don't see what the problem is, aside from how obsessive Jenny is about getting dirty. It eventually comes to light that Jenny is trying to be perfect because her baby sister Andrea is getting modeling jobs and Jenny is worried her parents will like Andrea more. Jenny ends up going on some auditions herself, but isn't as successful as Andrea. In retaliation, she forgoes her cleaning rituals and gets herself as filthy as possible, vying for attention. Once Mary Anne helps Mrs. Prezzioso see this, Jenny gets the attention she craves, and even a modeling job. But she finds her heart's really in playing kickball, which is now very well organized after some tips from the BSC. And Jenny's dad goes to watch her pitch in a game. Aww...

AND...Mallory brings up to her parents that she's sitting for her siblings more than she used to sit for other kids, and after a talk with the doctor they agree that she can rejoin the BSC.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: potato chips in the closet, pretzels

Logan was on the school volleyball team. In Washington, there is no official boys' volleyball through schools (Title IX thing). I checked with the CT school sports website and it appears there is volleyball offered through schools there.

Claudia makes her own greetings cards.

Their Families:

The reason the triplets start the teams is that they want to prove they're old enough to not need a sitter, finally realizing that Mallory's only one year older than they are.

The Club:

Jenny asks who's at the door before opening it to Mary Anne's knocks, as she was being taught in earlier books.


Claudia's personals column is still running in the school paper.

PSA Time:

If you have a sandbox in the yard you should cover it when it's not being played in. Cats, raccoons, opossums (or possums in Australia, I suppose) and other animals think they make great litter boxes.


Apparently the ice cream man comes really early to Stoneybrook. The last book was midwinter, so it can't be too much earlier than the beginning of spring--wait, am I trying to apply a logical timeline to these books?

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 6

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 3 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1

Summers after 8th grade: 6

BSC Fights: 8

SMS Staff and Faculty: 40

Students (other than the BSC): 135; 97 8th graders, 4 7th graders, 19 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 29

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 90

Mary Anne-2


Anonymous said...

Your new cat is cute. I hope you get to keep her!

SJSiff said...

Thanks, me too! It's almost certain we will, but I don't want to let myself believe it 100% yet. :)

Laura said...

Why would a girl cat get a conventional name but a boy cat gets the unconventional Simon the Zealot? (Either way, I really hope you get to keep her/him.)

I realize you've read this book more recently than I have but isn't it MR. P. that goes with Jenny to the kickball game?

And if MA was so worried about Jenny, why didn't she let Mrs. P. see 'Jenny's redesigned dress' or tell Mrs. and/or Mr. P. what was going on with her. That's information they could use.

I'm surprised the triplets didn't start clamoring for more Mallory-esque freedom around about RS book 9 - when they'd have presumably heard from Jeff that Mrs. Schafer was letting him stay home alone during the day. (And just because you might not need a baby-sitter yourself, it doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to take on the responsibility of looking after/caring for others yet. Though the triplets probably would be good at that seeing as they have four younger brothers and sisters.)

And I'd hope Claudia's Personals would still be continuing in this book. It'd be pretty sad if they forgot about that/it ended after only a couple of books.

smallgirl said...

I think this was one of the last BSC books I read, I'd forgotten about it until I read this recap!

And that stegosaurus bathmat is awesome.

SJSiff said...

I picked names at random that seemed to fit. It just happens that the boy name is more outlandish.

Yes, it is Jenny's dad who goes; thanks for catching the typo.

I can understand Mary Anne cleaning Jenny up after she gets filthy, but you're right that she should have mentioned something to the parents!

Smallgirl: I also have a hand towel that matches the bath mat. My mom got the set on a clearance and World Market a while back.

Laura said...

I would have cleaned Jenny/her dress up as well, I just thought it might have more impact on Jenny's state of mind/emotions if her parents actually saw it especially considering MA has told them nothing about her recent behavior during sitting jobs.