9/30/13

Shannon

One book narrated, a "Reader's Request" ghostwritten by Nola Thacker

Shannon’s Story 


Shannon joins the BSC as its second associate member in #11 Kristy and the Snobs. While Dawn is in California for her six month visit, Shannon takes over as alternate officer until Dawn's return. She quits in the Friends Forever Super Special Everything Changes when her extracurricular activities start to demand more of her time.

Shannon has a ski-jump nose and according to Kristy’s Mystery Admirer wants a nose job. Fortunately her parents are making her wait until she’s finished growing before they even consider it!

Shannon has pale eyelashes, and often wears black mascara on them. She has dark blonde hair and blue eyes. In fact, all the fair-haired sitters have blue eyes: blondes Stacey, Dawn, Shannon, and Logan and red-head Mallory. The brunettes—Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Jessi, and Abby—all have brown eyes. No green or hazel eyes. And having been a blonde-haired, brown-eyed child (my hair later darkened to brown) with a blue-eyed, black-haired father, I find it weird that the blondes all have one eye color and the brunettes all have another (obviously it makes sense for Claudia and Jessi to have brown eyes).

Shannon’s slightly short for her age. She tans easily, and loves to wear red.

Shannon knows how to tap dance. She aspires to learn to play a musical instrument called the sackbut.

Shannon’s favorite type of cookie is Snickerdoodle (yum) with raisins and walnuts (bleh).

Shannon likes to people-watch and imitate the people she sees.

Extra-curricular activities: astronomy club (of which she is both the youngest member and the president, and which changes from a school club to an informal group of Shannon’s friends), French club, Honor Society, debate team, drama, and singing.


Shannon’s Family

Shannon lives with her parents Ted and Kathy and younger sisters Tiffany and Maria. They have a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, Astrid, that they breed at least twice during the series. I hope they do so responsibly. Astrid is a show dog who’s won prizes, so I’m going to assume they know what they’re doing.

It’s implied that Shannon’s parents don’t love each other.

Shannon’s dad is consistently a workaholic lawyer, her mom sometimes that and sometimes a bored housewife.

Shannon’s mom does the whole family’s laundry. (It stands out to me because my brothers and I started doing our own toward the end of elementary school and my mom and dad each do their own)

While the Kilbourne kids drink whole milk, their dad drinks one percent. The mom’s preference isn’t mentioned.

There’s some confusion about why Tiffany is introduced as a sitter but then later is sat for. Slight argument in favor of her needing a sitter is that she’s only ever seen sitting with Shannon, not on her own. More likely an error.

Tiffany starts gardening in Stacey and the Cheerleaders and has quite the green thumb.

Maria is an accomplished swimmer, and on a swim team. She can also tap-dance.


Next: In October I'll post about the BSC television episodes, and then November starts my recaps of the American Girl books, with Kirsten first.

9/27/13

Logan

Books narrated: 2 (both "Readers' Requests" ghostwritten by Peter Lerangis)

Logan’s Story
Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-sitter

Portrayed by Eric Lawton in the TV show and Austin O'Brien in the movie.

Logan joins the BSC as its first associate member in #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! He quits in the Friends Forever Super Special Everything Changes to due to growing commitments to his sports teams.

Logan has blue eyes and curly blonde hair.

Logan thinks Robin Williams is the funniest actor.

Logan likes pecan pie. How Southern of him.

Logan is on the SMS baseball, football, and track and field teams. His best track event is the 100 yard dash, which should be the 110 yard dash before the 1980s and the 100 meter dash after. Since he scores a touchdown playing football, he most likely plays one of the offensive positions. He is not the catcher for the baseball team, but I couldn't figure out which of the remaining positions he might be.

According to Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery, Logan is very good at keeping secrets.

Mary Anne and Logan say “I love you” to each other in Snowbound!


Logan’s Family

Logan lives with his parents, younger sister Kerry, and younger brother Hunter.

Logan’s dad is named Lyman (his mother is Louise--were they going for all the family members' names starting with the same letter but gave up quickly?). Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery is dedicated to the memory of Ann M. Martin’s late uncle, Lyman. Lyman Bruno manages a sporting goods store and is very into traditional gender roles.

Logan’s mom knows how to knit.

Both Kerry and Hunter are very loyal to their big brother.

Hunter is naturally talented at piano.

Logan’s brother, Hunter, is allergic to nearly everything, including most animal fur, dust, and wheat. He also has asthma. And yet Mary Anne and the rest of the BSC is clueless about asthma.

In The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier, Hunter is the only person to recognize Mary Anne in her costume.

9/24/13

Abby

Books narrated: 11

#90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby (gw: Nola Thacker) my favorite Abby book
#96 Abby’s Lucky Thirteen (gw: Nola Thacker)
#104 Abby’s Twin (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#110 Abby the Bad Sport (gw: Nola Thacker)
#116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever (gw: Nola Thacker)
#121 Abby in Wonderland (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#127 Abby’s Unvalentine (gw: Nola Thacker)

M#23 Abby and the Secret Society (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#28 Abby and the Mystery Baby
 (gw: Ellen Miles) my favorite Abby mystery
M#35 Abby and the Notorious Neighbor (gw: Ellen Miles)

Abby’s Book (gw: Jeanne Betancourt)

Abby’s Crushes-zero (tied with Shannon for eighth place)

Abby is five feet, seven inches tall.

