May 1, 2013
Summary: For Valentine’s Day, Stacey and Pete Black organize a fundraiser for the eighth-grade class involving valentine-grams. A bunch of the middle schoolers buy valentines for their boyfriends and girlfriends, some write them for crushes, and some send joke valentines to get people’s hopes up, because that’s what middle schoolers do. Then the valentines disappear, and notes surface commenting on what people wrote.
There are a number of suspects: Alan, Cokie, Cary, Stacey’s ex Robert, and even Pete. Their motives aren’t known, so the BSC girls start investigating. They find out that Pete has a crush on Emily Bernstein and sent her a valentine, but it’s possible he stole them all back so she wouldn’t see it. (Though why wouldn’t he just take his own back?) Cokie and her boyfriend are having trouble; she sent him a bunch of valentines but he didn’t send her any. Robert has been acting so weird that Andi, the girl he almost cheated on Stacey with, asks her to talk to him. (He’s not the thief, he’s just depressed.)
Cary looks more and more like the thief, especially after the girls see a striped sleeve photocopied with one of the valentine-grams, then see him wearing a striped shirt the next day. Stacey asks him if he had anything to do with the theft, but he has an alibi, since he was at the dentist. Then Stacey realizes that he gave his alibi before he knew the timeframe she was trying to nail down.
Cary says he isn’t the thief, but he knows who it is – someone who was about to receive a joke valentine from a girl he had a crush on. Stacey puts together that he’s talking about Alan. She questions him, but she feels so bad for him that she gives him the chance to return the valentines with no punishment. He does, and everyone’s satisfied.
In the B-plot, the BSC girls throw a “Valentine’s festival” for their charges. It’s not a festival, it’s a lame party. They just ask the kids what they want so everyone’s happy.
Thoughts: I wish Alan hadn’t been the culprit. The thief should have turned out to be someone completely unexpected, and Cary shouldn’t have been involved at all. It was too obvious.
Kristy wonders if the Hobarts know about Valentine’s Day. Kristy, they lived in Australia, not on the moon. Also, they’ve been in the series for, like, nine Valentine’s Days already.
Abby wants to “check out” Cary and “keep an eye on him.” That’s my girl.
Mary Anne calls Pete shy, but since when? He’s the class president, and they don’t tend to be shy.
The BSC runs a focus group for their Valentine’s party. Kristy has officially lost her mind.
I’ve never Xeroxed a sleeve, so I don’t know for certain, but I’m pretty sure stripes wouldn’t show up on the copy.
When Stacey questions Cary, he’s in the school basement, chilling in an armchair. It’s like he’s in a secret lair. I love it.
January 9, 2013
Summary: Stacey meets a new girl at SMS, Tess Swinhart, who’s nice but seems a little weird. Stacey thinks she just needs a makeover; she always wears pink, she never wears makeup, and her hair isn’t styled like anyone else’s. Due to the pink thing, Tess’ slightly porcine nose, and the fact that the first part of her last name almost contains the word “swine,” Alan gets everyone at school to start calling Tess “Swine-heart” behind her back. Tess is pretty oblivious and doesn’t get it when people start oinking at her. There’s also a comic book circulating about Swine-heart the Destroyer. Stacey decides not to tell Tess anything because…well, good question.
Since makeovers fix everything, Stacey tries to take Tess on as her project (a la Cher and Tai). She gets her to read some magazines, puts some makeup on her, and encourages her to wear something other than pink. Tess humors her a little but clearly couldn’t care less about whether or not her clothes are trendy or “in.” Most of the time, she just ignores Stacey, which is smart, because Stacey gets super-annoying. She also keeps saying she’s not Tess’ friend, since no one likes Tess and I guess, as Cher would say, Stacey’s “stock would plummet.”
