Aloha, Baby-sitters! (SS#13)

Original Publication Date: 1996

Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis


Most of the BSC is on a school-sponsored trip to Hawaii (Mallory has other commitments and it's too expensive anyway; Kristy's family is going later in the summer already; Shannon's at summer camp).

Jessi spends so much time trying to capture memories for Mallory that she almost forgets to have a fun time herself.

Mary Anne and Logan are trying to spend more time with their friends and less time with each other, since their friends have been complaining about not seeing them. Mary Anne also ends up getting a sitting job, of course.

Claudia has a crisis of conscience when she visits Pearl Harbor and is overcome with guilt for being of Japanese descent. At Mary Anne's suggestion, she meets the family Mary Anne is sitting for. The grandfather was in World War II and he reassures Claudia that she needn't feel guilty for what other people have done. (There's also "Well, the a-bombs were evil" which massively oversimplifies things, but that's another story.)

Abby ends up cast in a TV commercial for sunscreen (she lies about her age to avoid needing her mom's permission, and a teacher agrees to hang out nearby to surreptiously supervise). The sunscreen isn't quite as advertised: she comes home with a sunburn.

Stacey is dealing with some concerns about how friendly Robert's being with other girls. She gains some perspective when the helicopter she's in (without Robert) crashes. She ends up in the hospital briefly after having a diabetic reaction following too much exertion and not enough food.

Dawn organizes a beach clean up with the locals.

On the home front, Mallory helps with a day camp at Mrs. Stone's farm and deals with Jenny Prezzioso, who is recently being introduced to discipline and more annoyingling, another mother at a park who thinks she knows better despite having never met Jenny (and of course Mallory's wearing a BSC shirt that day). Mallory takes her little sisters to the same park later and sees the woman struggling with her own son throwing a horrific tantrum. It's fun to see the mom get her comeuppance.

Kristy also helps with the day camp. She also gets a call from the irate mother in Mallory's story (before the second meeting) and does a good job of both sticking up for Mallory and reassuring Mallory that she did the right thing.

Robert also gets a brief chapter, detailing his confusion about Stacey's jealousy. In his mind, he's just being friendly. So does Logan, in which he and Mary Anne decide that taking time for their friends doesn't have to mean they ignore each other.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Mallomars

Kristy thinks Logan spends too much time with Mary Anne. Not "they spend too much time with each other" mind you; she places the blame on Logan.

I guess Abby eats dry cereal, since she pours herself some Chex despite her milk allergy. I'd probably go for eggs myself (Abby's not allergic to eggs), but I don't much like cereal anyway.

Their Families:

Mimi lived in Japan during World War II. But I doubt she was much older than a teenager; twenties at the oldest (my grandfather was in his twenties in World War II, and my oldest cousin--his oldest grandchild--is almost 40).

The Club (and clients):

The Prezziosos have decided to stop giving in Jenny's tantrums (which are played up more in this book than usual to make the point). Thank goodness. I've seen families that don't figure this out until years later and it's not pretty.


It's summer vacation, although this is a school-sponsored trip (Dawn can come because they needed a minimum amount of people for the group discount). Several teachers and students have "cameos." There is one newly-mentioned student, Troy Parker.

SMS doesn't have a volleyball team? Really?

PSA Time:

There is no such thing as a seagull. They're just gulls. Or California gulls or herring gulls or glaucous wing gulls or [other name] gulls. No decent bird guide will list seagulls.

If you need to get a hot, spicy taste out of your mouth, milk and white bread are both better options than water. Water just moves the taste around your mouth while the others will work to neutralize it.

President Truman had only a middle initial, not a full middle name. His parents didn't want to pick between his two grandfather's names which both started with S (or one's first name and one's last name, something like that.) So it's Harry S Truman, not Harry S. Truman.


I've never been to Hawaii, so I don't know how accurate the descriptions are. But the next Super Special is a road trip across the contiguous US, and I've been to all 48 of those. That will be fun.

Aww. One of the kids Mary Anne sits for is a toddler and "this" was one of his first words. "This" and "cat" are my toddler daughter's favorite words.

Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? Well, Japan wanted to inflict damage on the US, and in an effort to demonstrate certain strategic weaknesses, a US general orchestrated a fake attack that basically showed Japan what to do:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mitchell_(general). The weaknesses weren't really addressed.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 8

Halloweens in 8th grade: 5 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 2

Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-2, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-1

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3

Summers after 8th grade: 9

BSC Fights: 10

SMS Staff and Faculty: 56

Students (other than the BSC): 183: 118 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 6 7th graders, 43 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.

Clients: 33 families

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 119

Mary Anne-2


Anonymous said...

Maybe Abby drinks soy or almond or rice milk?

SJSiff said...

Entirely possible, but usually the books make a point of noting when someone eats or drinks something "different" like that, the way Dawn's food is over-described.