Abby is allergic to: cat litter, cheese, dog dander, milk, paint (apparently every kind, so maybe latex too), shellfish, strawberries, tomatoes. However, there are books in which she eats pizza with cheese and tomato sauce, and strawberries, and other things that should cause allergic reactions. Her allergies seemed to have developed sometime between first and fourth grade. If she were to start keeping Kosher, those food allergies would actually work well with it, as shellfish isn't Kosher, and dairy can’t be eaten with meat, so she wouldn't be having say, a cheeseburger. She also has asthma that’s aggravated by exercise, allergies, and stress, is near-sighted, and has mild scoliosis. But she's still  very active and athletic. She especially enjoys soccer.

Abby joins the BSC in #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers and quits due to a desire to have more free time in the Friends Forever Super Special Everything Changes. From then on, she’s an honorary member.

Abby and her sister attend SMS rather than Kelsey Middle School despite living in the latter’s district, because of the superior music program at SMS.

Abby and her family are Jewish, of Eastern European descent.

Abby is a fan of shows such as America’s Most Wanted.

Abby get sick to her stomach if she tries to read or write in a moving vehicle, like Claudia.

Like Shannon, Abby impersonates people a lot. Mary Anne thinks she can go too far sometimes.

Abby knows what champagne tastes like.

Charlie Chaplin is one of Abby’s heroes. She’s also a huge fan of Elvis.


Abby’s Family

Abby lives with her mother Rachel (maiden name Goldberg) and twin sister Anna. Her father Jonathan is deceased, having been struck and killed by a drunk driver.

The Stevenson parents knew they were expecting identical girl twins. It’s implied they were NOT born via c-section, which is totally possible with cooperative twins. It can be risky for some identical twins, for example, those sharing a placenta who develop twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Mrs. Stevenson also breastfed the twins, quite a feat especially in the BSC world that has most mothers of even single babies use formula. The girls were born a month early, common for twins. It’s especially fortunate later, when their father is killed a month after their birthday, closer to what their due date would have been.

Mrs. Stevenson is initially described as an only child, but is later revealed to have an estranged sister. The reveal comes with a reconciliation and a baby cousin for Abby and Anna.

Abby’s mom studied in England during her junior year of college.

After her husband was killed by a drunk driver, Mrs. Stevenson threw herself into her career (she’s a book editor) and is something of a workaholic now. She used to be really into cooking and baking, but not so much after being widowed.

When Abby goes with Kristy to be a counselor at Camp Mohawk in Everything Changes, her mother cries as the bus pulls away, which I wasn't expecting at all.

Anna is diagnosed with scoliosis in Abby’s Twin and has to wear a back brace to correct it. Unlike Abby, she has neither allergies nor asthma. She prefers glasses to contacts to correct her near-sightedness.

Anna is good friends with Shannon.

Anna is an accomplished violinist.

Anna likes frogs.

In Abby in Wonderland, Abby’s maternal grandmother is waiting to hear whether she has breast cancer. We never find out the official diagnosis.

A great-uncle of Abby's was killed in action during World War II. Abby's great-grandmother came to the United States from Germany in the 1920s; nine of her twelve siblings were murdered in the Holocaust.

9/21/13

Jessi

Books narrated: 14

#16 Jessi’s Secret Language (no ghostwriter)
#22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter
 (no ghostwriter)
#27 Jessi and the Superbrat
 (ghostwriter: Jan Carr)
#36 Jessi’s Baby-sitter
 (no ghostwriter)
#42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom
 (gw: Ellen Miles) my favorite Jessi book
#48 Jessi’s Wish (no ghostwriter)
#55 Jessi’s Gold Medal
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#61 Jessi and the Awful Secret
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#75 Jessi’s Horrible Prank
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#82 Jessi and the Troublemaker
 (gw: Nola Thacker)
#103 Happy Holidays, Jessi
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#115 Jessi’s Big Break (gw: Peter Lerangis)

#8 Jessi and the Jewel Thieves (gw: Ellen Miles)

Jessi’s Crushes-3 (tied for fourth with Mallory)
Daniel, Curtis Shaller, Quint Walter


Portrayed by Nicholle Rochelle in the TV show and Zelda Harris in the movie. The TV episode "Jessi and the Mystery of the Stolen Secrets" is centered around her.

Jessi joins the BSC in #14 Hello, Mallory and quits in the Friends Forever Super Special Everything Changes when she’s accepted into a more serious ballet program.

Every morning, Jessi wakes up at 5:29, just before her alarm goes off, to practice ballet. The dance school Jessi attends puts on only parts of ballets, per Hello, Mallory! Considering how often an eleven-year-old gets major roles in complicated ballets when most eleven-year-olds are only just going en pointe if they've even gotten that far, at least she's only doing parts of ballets.

Jessi’s birthday is September 13.

Jessi wears reading glasses.

Jessi is very good at learning languages. She is a self-confessed terrible letter-writer, though she makes an effort to keep up written correspondence. She writes Dawn a very sweet letter in Farewell, Dawn so she seems to have overcome that.

In Kristy and the Baby Parade, Jessi doesn't know what colic is. But in The Baby-sitters Remember (published later) her most vivid memory is of Squirt having colic. Perhaps he should have had a different ailment...

Jessi has a collection of ceramic horses and of stuffed animals.

Jessi envies Claudia’s wardrobe.

Deep, dark secret: even though they're not little kids, Jessi and Mallory still play pretend that they're horses.

Jessi is taller than Kristy.

Jessi hordes her money, like Kristy.

Jessi will very occasionally narrate something like “I prayed that…” instead of hoped or wished. She seems to be at least tiny bit religious. Her family attends church when they’re back visiting in New Jersey.