At a football game, the students vote on a new mascot by applauding when Stacey and other students hold up signs with pictures of their choices. Stacey holds up a pig and everyone goes wild. She doesn’t realize until it’s too late that the pig picture has been replaced by a drawing of Swine-heart the Destroyer. Tess is so shocked at the reaction that she falls off the bleachers and breaks her ankle. She’s furious with Stacey and orders her to leave her alone.
Even though everyone knows Stacey would never switch the pictures, a bunch of people tell her that she wasn’t much of a friend to Tess. She just thought of Tess as a project and didn’t tell her what people were saying about her behind her back. Though, in Stacey’s defense, she did warn Tess not to trust a guy named Clarence King who asked her out, since Stacey thought it was some sort of scheme. But anyway, Stacey feels bad about everything and apologizes to Tess. While at Tess’ house, Stacey discovers that Tess lived in France, and her wardrobe is in style there. So suddenly Tess is cool.
The BSC girls band together with Tess and another girl, Barbara (who was best friends with Amelia and has become good friends with Tess), to enact some stupid 13-year-old revenge on Clarence. They mess up Clarence’s clothes and take pictures, then threaten to share them with everyone at school if Clarence and Alan don’t leave Tess alone. And then I don’t think Tess is ever mentioned in the series again.
The B-plot is kind of clever: Jackie Rodowsky and Nicky Pike have been acting weird. In fact, Nicky seems overly protective of Jackie. Eventually Abby learns that some kids were hassling Jackie, so he hired Nicky to be his bodyguard. I guess Nicky is intimidating or something? Why not hire the triplets?
Thoughts: This book brings up an interesting question: If you knew someone was being mocked behind her back, would you tell her? I think I would, because if I were the person being mocked, I’d want to know.
Stacey says that Alan has no sense of humor about himself, but aren’t a lot of his jokes at his own expense?
Tess and her friends once carved a bunch of ducks, painted them to look realistic, and put them in a river to confuse people. I’d rather hang out with that group than the BSC girls.
Nicky, up in a tree with Jackie: “We were practicing invisibility.” Claudia: “Well, practice visibility and come down from there.” That cracked me up, for some reason.
Moral of the story: Solve your problems with blackmail.
October 2, 2012
Summary: Apparently Stoneybrook has a Fashion Week. Who knew? They’re having some runway shows and shooting a catalog at Bellair’s, and Stacey’s hired to be one of the models (who are all teens, for some reason). Cokie is also hired but manages to not be all that annoying in this book. Stacey thinks there’s a mystery afoot when one of the models, Harmony, drinks tea that makes her sick. Everyone starts freaking out that she’s been poisoned, but no one even takes her to a doctor or calls the police, so it’s pretty dumb.
Then some clothes are ruined and weird notes start turning up, so the BSC girls start playing detective. No one seems to specifically be a target, even after Stacey and Harmony fall off the roof (onto a lower level of roof) during a shoot. There are a ton of suspects (the other models, the heir to Bellair’s, a photographer) but there are so many characters that it’s impossible to figure out anyone’s motive. In fact, it’s hard to even remember which model is which.
But somehow, Stacey figures out that Harmony is the culprit. Her mother is a typical stage mom who keeps pushing Harmony to model even though Harmony doesn’t like it. She poisoned herself, wrote the notes, and loosened the railing in hopes that she would have an excuse to drop out of Fashion Week. Stacey and the other BSC girls tell her to, you know, talk to her mother instead of putting people’s lives in danger.
In the B-plot, a bunch of the BSC’s charges are tired of their parents smoking, so they organize a play on the Great American Smokeout called the Great Stoneybrook Smokeout. It’s a good message for the book’s younger audience, but since we’ve never heard about these people smoking before, it’s not that affecting.
Thoughts: Not only are there too many suspects to keep track of, the whole plot is anticlimactic. Stacey basically has an epiphany, then sets Harmony up to get caught writing a message. There’s a teeny confrontation and Harmony agrees to stop doing stuff. That’s…it.
The models have seven minutes to change looks during their first show. That must be the longest runway show ever.
