July 4, 2020

Netflix’s BSC 1.3, The Truth About Stacey: How to Handle a PR Nightmare

Posted in TV tagged , , at 3:16 pm by Jenn

Stacey looks like she’s running for seventh-grade class president

The BSC girls don’t yet know that Stacey has diabetes, and though they’re clearly curious about what she’s hiding, they don’t ask any questions. Stacey’s worried about losing her new friends like she lost all her old ones in New York, but the BSC girls are different. They like Stacey no matter what.

Lacy Lewis (formerly Liz; Michelle has the same name as in the book, but we never meet here here) moves in on the BSC girls’ territory with the Baby-sitters Agency, telling the girls that all’s fair in love and the free market. She also chastises them for not supporting other women. Pretty rich considering what she does to Stacey later on: After the BSC girls rat her out for ignoring Jamie during a sitting job, Lacy sends out a video someone took at her old school of Stacey going into insulin shock.

The fallout of the original circulation of the video humiliated Stacey and led the McGills to move to Stoneybrook. Now Stacey thinks history will repeat itself. It’s especially bad because the BSC’s clients might not think she’s fit to watch their kids because she’s not in perfect health. Kristy is a PR genius and gets out ahead of any potential scandal by calling a meeting with clients to discuss the situation. Stacey even offers to resign if the parents will feel better. Dr. Johanssen puts an end to everything by admitting that she noticed Stacey’s pump long ago and has seen how she manages her illness while watching Charlotte. If Dr. Johanssen, an endocrinologist, thinks Stacey’s fine to sit, the other parents can’t disagree. Forget the BSA sitters with their later curfews and greater experience. The BSC girls have better client-relation skills.

The details:

  • As any 21st century type 1 diabetic would, Stacey has an insulin pump. At first she hides it, partly because she’s desperate to keep her condition quiet and partly because her mother pressures her to. In truth, her mom just wants to protect her from going through what she went through at her old school again. After Stacey comes clean about having diabetes, she decorates the pump and stops trying to hide it.
  • The girls call Mrs. Newton by her first name. It makes me itchy.
  • Kristy comes up with the idea for Kid Kits in pretty much the same way as in the book.
  • Kristy prepares to fight the BSA by reading The Art of War, because of course she does.
  • Like in the book, Stacey falls for Sam the second she meets him. Here, he’s much more of a typical teen boy (as is Charlie) than in the books. He and Kristy talk to each other like normal siblings (“idiot,” “dummy,” etc.).
  • Kristy’s mad about how marriage is tied to the patriarchy and asks her mom if she’s going to start walking behind Watson. Her mom says yes – and from now on, everyone has to call her Ofwatson. Elizabeth is awesome.

The differences/changes:

  • Charlotte is Asian, and either younger than she is in the books or…not as bright. She says she’s going to “make a jewelry.” She also doesn’t seem to be as paralyzingly shy as in the books.
  • The McGills don’t go back to New York to take Stacey to doctors, so Laine hasn’t been introduced yet.

September 4, 2013

BSC Mystery #36, Kristy and the Cat Burglar: One Last Case

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 8:10 pm by Jenn

Who picked these colors? What drugs was that person on?

Who picked these colors? What drugs was that person on?

Summary: Kristy’s out for a walk with her younger siblings when they run into Cary, who’s bird-watching. (What? 13-year-old boys don’t do that? You liar!) They check out a nearby mansion, and they’re near it when they hear what sounds like a gunshot. Sgt. Johnson is on the case and tells the kids that there may have been a break-in. The security guard on duty was called away because his wife was taken to the hospital, and while he was gone, someone broke in and stole some diamonds. Sgt. Johnson was tipped off beforehand that there was going to be a crime.

Sgt. Johnson is joined by a couple of other officers, one of whom is a jerk because he wants to be the chief but Sgt. Johnson is the more likely candidate. The cops investigate, and but it’s Kristy who finds a drawing of a cat on the mailbox, which indicates that the robber was the uncreatively named Cat Burglar who’s been committing break-ins on the East Coast.

The BSC girls start their own investigation and come across the marker used to draw the cat, plus a bullet casing. They also meet the mansion’s owner, whose name is – and I am totally telling the truth here – Reinhardt Golem. He thinks they’re awesome for being little detectives and encourages them to solve the case. He suggests that a business rival, Ben Birch, may have robbed him for revenge.