Jessi loves going to zoos. Yay! I’ll go with you, Jessi.

Jessi takes French classes.

Jessi is the only African-American in the sixth grade at SMS.

Jessi has long eyelashes which she must have inherited from her father, as her mother has short eyelashes and long eyelashes are dominant.

Jessi prefers to wear pastels to compliment her complexion.

In FF#10 Stacey’s Problem, it’s implied that Jessi and Mallory are drifting apart.


Jessi’s Family

Jessi--short for Jessica--moves from New Jersey with her family in #14 Hello, Mallory.She lives with her parents John Philip Sr and Janice (according to the BSC wiki), younger sister Becca (Rebecca), and baby brother Squirt (John Philip Jr). In #36 Jessi’s Baby-sitter, her paternal aunt Cecelia moves in with them to help around the house after Jessi’s mom gets a job. The Ramseys also acquire a hamster named Misty in #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter.

Jessi’s parents had two late miscarriages, probably even late enough to be considered stillbirths, between Becca and Squirt. The pregnancies were lost far enough along for them to know that one was a boy and the other a girl. Jessi’s mom would have had to undergo surgery or even induced labor depending on the gestational age, with the knowledge that there would be no baby to raise after. How heartbreaking.

When Jessi wakes up for ballet practice, her mom does too.

Jessi’s mom knows how to sew.

When Jessi’s aunt Cecelia comes to live with them, it’s heavily implied that she’s been recently widowed. But no one ever expresses sympathy or sadness at her husband’s death. Cecelia has an adult son, Michael, who is married and lives in New York City.

Aunt Cecelia is Mr. Ramsey’s older sister. There are two brothers older than she; no word if Mr. Ramsey is the youngest of four or if there are other siblings.

Aunt Cecelia has a husky laugh per #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker. #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! reveals that she smokes, so this makes sense.

Becca has terrible stage fright. Later on, Becca is in the same Christmas pageant as the Pikes are in Baby-sitters’ Christmas Chiller. So not only has she gotten over her stage fright, it seems she and her family attend the same church as the Pikes. Jackie Rodowsky is also in the pageant, for what it’s worth.

Becca, at age eight, still believes in Santa, which isn't unreasonable.

Becca’s favorite TV show is The Cosby Show, like Charlotte Johanssen. She's also very interested in the fictional series P.S. 162, the one that Derek Masters is in.

Becca has a rock collection, of rocks she thinks are interesting rather than specific types.

Becca has a good appetite, and especially likes tacos.

Squirt was very tiny when he was born, which is how he got that nickname (maybe prematurity or intrauterine growth restriction played a role in the miscarriages/stillbirths). His full name is John Philip Ramsey, Jr. But when Jessi writes a letter to her dad in Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation, she addresses it to Alex Ramsey.

Squirt amuses his sisters by doing fake sneezes. My younger brother used to do the same thing, and my older daughter has recently learned the same trick.

Squirt gets Goodnight Moon as part of his bedtime routine. I have that book memorized.

The Ramseys have cable.

The Ramseys took a vacation to Mexico at some point before Jessi’s introduction to the books.

Most of Jessi's extended family lives in Oakley, NJ; many within walking distance. She's always been pretty close to her cousin Keisha.

9/18/13

Mallory

Books narrated: 13

#14 Hello, Mallory! (no ghostwriter)
#21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins
 (no ghostwriter) my favorite Mallory book
#29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary (no ghostwriter)
#39 Poor Mallory!
 (no ghostwriter)
#47 Mallory on Strike
 (ghostwriter: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#54 Mallory and the Dream Horse
 (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym)
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#69 Get Well Soon, Mallory
 (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#80 Mallory Pike, #1 Fan
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#92 Mallory’s Christmas Wish (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#108 Don’t Give Up, Mallory! (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#126 The All-New Mallory Pike (gw: Ellen Miles)

M#3 Mallory and the Ghost Cat (gw: Ellen Miles)

Portrayed by Mehgan Andrews in the TV show and Stacey Lynn Ramsower in the movie (sharing not only Stacey's first name, but Claudia's middle name!). None of the TV episodes are centered around her.

Mallory-3  (tied for fourth with Jessi)
Toby, Ben Hobart, unnamed boy she meets in a writing workshop while at boarding school

Only Mallory and Claudia don’t move from their original houses during the series; Mallory ends up spending most of the academic year at boarding school. She becomes an honorary member as her school is in Massachusetts.

Mallory has blue eyes. Depending on the book her hair is either brown with red highlights or fully red. It’s always thick and curly.

When Mallory got her ears pierced in Mallory and the Trouble with Twins her parents expressly wanted her to enjoy wearing “fun” earrings but in Poor Mallory! she’s only allowed to wear studs or hoops (before her dad’s laid off, too).

Mallory is taller than Kristy. She's about 5' 2".

Mallory knows calligraphy, and how to sew.

Mallory’s favorite vegetable is artichoke. She also likes bagels.

Mallory is always cold.

Mallory has had chicken pox twice. The second bout left her with scars in "unmentionable" places.

Mallory talks in her sleep.

When calling, Mallory lets the phone ring seven times before giving up on either a person or an answering machine picking up. My dad taught me the exact same thing.

Deep, dark secret: even though they're not little kids, Jessi and Mallory still play pretend that they're horses.

The most difficult school subjects for Mallory are science and math. Obviously, she does well in English and writing classes. She plans to make enough of a living with her writing to one day pay for a nose job.