Why do the models keep talking about “assignments”? The girls are walking a runway. They’re not competing in challenges or doing projects. They’re putting on clothes and trying not to trip.
Not that I object to anti-smoking education, but it’s not really a sitter’s place to lecture kids about it. They need to let the parents parent.
Stacey wears a pink jumper. Did she raid Mallory’s closet?
August 13, 2012
Summary: Stacey joins the Mathletes, because math is cool, you guys! It’s not dorky at all! She’s awesome at it, becoming one of the highest scorers in the state. Her father loses his job and starts visiting her a lot, which she enjoys but which annoys her mom. He’s very Disneyland Dad, as Dawn would say. Between his activities and the Mathletes, Stacey’s schedule is pretty full.
Inevitably, the two worlds collide: Mr. McGill wants to take Stacey to a concert the same night as one of the state championships. Instead of just explaining the situation, she decides family is more important than the competition and agrees to go to the concert. Then she changes her mind and decides being there for the team is more important. Of course, her father agrees and supports the decision.
The night of the first of the three state championships, the Stoneybrook team wins, and a bunch of people decide to go out to celebrate. Stacey goes off with her parents, learning that her father has a new job, and winds up not making it to meet with her friends. Then she thinks they’re all mad at her for ditching them. She’s really just projecting because she’s mad at her father for not being able to make the second meet. She’s also mad when it looks like he won’t make it to the third meet. But he does, and they win, and everyone’s happy, yay.
The B-plots involve Claudia tutoring Lindsey DeWitt in math (no, seriously) and some math fair at the elementary school, but seriously, an entire book about math makes me itchy, so I don’t want to go into it.
Thoughts: I know this book is supposed to show that math is cool, but I will never, ever fall for that.
Here’s an idea for the Barrett/DeWitts: Hire a real tutor for Lindsey, not a babysitter.
It’s ironic that Mrs. McGill complains about Mr. McGill’s spending when one of the things they used to fight about was her spending.
There don’t appear to be any parents at the elementary school’s fair, so…way to support your kids, adults of Stoneybrook.
The final question of the final state-championship meet is the same brain teaser Lisa couldn’t solve on The Simpsons.
May 3, 2012
Summary: The Walkers, Stacey’s favorite clients in New York, ask her to come visit for the week and look after their kids while they put together an art show. Stacey agrees but is sad to leave Robert, who’s been acting kind of funny. For example, he’ll say he’s playing basketball with his friends, then wind up doing something else. Andi, one of the bad girls, is hanging around him a lot, too. Someone sees him out with another girl and lets Stacey know, so Stacey and Claudia stalk him but don’t see anything particularly incriminating.
While Stacey’s in New York, Claudia calls to let her know that Robert’s been hanging out with Andi. Well, not just hanging out. Making out. Stacey’s surprised to find herself less upset than she’d expected. It may have something to do with Ethan, a guy who’s been working with the Walkers and hanging out with her and the kids while she babysits. Ethan and Stacey have more in common than Stacey and Robert did anyway. (Sounds like he’s hotter, too.)
When Stacey gets back to Stoneybrook, Andi’s waiting for her, wanting to tell her about the cheating. Stacey tell her she already knows, adding that Robert isn’t hers to control, so if they want to be together, they can. She then tells Robert that they’re done, obviously. He pulls that “I hope we can still be friends” crap, but fortunately, Stacey isn’t ready for that. She’s totally ready for some Ethan lovin’, though.
In other storylines, Kristy’s off to Hawaii with her family, and Abby’s the acting president. She wants to throw a big Mexican festival to benefit an orphanage, but she’s not as organized as Kristy and doesn’t do well with the budgeting aspects of the event. The other BSC girls try valiantly to help out, but things barely come together. Because, you know, Kristy is the best at everything, so don’t even pretend you’re better than her.
