Portrait Collection: Kristy's Book

Original Publication Date: 1996

Ghostwriter? Yes, Jeanne Betancourt


Now it's Kristy's turn to write an autobiography. She summarizes her life this way:

The First Five Innings: Kristy recounts her birth story (her mother started labor at a Yankees game) and tells about her first great idea--building snowmen for the neighbors to earn money for a birthday gift for Mimi.

Breaking the Rules: Kristy was sometimes left out of things by her older brothers, and had stricter rules than they did, because she was younger. She's so frustrated by this that she tricks her brothers into taking her to a movie that she was explicitly told to NOT go to. Her mother comes into the theatre partway through the showing and makes her leave. But Kristy later convinces her brothers to play a game with her that basically reveals the rest of the plot that Kristy had missed.

On Our Own: Not long after David Michael is born, Kristy dad simply fails to come home one night. It takes a call to his boss for Kristy's mom to discover that he's gone. She gets a fulltime job, and the older three kids start helping out more around the house.

Play Ball: Kristy goes to a baseball camp one summer (on scholarship, due to financial hardship). She learns a life lesson about teamwork...it's a pretty boring section.

My Real Father: When Kristy is 13, her father shows up (this plot point was put in the BSC movie). Only Mary Anne knows he's visiting; he wants to keep it secret from the rest of Kristy's family--yes, I'm purposely not calling it HIS family. After a week, Watson gets suspicious, but trusts Kristy enough to wait for a little bit before talking to Elizabeth. Kristy's father gives her an overdue birthday of a baseball glove...for a right-handed player, when Kristy is left-handed. She tries to exchange it and discovers it wasn't bought specially for her, it was part of a giveaway at a work event her father had attended. He skips town a couple days later, and Kristy tells her mom about it all. Later, Watson gets her a gift: a left-handed glove.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: it's mentioned that she seems to have an "endless supply" of candy even in elementary school

Kristy is supposed to be left-handed. but in the picture of her at about age 5 playing catch with her father on page 29, she's wearing a baseball glove on her left hand and actively playing that way. Now, if you're my mom and don't know much about baseball and you buy your left-handed a son a glove for his left hand, it's one thing. But if you have a job in the sports field... The picture of the wrong-handed glove Kristy gets later is of a glove for a right-handed person. (You get a glove for your non-dominant hand to allow for throwing with your dominant hand)

When Louie gets sprayed by a skunk and the kids are trying to figure how to bathe him without getting skunk smell on themselves, Claudia suggest Charlie could wear a plastic garbage bag over himself. It probably looked funny on him, but would have looked great on Claudia!

Their Families:

Maybe it's that Kristy is viewing the past through the lens of the present, but her father seems a bit clueless and distant even before he leaves. For example, she says that her father was more interested in the outcome of the Yankees game her parents had to leave early due to her mom being in labor than the fact that his wife was having a baby.

When relaxing around the house, Kristy's mom likes to wear jeans and sweatshirt, just like Kristy's standard "uniform."

The Club (and clients):

This book comes after Kristy's Worst Idea, which ends with the BSC deciding that it's okay to have priorities other than baby-sitting. Kristy actually seems to stick to that idea when she tries to remember if anyone can sit for her younger siblings: she has to do homework as does Claudia and some members are out of town or doing other extra-curricular activities, and only Mallory has a sitting job (Mary Anne is free and takes the job).


Kristy gets a B+ on her report. I wonder what the grading criteria was.

PSA Time: nothing stood out.


All the portrait collections have illustrations. Kristy's baby pictures are weird looking, like one artist drew all but the face and another just copied Kristy's teenage face onto the head.

I detest the term "play date." It's so contrived. When I was a kid, we just went to our friends' house or they came to ours and we played. The question was not "Can we have a play date?" but "Can you play?"

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 9

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: 11

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: 35 families

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 120

Mary Anne-2


Isabel Escalante said...

I agree, the term 'play date' is so dumb.

SJSiff said...

I just can't stand it! :)

Marvelous said...

In my copy, the photo of little Kristy and her dad playing catch, she's wearing the glove on her right hand... so she can throw with her left.

SJSiff said...

Huh, I wonder if my copy got the picture flipped somehow. Glad it's right at least once! Thanks, Marvelous (and sorry for the late reply, I was busy moving).