Mallory joins an archery team during the series and remains interested for most of the rest of the books. She is also the sixth grade treasurer for a while, but no need to replace her is mentioned when she transfers schools.

Mallory seems to correct Claudia on her spelling issues and other things more than the rest of the BSC. On the one hand, it’s sort of rude when she interrupts as Claudia’s speaking; but on the other, at least someone is helping Claudia spell things right on the posters she makes for the club.

In the Friends Forever book Stacey’s Problem, it’s implied that Jessi and Mallory are drifting apart.


Mallory’s Family

Mallory lives with her parents John and Dee, and seven younger siblings: triplets Jordan, Adam, and Byron; Vanessa, Nicky, Margo, and Claire. All the Pikes have blue eyes (Vanessa, Nicky, and Mallory are near-sighted). All but Mallory have brown hair, and some books describe hers more as having a reddish tinge to the brown. When the Pikes are first introduced, it’s mentioned they have a cat named Sarge. But by #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter, the Pikes are described as having always been pet-less. They get a hamster (Frodo) in that book, and in #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy they take in Pow from the Barretts after Marnie develops an allergy to the basset hound. In #104 Abby’s Twin, Pow is overweight, which is especially bad for his breed.

From Boy-Crazy Stacey: Byron loves to eat and is sensitive, Margo gets carsick (she's also later described as bossy), Claire is silly, Vanessa rhymes and is a slowpoke, Mallory is romantic, Nicky feels overlooked and ignored, Jordan plays piano, and Adam's only trait is that he's a triplet.

Depending on which book you read, the only food all the Pike kids like is either spaghetti or some monstrosity called Daddy Stew. Other books indicate that they all enjoy breakfast foods, too, although Jordan doesn't like waffles. Margo seems to be the only younger Pike to really enjoy vegetables.

Several of the Pikes know how to knit, judging from the gifts they give in Mallory’s Christmas Wish.

Mallory’s family goes to church at least semi-regularly, enough that they participate in the Christmas pageant every year.

All the Pikes like to read. Good job, parents. On the other hand, it’s Mallory who reads them bedtime stories…

The Pike kids all get an allowance, but the amount isn't specified.

The Tooth Fairy leaves a quarter for each Pike tooth. Twenty baby teeth times eight kids times twenty-five cents…forty dollars total. If you think that makes the parents cheap, my brothers and I got a dime each and there are only three of us: six bucks.

Mrs. Pike makes all the kids lunches for school every day.

Mallory’s mother’s maiden name is Bennett. She’s the second of five children.

Mrs. Pike is good with computers and enjoys using them.

Mrs. Pike is one of the library trustees. She also volunteers for Meals on Wheels every Monday. She also does temp work sometimes.

Mr. Pike is a corporate lawyer. He’s laid off for a while but finds another law job. It took a while for the Pikes’ finances to recover. Depending on the book, he’s named John or Daniel.

Since Jeff Schafer refers to the triplets as JAB and they’re usually named in that order, I’d assumed the birth order went Jordan, Adam, Byron. Beware, Dawn! vaguely hints that Adam is the oldest triplet, then Byron, then Jordan. The All-New Mallory Pike states that Jordan is the oldest triplet and Stacey’s Problem that Byron is the youngest. Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost says that Adam is forty seconds younger than Jordan. While it is possible to not have a c-section with triplets, the forty second gap leads me to suspect they were a c-section birth.

If the triplets were indeed a c-section, it’s likely given the time frame of the books that the rest of the Pikes would have been c-sections, since VBACs were uncommon in the eighties and nineties (and even in some areas now). A lot of OBs will recommend no more than five c-sections as more than that increases the chances of complications. The triplets, Vanessa, Nicky, Margo, and Claire make five c-sections. So perhaps Mrs. Pike had her tubes tied during the c-section with Claire, or Mr. Pike had a vasectomy after Claire.

The Pike triplets play on a hockey team with Jeff Schafer, at least until he moves back to California.

The triplets start playing The Wandering Frog People game in #9 The Ghost at Dawn’s House.

Jordan plays piano. He’s also very ticklish.

Byron is established as the big eater way back in #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day.

Byron gets along with Nicky better than Adam and Jordan do. After Mallory leaves for boarding school, Byron becomes sort of the odd man out among the triplets, mostly because he’s more mature.

Mallory and Vanessa have had a morning tradition of Mallory telling Vanessa the weather in exchange for a poem. After Mallory leaves, Vanessa plans to pay Nicky a nickel a week for the weather report. She’s a deep sleeper, so wants to avoid opening her eyes as long as possible.

Vanessa takes ballet.

Nicky sunburns easily, like Mallory.

Nicky likes coin collecting.

Nicky Pike’s finger remains slightly crooked from when he broke it Hello, Mallory.

While Margo is described as being uncoordinated, she can peel a banana with her feet.

Margo and Claire know how to sew, at least a bit.

Claire always wears a watch on her right wrist, despite not being able to tell time. In earlier books she threw amazing temper tantrums, but seems to largely outgrow it as the series progresses.