Thoughts: Someone majorly screwed up – in Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter, Kristy had just left for Hawaii. At the beginning of this book, she’s about to leave. But Dawn isn’t in this book, and in the previous one, there was no mention of Stacey and Kristy being gone at the same time. So it’s like the two books are set in the same time period, but none of the events are the same.
Freaking A, this summer just WILL NOT END.
I guess unicorns, like sheep, are in, because that’s what Claudia has on her shirt.
I love this exchange:
Henry (five years old): “The Rice Krispies fell on the floor and I spilled the milk.”
Stacey: “Bummer. What did your mom do?”
Henry: “She looked up at the ceiling and said, ‘Give me strength!’ How could the ceiling give her strength?”
Grace (three years old): “Cereal is not heavy.”
Ghostwriter, it’s 1996. It’s time for Stacey to stop getting perms.
January 16, 2012
Summary: Stacey wants to take Robert to a Broadway play for his birthday, which means she needs to babysit as much as possible so she can buy tickets. A job comes up for a family named the Cheplins; they need a sitter every afternoon right after school until 5:30. Even though it leaves her little time for homework, her friends, her mom, Robert, and other sitting jobs, Stacey takes it.
Mrs. Cheplin is hesitant at first since Stacey’s only 13. But Stacey wins her over with the fact that she has diabetes, which Dana Cheplin has just been diagnosed with. Mrs. Cheplin gives Stacey a bunch of household work to do along with watching the kids and helping them with their homework. Though she claims she still isn’t comfortable with the arrangement, only extending the deal two weeks at a time, Mrs. Cheplin keeps giving Stacey more and more responsibilities and paying her more for them.
Stacey’s happy with the money, but soon realizes how much time and energy the job is taking. She has to miss out on plans she’s made with Robert, her friends, and her mom so she can complete homework and do other things she isn’t able to do during the week. Dana has a diabetes-related emergency one day, and though Stacey handles it very responsibly and maturely, Mrs. Cheplin is still clearly not impressed with her.
On Valentine’s Day, things really start to come apart. Stacey forgot to buy Robert anything and finally tells him why she’s been working so hard. Then, after she has a particularly hectic day at the Cheplins’ but still only gets a two-week extension of the job, Stacey tells the BSC girls about all the chaos. They note that the money she’s been making isn’t as important as everything else in her life. Stacey realizes that she’s turning into her workaholic father and tells Mrs. Cheplin she can’t keep working for her every day. Robert may not get to go to Broadway, but Stacey’s still happy.
In the B-plot, Logan wants to buy Mary Anne a ring for Valentine’s Day. He asks Stacey for help picking it out, but she’s busy (of course), so she suggests that he ask Kristy instead. Charlotte and Becca spot Logan and Kristy ring-shopping together, and when they see him put the ring on her finger, they think Logan’s a two-timer and Kristy’s a home-wrecker. They spread the news to a bunch of other kids, and suddenly Kristy starts getting hate mail from eight-year-olds. She has no idea why kids are mad at her; her only idea is that some of the Bashers are mad at the Krushers.
When the news comes out and Logan tells the kids what was really going on, his sister Kerry admits that she canceled his and Mary Anne’s Valentine’s Day reservations (thinking he was going to take Kristy out instead). To make things up to them, the kids make them dinner, which is actually really sweet.
Thoughts: Kristy actually wants Stacey to turn down the job at the Cheplins’ because she won’t be free for other jobs. So she wants Stacey to say she can’t sit so she can…sit. Kristy, you’re a horrible businesswoman. I get her not wanting Stacey to sit every day, but can’t the girls split up the job? Turning it down completely would be a huge loss.
…Although Mrs. Cheplin is a huge bitca. I would never be able to handle working for her. She leaves Stacey two- and three-page-long lists of chores, such as doing laundry and starting dinner, which she’s expected to do in just over two hours, while helping the kids with their homework. She questions Stacey every time she can’t complete some task, like she’s testing Stacey to make sure she can handle everything. But they’re the sorts of things that a stay-at-home mom or housewife would complete over the course of a whole day, not in just a couple of hours. Then when Stacey finally tells her she has to quit, Mrs. Cheplin says it’s because she’s not mature enough for the job. Girl, please! She was more mature than any 13-year-old should be expected to be!
Mary Anne and Logan bring their own pencils to the bowling alley to keep score. Cough nerds cough.
December 10, 2011
Summary: SMS is holding a Halloween Masquerade on Mischief Night, the night before Halloween. It’s the first masquerade in 28 years because the last one held there ended with a stampede, and a teacher died of a heart attack. Stacey’s really excited about the dance, so she joins the planning committee, which is headed by a teacher named Mr. Rothman. Cokie and Grace are also on the committee, and Grace hates everything the others come up with, while Grace is at least brave enough to have her own opinion.
Someone has been pulling off pranks at school, and the pranks lead to vandalism against the dance decorations and posters, plus graffiti that reads, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” The BSC girls suspect that someone doesn’t want the dance to go forward. They really only have two suspects: Mr. Wetzler, a school board member who was very vocal about his anti-dance stance (say that five times fast), and a group of students called the Mischief Knights, who were responsible for the original pranks. For some reason, no one suspects new student Cary Retlin, though his attitude indicates that pranks would be right up his alley.
The BSC girls decide to look into the last masquerade and learn that a girl was somehow involved. They also discover that Mr. Wetzler and Mr. Rothman were both students at the time. Stacey talks to Mr. Wetzler, pretending to be writing about the budget for the school paper, and he tells her there was a girl involved somehow. More research, this time in the off-limits school basement, leads the girls to the name Elizabeth Connor. It turns out she lived in the Johanssens’ house, so Stacey and Mary Anne make sure they’re looking after kids there together, then search the house. The only thing interesting they find is a heart drawn in the cement that says LC + MR – Liz Connor + Michael Rothman.
The next time Stacey sees Mr. Rothman, she decides to throw her cards on the table and tells him she needs information about Liz. He tells her everything: He was popular and Liz wasn’t, and his friends paid him $10 to take her to the masquerade as a joke. He felt bad about it but didn’t want to compromise his popularity. The last dance of the evening was to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and afterward Liz found out what was really going on. She ran off, and moments later the fire alarm went off and the lights went out, causing the stampede. After that, Liz left school and no one heard from her again. Mr. Rothman thinks Liz could be back in Stoneybrook.
Fast-forward to the masquerade (which isn’t really a masquerade since everyone knows who everyone else is). In the bathroom, Stacey runs into a teacher who was dancing with Mr. Rothman and has had her cloak stolen. Stacey figures out that Liz took the cloak and is now wearing it while dancing with Mr. Rothman. She reveals herself, and…we cut to the BSC girls telling Shannon what happened. (LAME!) Though nothing really happened, as Mr. Rothman just took Liz out of the gym and I guess got her help. Apparently Liz had some mental problems that accelerated after the original masquerade, and she’s spent 28 years obsessing over what happened. And that’s pretty much how the book ends.
The B plots involve Grace telling people she’s coming to the dance with a guy no one thinks exists, but who actually does, and the kids the club sits for all being obsessed with Ghostbusters.
Thoughts: The Mischief Knights are kind of lame, but I’m mainly impressed a bunch of middle schoolers can spell “mischief.”
There’s a big deal made about this being the first Halloween masquerade at SMS in almost 30 years, but there were Halloween dances in Mary Anne’s Bad-Luck Mystery and Kristy’s Mystery Admirer. So is there some difference here between a masquerade and a regular dance? A masquerade usually involves a mask, but at least some of the students don’t wear them.
I think I had a little crush on Cary when I was younger. Good girls do like bad boys after all. And I’m with Kristy: He makes things interesting.