9/15/13

Dawn

Books narrated: 25

#5 Dawn and the Impossible Three (no ghostwriter)
#9 The Ghost at Dawn’s House (no ghostwriter) my favorite Dawn book

#15 Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn (no ghostwriter)
#23 Dawn on the Coast (ghostwriter: Jan Carr)
#31 Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister (no ghostwriter)
#37 Dawn and the Older Boy (gw: Mary Lou Kennedy)
#44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#50 Dawn’s Big Date (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#57 Dawn Saves the Planet (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#64 Dawn’s Family Feud (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#67 Dawn’s Big Move (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#72 Dawn and the We ♥ Kids Club (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever (gw: Nola Thacker)
#84 Dawn and the School Spirit War (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#88 Farewell, Dawn (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters (gw: Peter Lerangis)

M#2 Beware, Dawn! (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#7 Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#12 Dawn and the Surfer Ghost (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#18 Dawn and the Halloween Mystery (gw: Ellen Miles) my favorite Dawn mystery

M#26 Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter (gw: Ellen Miles)

Dawn’s Book (gw: Jeanne Betancourt)

Dawn, Diary 1 (no ghostwriter)
Dawn, Diary 2
 (gw: Jeanne Betancourt)
Dawn, Diary 3
 (no ghostwriter) my favorite Dawn CD

Portrayed by Melissa Chasse in the TV show and Larisa Oleynik in the movie. The TV episodes "Dawn and the Dream Boy" and "Dawn Saves the Trees" are centered around her.

Dawn’s Crushes-5 (third place)
Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Price Irving, Richie Magnesi

Dawn joins the BSC in #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day. The event is celebrated with a pizza toast. She becomes an honorary member when she moves back to California permanently in #88 Farewell, Dawn.

Dawn hates dim rooms and has lots of lamps each with 100 watt bulbs. That seems odd for environmentally-conscious Dawn. It sounds like her room has only one little porthole for a window.

At first, Dawn simply avoids red meat. By #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! Dawn is fully vegetarian. But she eats chicken on the plane in Super Special 5 California Girls. The first time Dawn ever chewed gum was in #50 Dawn’s Big Date. It was sugarless, of course.

Dawn is neat, as in tidy, when introduced in #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day. In #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three, Dawn seems more distressed by messy things like spilled food than disorganized things like her house. That will fit better with the continuity, but not perfectly. #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary describes Dawn as “the world’s neatest person.” But in #31 Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister, Dawn thinks it’s completely bizarre and nearly OCD to have separators in the utensil drawers to keep the forks, spoons, and knives separate from each other. By mystery #5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic she’s officially described as messy.

Dawn doesn't like little kids to play with toy guns, but doesn't mind other toy weaponry like swords. (Although in Dawn's Portrait Collection book, an elementary-school-aged Sunny disagrees with all violent play, including swords)

Dawn wears about the same size clothing as Claudia. In Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister, Dawn and Mary Anne trade clothes back and forth. But by Here Come the Bridesmaids! they wear clothes of completely different sizes. Dawn is taller than both Mary Anne and Mallory, which means she’s also taller than Kristy. She has blue eyes.

Dawn was born eight days after her due date. A while after that, Dawn was entered in a “Beautiful Baby” contest by her mom…and won.

Dolphins are Dawn’s favorite animals. She also seems to like unicorns. She bought a little unicorn charm for a bracelet in Baby-sitters on Board and has unicorn stationery in Dawn’s Big Date.

Dawn likes to sleep in late. On a related note, she likes to analyze dreams.

Dawn hates the cold.

Dawn knows what tequila tastes like.

Dawn has taken sailing lessons in California, before her parents’ divorce.


Dawn’s Family

Dawn is introduced in #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day, having recently moved from California with her mom, Sharon, and younger brother Jeff following her parents’ divorce. Jeff moves back to California shortly after, feeling too homesick and out of sorts in Connecticut. Her mom dated Mary Anne’s dad in high school, and upon meeting, their romance rekindles. They marry, making Dawn and Mary Anne stepsisters. Dawn eventually feels the same draw to California and moves back. Her father, Jack, remarries too, to a woman named Carol. The wedding takes place during an extended visit that Dawn has before permanently moving back. Carol later gives birth to a baby girl, Gracie.

Sharon marries Mary Anne’s dad when the two have been on about thirty dates (thirty since reuniting after high school). It’s unclear whether Dawn’s mother took Richard’s last name after they married. Her maiden name was Porter...same name as the neighbor that Karen Brewer thinks is a witch!

Dawn’s mom had never owned a vacuum cleaner until she married Richard.

Sharon is works as a real estate agent or for a small accounting business depending on the book, and later wants to get a degree in architecture. She volunteers with Meals on Wheels.

Sharon has short, curly blonde hair. She drives a Subaru Outback (she wanted an all-wheel drive car for the Connecticut snow, and Subarus come with AWD standard). She doesn't drink coffee per Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister. Sharon loves the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

Sharon sees a kinesiologist.

Dawn describes Mary Anne as the world's best stepsister, but Richard only as a "pretty nice" stepfather. Funny.

The Schafer house in California is consistently described as a one-story U-shaped building, with a sort of courtyard in the middle. Dawn’s father’s house has a bright yellow door. The school she and Jeff attend there is called Vista.

Dawn's parents divorced in the fall, but her mom waited until after Christmas to move across the country. I've seen lots of criticism for such an upheaval, and I agree that it's a lot to put two kids through. At least she waited until the holidays were over, and moved the kids at what is usually the start of a new school semester.

Dawn’s dad might have been having an affair. In The Baby-sitters Remember Dawn recalls him staying out late and having inconsistent stories about where he was. The divorce was granted for “irreconcilable differences.” Dawn says her parents divorced because her mom is "disorganized and [her] dad just couldn't live with that." They were married for about fifteen years, like Stacey’s parents.

Dawn’s dad starts dating Carol in Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister. She’s a painter and drives a red sports car. Carol must not have much family or not be close with them or they were unable to travel, as no siblings or parents or anyone is mentioned attending her wedding.