The structure of this plot doesn’t really work for me. No one knows who Liz is until the last third of the book, so there’s no way for the reader to figure out what’s going on. They should have made the culprit the son or daughter of the teacher who died at the original masquerade.
October 14, 2011
Summary: Stacey’s been spending a lot of time with Robert’s friends, since she and the BSC girls are still on the outs. They’re all bored during the summer, and Stacey’s home alone most of the time, so her new friends (Sheila, Jacqui, Heather, and Mia) come hang out with her. Stacey’s mom is clearly not thrilled about this, and after letting Stacey laze around for a little while, she tells her to get a job.
Stacey winds up working in Bellair’s childcare center, and her friends wait around for her every day so they can all hang out. They keep going shopping but act weird, not letting Stacey see the things they’ve gotten and asking her to buy weird stuff with her employee discount. Eventually they tell her that they buy the stuff at a 10% discount and return it for full price. Stacey doesn’t like this, but she’s too chicken to say anything, so she puts up with it. She also doesn’t want Robert to think she doesn’t like his friends, or put him in the position of having to choose between them and her.
The girls are all obsessed with a group called U4Me, and they get tickets to a concert. Well, they make Stacey wait in line to buy all their tickets while they go off and do other stuff. At the concert, the girls start drinking and smoking, which is how we know they’re bad. Stacey still doesn’t want to say anything, and she declines to drink, because she’s a good girl (and also because alcohol would screw up her blood sugar). The girls start getting rowdy (the Devil’s drink, you know) and get pulled out by security. Their parents are called and they’re all in major trouble, including Stacey, even though she didn’t actually do anything.
While this is all going on, Dawn’s mom’s cousin is in London for three weeks with his wife. They send their six-year-old daughter Amy to stay with the Schafer/Spiers, even though she’s never been away from her parents, she’s never met the Schafer/Spiers, and IT’S FOR THREE FREAKING WEEKS. Amy hates almost every second of her stay, and Mary Anne and Dawn aren’t too thrilled with her either.
One day while they’re playing hide-and-seek, Amy runs off and winds up at Bellair’s, somehow. Stacey knows who she is since, unlikely as it sounds, Claudia’s been reading her stories from the club notebook. She calls Dawn and Mary Anne, who come get Amy. From everything that’s happened, Stacey realizes that she doesn’t really like her new friends and she wants to hang out with the BSC girls again. Claudia goes to bat for her and gets her back in the club, though she’s on probation.
There’s also a very brief mention of Sunny’s mom having lung cancer and Dawn wanting to go back to California to be with her, but there will be more on that later.
Thoughts: Mia: “Stacey, you are sooo middle class.” First of all, that’s not an insult. Second, you can get your rich white butt out of my house.
Stacey’s really a doormat in this book. I usually think of her as pretty confident, so it’s interesting to see her act differently around a different group of people.
Stacey’s mom tells her to watch out for pickpockets. In Stamford. Stamford, Connecticut. It’s even more pathetic when you remember that they’re from New York.
July 27, 2011
Summary: Stacey has been spending a lot of time with Robert and his friends (which is why she kept missing meetings and jobs in Jessi and the Troublemaker), and the BSC girls don’t like it. Stacey’s started to feel more mature than the other girls and wonders if she’s outgrowing them and the club. She gets so caught up with her new friends that she misses more jobs, keeps showing up late to meetings, and complains (to herself) about the BSC girls’ perceived immaturity.
Admittedly, the girls are being a bit childish, especially Dawn and Mary Anne, who are basically spying on Stacey. They show up at her house while she’s throwing a party for a bunch of her new friends; the only BSC girl she invited was Claudia, who felt strange not telling the other girls about the party. The girls are helping their charges put on a talent show, and Stacey skips out on it so she doesn’t have to see them, which upsets Charlotte, who was nervous about playing the piano there.