Holy crap, Carol's OB ordered bedrest so strict she can't even get up to use the bathroom. I've heard of bedrest where the woman can only get up to bathe once every ten days. But Carol...she should almost be hospitalized for the remainder of the pregnancy if it's that bad. Between the bedrest and a long maternity leave, Carol had about a year off from work. She breast-fed Gracie, once in front of Ducky, which made him feel incredibly awkward.

Jeff loves making bad puns. He’s also a Grateful Dead fan.

Jeff didn't really get to know Richard before he married Sharon. It’s not even totally clear if they’d ever shared more than a few words before the wedding.

Dawn's brother play ice hockey with the Pike triplets.

Jeff has a weakness for chocolate cake.

Dawn's maternal grandfather is a banker.

9/12/13

Mary Anne

Books narrated: 31

#4 Mary Anne Saves the Day (no ghostwriter)
#10 Logan Likes Mary Anne!
 (no ghostwriter)
#17 Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery
 (no ghostwriter) my favorite Mary Anne book
#25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger
 (no ghostwriter)
#30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance
  (no ghostwriter)
#34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys (ghostwriter: Mary Lou Kennedy)
#41 Mary Anne vs. Logan
 (no ghostwriter)
#46 Mary Anne Misses Logan
 (no ghostwriter)
#52 Mary Anne +2 Many Babies
 (no ghostwriter)
#60 Mary Anne’s Makeover
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#66 Maid Mary Anne
 (gw: Nola Thacker)
#73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss
 (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC
 (gw: Nola Thacker)
#93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden
 (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
#102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#109 Mary Anne to the Rescue
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#121 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight
 (gw: Diane Molleson)
#125 Mary Anne in the Middle
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#131 The Fire at Mary Anne’s House
 (gw: Ellen Miles)

M#5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic (gw: Ellen Miles) my favorite Mary Anne mystery
M#13 Mary Anne and the Library Mystery
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#20 Mary Anne and the Zoo Mystery
 (gw: Jahnna Beecham/Malcolm Hillgartner)
M#24 Mary Anne and the Silent Witness
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#31 Mary Anne and the Music Box Mystery
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#34 Mary Anne and the Haunted Bookstore
 (gw: Vicki Berger Erwin)

Mary Anne’s Book (gw: Jeanne Betancourt)

FF#3 Mary Anne’s Big Breakup (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
FF#8 Mary Anne’s Revenge
 (gw: Nola Thacker) my favorite Mary Anne FF
FF#11 Welcome Home, Mary Anne (gw: Ellen Miles)

Portrayed by Megan Lahey in the TV show and Rachel Leigh Cook in the movie. The TV episode "Mary Anne and the Brunettes" is centered around her.

Mary Anne’s Crushes-2 (tied for sixth with Kristy)
Alex, Logan Bruno (she dates Logan from #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! to FF#3 Mary Anne’s Big Breakup with a break spanning #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan to #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan)

Mary Anne loves New York.

Mary Anne takes French class at SMS.

Mary Anne bites her nails.

In #31 Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister, Dawn and Mary Anne trade clothes back and forth. But by SS#10 Here Come the Bridesmaids! they wear clothes of completely different sizes. Until a growth spurt mentioned in #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke, Mary Anne is the second shortest student in her grade.

Mary Anne still dresses up her stuffed animals, according to Claudia’s narration in #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls. However, in The Summer Before Mary Anne is only interested in making some clothes for a set of dolls that belonged to her mother, so Claudia might have mistaken.

Mary Anne learned to knit from Mimi. She later teaches Claudia to knit.

Mary Anne and Logan say “I love you” to each other in Snowbound! Seems pretty serious for a middle school relationship, but I didn't date until high school. (I was allowed to as far as I know; I was just never asked out until I was almost 17. Made up for lost time by meeting a guy the first day of college and marrying him before starting senior year of college.)

Mary Anne wears reading glasses. Mary Anne got contact lenses to replace her reading glasses in #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three (her dad gets contacts in the same book). Now, I'm nearsighted enough that it's easier for me to read books without corrective lenses, so I could be wrong, but it seems like that would be more of hassle than glasses if she only needs them for reading.

Mrs. Thomas has been like a mother to Mary Anne. They never seemed that overly close, though, especially when compared with Mary Anne’s relationship with Mimi. Maybe Mrs. Thomas was always the one Mary Anne felt she could ask about girl things or whatever but it's never shown.

Mary Anne wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Mary Anne think Robin Williams is the funniest actor.

Mary Anne loves getting the mail. So do I!

Mary Anne occasionally attends church, presumably with Richard and maybe Sharon and Dawn, at a Presbyterian church. In #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day she and Richard say grace before eating, but #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC shows that they no longer do so, which indicates they may have become less religious over time.

Mary Anne has brown eyes and brown hair. According to The Summer Before, Mary Anne had bangs to go along with her braids. 

She and Kristy have a similar face shape.

Depending on the book, Mary Anne either has no desire to ever pierce her ears (most common), resents not being allowed to, or as in the case of The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier, has pierced ears.

After her father’s remarriage, Mary Anne was overwhelmed with a lot of things and saw a therapist several times. She never mentions it until the chain letter book in which she reveals a secret to Claudia. Claudia keeps Mary Anne’s secret very well, respecting her privacy as a good friend should. By Claudia and the Perfect Boy it seems Mary Anne is comfortable with telling the other BSC members. I really like that Mary Anne didn't have one big thing that set this off, because that seems more believable and, I think, gives a good message that sometimes you might feel off for no good reason and if you can't shake it, it's okay to get help despite not having a "good reason" for feeling down.