This is the last straw for the BSC girls, who lay out everything Stacey’s been doing lately. They’re especially mad at her for hurting Charlotte (which I agree was a pretty rotten move for her to make). Stacey announces that she’s tired of Kristy being bossy, of having to come to meetings three times a week, and of the BSC girls’ immaturity. She quits, and Kristy tries to save face by firing her, but either way, Stacey’s out of the club. The final scene is her going to Charlotte’s piano recital at 5:30 on a Friday.
Thoughts: I remember being so shocked by this book when I first read it. People don’t leave the BSC! It’s like the mob – the only way you get out is when you die!
“Kristy reported that Melody did not live up to her name.” Ha!
Why would Dawn agree to go to a place called Burger Town? And why would Kristy and Mary Anne take her there? They’re just asking for a night full of whining.
Charlotte knows how to correctly use an apostrophe. Charlotte is smarter than most American adults.
Stacey calls Mallory meek, but I wouldn’t say that’s true at all. Dorky, yes; meek, no. Mary Anne’s the meek one.
Kristy, I don’t think you can fire someone from a club. Nice try, though.
June 18, 2011
Summary: Stacey takes care of the Johanssens’ dog, Carrot, while they’re out of the country, and quickly begins to notice weird things around the house. Carrot chews up some paper, empty garbage cans are no longer empty, and a vase is broken. First Stacey thinks she’s just being forgetful, but after she hears about an escaped prisoner who may be in the area, she starts freaking out. She also finds a hairbrush with red hairs in it (none of the Johanssens has red hair), which is a good indication that she’s not just imagining things.
The BSC girls decide that one of them needs to go over to the Johanssens’ every time Stacey’s there. But they don’t call the police to tell them someone may have broken into the house, because that would just be foolish. Jessi remembers that you can see the Johanssens’ house from her place, so the BSC girls have a sleepover there to keep an eye on the house. They also use some special feature on the answering machine to listen to what’s going on in the house. Their semi-stakeout doesn’t turn anything up, though.
The next morning, Stacey and Claudia go to the house to walk Carrot and see a phone number written on a notepad. Stacey calls the number, which is for the train station. The girls go to the station and spot a guy with red hair. Moments later, the Johanssens get off the train and greet the man. It turns out he’s a friend of theirs who has an open invitation to stay at their house whenever he’s in town, even if the Johanssens aren’t there. He left Stacey a note to let her know he was around, but she figures out that it was the paper Carrot chewed up. The guy was also out until late every day and up early every morning, which is why Stacey never saw him. Mystery solved!
Meanwhile, it’s almost Christmas, and Kristy wants to do something cool for all the BSC’s charges. The girls are supposed to go on a sleigh ride, and Kristy decides to take all the kids. But she makes the mistake of telling a couple of the kids about it, even though it can only happen if it snows. So all the BSC’s charges are really excited about something that might not happen, and Kristy’s freaking out about the possibility of no snow. Fortunately for her, it snows. The kids also give the BSC girls presents perfectly suited to their personalities and interests.
Thoughts: Once the mystery is explained, it’s a pretty big letdown. Also, Stacey’s dumb for not telling an adult that there could be an escaped criminal hiding out in the house she keeps going to.
I’m surprised the Johanssens don’t call home at all to check on Carrot or the house. But, of course, that would mean they would mention the houseguest to Stacey and ruin the mystery.
Robert keeps making fun of Carrot’s name, calling him Celery and Rutabaga, which is pretty funny, because really, who names a dog after a vegetable? Also, the word “rutabaga” is just funny in and of itself.
I love that Stacey thinks a schnauzer will protect her from an escaped prisoner.
Stacey wears a silk teddy. The ghostwriter must not know what a teddy is. And she wears it under a bunch of other clothes, for the sleigh ride, which makes no sense. How would that help keep her warm? Maybe the writer meant she was wearing it as a camisole under an itchy shirt?
The kids give Claudia a big basket of junk food, Mallory a sketchbook, and Logan…a painted rock (which they call a paperweight). Do they hate him?