The Prezziosos, Pikes, Braddocks, and McGills apparently live close enough to Mary Anne to wake up from the fire and come over in the middle of the night to offer help and comfort. The Prezziosos, by the way, are really nice people. They lend Sharon their cell phone for a day to call insurance agents, family, and so on and they bring the family food and clothes while they’re outside in shock watching their house burn. In Stacey and the Missing Ring, the Prezziosos defend the BSC’s reputation when a new client accuses Stacey of stealing a diamond ring. For all the flack the BSC gives them, the Prezziosos, while a bit odd, are very sweet and loyal.

By the time of the Friends Forever series, Mary Anne and Dawn have grown apart. Mary Anne doesn’t think of Dawn as a best friend anymore.


Mary Anne’s Family

Mary Anne is an only child who lives her father, Richard. Her mother is deceased. Mary Anne also has a kitten named Tigger, adopted from a shelter in #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! Her father rekindles a relationship with a high school sweetheart, who just happens to be Dawn Schafer’s mother Sharon, and they marry in #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance. Mary Anne and her father move to the Schafer’s house in #31 Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister. Their house burns down in #131 The Fire at Mary Anne’s House and they renovate the barn, moving back to the property in FF#11 Welcome Home, Mary Anne.

It seems that Mary Anne’s mother was already ill when Mary Anne was born, or shortly became ill shortly after. Mary Anne was formula-fed, which I would assume had something to do with her mother’s health (but in the formula-centric BSC land, who knows). She was only 25 when she died. Mary Anne was six months old.

Mary Anne's mother was named Abigail in the older versions of the Mary Anne Saves the Day, but the newer ones are updated to have her named Alma. She also went to high school in Maryland...but Mary Anne's grandparents live in Iowa and clearly have for some time. The new cover version also says she grew up in MD.

Mary Anne’s mom played for her college basketball team.

Mary Anne’s mom is mentioned in the present tense in both Logan’s Story and Stacey’s Choice. In both instances it could mean Sharon, but Mary Anne doesn’t call Sharon her mom so it really reads like Alma is back from the dead.

Mary Anne’s mom was an excellent baker. Her maiden name was Baker, coincidentally.

Mary Anne's dad tries so hard to raise her well. Too bad he goes overboard, but you can tell he really has her best interests in mind. One understandable example: Mary Anne's room hasn't changed since she was three. I bet that has a lot to do with her dad putting up the stuff her mom had gotten for Mary Anne and not wanting to take them down.

Richard still uses the same watch he did as a child.

According #68 Dawn’s Big Move, Richard can imitate Goofy. He also rings the doorbell to his own house to get in. Twice. Hasn't Sharon given him a key yet? He doesn't seem the type to lose his key. In fact, I bet he’d be like my dad and keep a spare to both the house and his car in his wallet.

Mary Anne’s father won’t let her talk on the phone on school nights, from how Kristy describes it.

Richard likes jazz.

Richard knows how to braid, which indicates to me how hard he worked to raise Mary Anne alone. My first real understanding that boys and girls are different came when I asked my dad to braid my hair and he didn't know how.

Mary Anne’s dad marries Dawn’s mom after going on about thirty dates (thirty since reuniting after high school). Mary Anne’s dad dated other people before reconnecting with Sharon.

The Schafer-Spier house didn't have an adequate number of smoke detectors until Richard insisted.

Mary Anne's paternal grandfather was a mailman.

9/9/13

Stacey

Books narrated: 32 (the most of any character!)

#3 The Truth about Stacey (no ghostwriter)
#8 Boy-Crazy Stacey
 (no ghostwriter)
#13 Goodbye, Stacey, Goodbye
 (no ghostwriter)
#18 Stacey’s Mistake
 (no ghostwriter) my favorite Stacey book
#28 Welcome Back, Stacey!
 (no ghostwriter)
#35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
#43 Stacey’s Emergency
 (no ghostwriter)
#51 Stacey’s Ex-Best Friend
 (no ghostwriter)
#58 Stacey’s Choice
 (no ghostwriter)
#65 Stacey’s Big Crush
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#76 Stacey’s Lie
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#83 Stacey vs. the BSC 
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#87 Stacey and the Bad Girls
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#99 Stacey’s Broken Heart
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#105 Stacey the Math Whiz
 (gw: Peter Lerangis)
#111 Stacey’s Secret Friend
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#119 Stacey’s Ex-Boyfriend
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#124 Stacey McGill…Matchmaker?
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
#130 Stacey’s Movie
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)

M#1 Stacey and the Missing Ring (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#10 Stacey and the Mystery Money
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#14 Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#18 Stacey and the Mystery of the Empty House
 (gw: Ellen Miles) my favorite Stacey mystery
M#22 Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#29 Stacey and the Fashion Victim
 (gw: Ellen Miles)
M#33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts
 (gw: Ellen Miles)

Stacey’s Book (gw: Jeanne Betancourt)

FF#2 Stacey vs. Claudia (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
FF# 6 Stacey and the Boyfriend Trap
 (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
FF#10 Stacey’s Problem (gw: Suzanne Weyn)
 my favorite Stacey FF

Portrayed by Jessica Prunell in the TV show and Bre Blair in the movie. The TV episodes "Stacey's Big Break" and "Stacey Takes a Stand" are centered around her, and she shares the spotlight with Kristy in the Christmas special.

Stacey’s Crushes-13 (second place)
Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, RJ Blaser,  Robert Brewster, Ethan Carroll, Wesley Ellenburg, Ross Brown, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Terry Hoyt AKA David Hawhtorne, Jeremy Rudolph, Sam Thomas

Stacey’s birthday is in April. The day isn’t given (I think it can be found in some extras), but the time is specified in her Portrait Collection book as 1:50am. One of my nephews was born at 1:50 pm! When Stacey turned four, she had a fancy birthday dinner during which the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to her. Pavarotti was in the crowd, too.

Stacey has blue eyes and blonde hair. Stacey has one hole pierced in each ear. She loves to wear black, as it looks sophisticated and sets off her blonde hair. She starts out getting her hair permed often. According to #18 Stacey’s Mistake and Super Special 2 Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation, Stacey stops getting perms and gets body waves instead. As of mystery #33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts, Stacey no longer does that either and gets it cut short, above her shoulders.

As a young child, Stacey had vivid nightmares.

Stacey has a savings account.

Stacey drinks coffee in Baby-sitters’ Christmas Chiller, but Stacey and the Boyfriend Trap, which was published later, says she and Ethan, who’s fifteen, are too young to drink coffee.

Stacey’s dad has promised her earrings from Tiffany’s when she graduates high school.

Stacey loves going to zoos. So do I! I bought myself a zoo membership for my birthday last year, and I take my daughters a couple times a month. She loves the Marx brothers and the smell of lilacs, two more things she and I have in common. Stacey’s favorite movie is Mary Poppins. Nope, my favorite is The Shawshank Redemption. Mary Poppins is okay, but nowhere near the top for me. Stacey adored Cinderella as a young child. My favorite Disney movie as a kid was Dumbo.

Stacey hates ironing and can’t stand vomit. I’m right there with you, Stacey.

It’s mentioned in Stacey’s Problem that she has a cell phone. Given that she commutes on the train to visit her dad, that makes sense.

In Snowbound! Stacey claims to have never fallen in love, which means that LUV doesn’t count.

Stacey has a great memory for numbers; she says they “imprint” on her brain, so she can memorize a phone number almost instantly and the number will stay with her for a long time.

Stacey has taken French since kindergarten. She continues taking French at SMS.

Due to her diabetes, Stacey can't eat the processed cheese that's on pizza, according to Mary Anne Saves the Day. Doesn't stop her from eating pizza other times.

Revealed in Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation: Stacey tests her urine as well as her blood for signs of diabetes problems. And for some reason Mary Anne knows that Stacey tests her urine. Why would that come up in conversation?

Stacey often brings her own lunch to school according to Kristy for President. Makes sense with her dietary restrictions. The only BSC member who doesn’t think the fact that Stacey injects insulin (TO SURVIVE) is gross is Claudia.

It’s mentioned during the course of the original series that Stacey reads Agatha Christie and does needlepoint. She must have forgotten the last bit at some point, because in the first Friends Forever Super Special, she decides to learn needlepoint.

Stacey can imitate Porky Pig.


Stacey’s Family

Stacey is introduced as having just moved from New York City with her parents, Ed and Maureen. Her father is later transferred back. Her parents divorce soon after, and Stacey and her mother move back to Stoneybrook. Stacey’s father becomes engaged to a woman named Samantha toward the end of the series. Stacey’s mother doesn’t date anyone seriously, but does decide to open her own clothing boutique, and has her named changed back to her maiden name, Spencer.

Kristy’s Great Idea tells us that Stacey’s parents have been married 15 years. Stacey’s dad proposed during a carriage ride in Central Park. So Stacey’s mom got pregnant about a year into the marriage. Around the time of Stacey’s diabetes diagnosis in her sixth grade year, they learned they were unable to have any more children. When Stacey’s dad later gets engaged to Samantha, she says she wants to have children with him, possibly indicating that the secondary infertility was a medical issue of Stacey’s mom’s. The secondary infertility is part of why Stacey’s parents became so overprotective of Stacey with regards to her diabetes.

The divorce seems to have stemmed from a combination of Stacey’s dad being a workaholic and her mom spending too much money, possibly out of boredom. Stacey’s mom seems to be more bitter about the divorce, while Stacey’s dad moves on faster, already engaged to Samantha before Stacey’s mom has dated anyone seriously.

Stacey’s mom enjoys jogging.

In The Fire at Mary Anne’s House, Stacey's mom makes a stack of sandwiches for Mary Anne's family and the firefighters while the house burns. That's very thoughtful of her.

Stacey’s mom drives a rear-wheel drive car. She’s not a confident driver, especially in snow (rear-wheel drive cars are the worst for snow, by the way; they handle like a shopping cart).

Stacey’s mom likes Vivaldi, and this fact is referenced more than once.

Stacey’s parents go to a church service in Stacey’s Mistake but other than that aren’t shown to have any religious leanings.

Stacey’s dad has a fax machine in his apartment.

Stacey’s dad was born and raised in New York City. He didn’t get a driver’s license until he was 20. He attended college at Wesleyan.

Samantha (Stacey's soon-to-be stepmother) wants to have kids. Assuming the infertility issues that plagued Stacey's parents after she was born aren't an issue this time around, Stacey is excited at the prospect of having a sibling or siblings.


Stacey has an Aunt Carla and Uncle Eric who have a daughter named Cheryl, and an Aunt Beverly and Uncle Lou who have children named Jonathan and Kirsten. Stacey prefers the latter family. Both families live in New York City.