Things aren’t looking so great for Sgt. Johnson, though. He investigated Golem in the past, after another burglary, and the marker found at the crime scene belonged to him. The call that got the security guard away from his post was about a fake emergency, and Sgt. Johnson was on the scene before anyone else, so he could have easily been there without being spotted. Plus, there are diamonds in his desk, so that’s probably not good. Sgt. Johnson gets arrested, and though the BSC girls find it strange that someone they know as a good guy would commit a crime, they have to admit that the evidence against him is pretty strong. Sgt. Johnson, however, swears that he was framed, and that the marker and bullet casing were planted at the crime scene after it was searched.

Kristy still thinks something’s fishy, so the girls (and Cary, who at this point is practically an associate member of the club) dig a little deeper and find an indication that the cop who hates Sgt. Johnson may have framed him. Kristy, Cary, Abby and Mary Anne head to Golem’s house to give him the news while the other girls go to a restaurant where he eats whenever he’s in town. At Golem’s, Kristy spots a lamp that was supposedly stolen during a previous burglary at one of Golem’s houses, and she realizes that he’s been pretending to be robbed so he can collect the insurance money.

Golem figures out that Kristy figured it out and decides to lock the kids in his house while he jets off to Paris. But the club members who went to the restaurant learned that Golem was there when he was supposedly in Paris, which means he was in town during the burglary. They send the police over to Golem’s, and the almost-kidnapped four are rescued.

Cary goes to a BSC meeting, where the girls lament being snowed by Golem, who really didn’t seem suspicious, which made this a good twist. Also, it turns out Ben Birch was one of his aliases, another good twist. The girls decide that they need to stop playing detective, at least for now, since this mystery almost put them in danger. And that’s why this is the last mystery.

In the B-plot, Charlotte goes all Harriet the Spy on everyone and almost loses some friends.

Thoughts: I can’t believe we don’t get any explanation of the name Reinhardt Golem.

The police don’t put up crime-scene tape. Way to go, guys.

“There’s just something about [Cary] that makes you think he’s up to no good. For example, the fact that he’s often up to no good.” Heh.

Golem seems like a smart criminal until you realize he was dumb enough to display “stolen” goods in his house. And that even if he’d gotten out of the house before the police arrived, he told Kristy and the others where he was going, so it’s a pretty good bet that the police would have tracked him down.

July 27, 2011

BSC #83, Stacey vs. the BSC: You’re Fired

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 9:58 pm by Jenn

Geez, Kristy, were you born in a barn?

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.

January 22, 2011

BSC Mystery #10, Stacey and the Mystery Money: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Posted in books tagged , , , at 8:11 pm by Jenn

This actually happened! Yay, cover artist!

Summary: Stacey goes shopping with Charlotte and accidentally spends a counterfeit bill. Oh, yeah, there are counterfeiters in Stoneybrook. She gets questioned by the police, which kind of traumatizes Charlotte, and the BSC girls decide that they want to crack the case. (Charlotte and Becca help out.) They research counterfeit money and how it’s made, then stake out various places in town that have color copiers that could produce counterfeit bills.

At the same time, Stacey has a crush on a new guy at school, Terry Hoyt. His family has moved around a lot, he won’t tell anyone what his dad does, and when Kristy sits for his little brother, Georgie, she’s told not to open a certain closet in the house. The BSC girls suspect that the Hoyts have something to do with the counterfeit bills, giving Stacey another reason to try to solve the case, since she wants to prove their innocence.

Stacey suspects her English teacher is involved, since he was in Bellair’s when she used the counterfeit bill and keeps showing up at places with copiers, but the BSC girls aren’t able to prove anything. Stacey tells Terry about what she and her friends are investigating and is surprised when he seems to know a lot about counterfeit money. Out with Charlotte one day, Stacey sees a guy stashing a bag, and when she opens it, she finds a ton of counterfeit money. Instead of calling the police like a normal person, she calls the BSC girls and Terry. Claudia brings a camera, which Stacey uses to take pictures of the man, who turns out to be someone Claudia saw in an office-supply store.

Instead of taking the pictures to the police, Terry tells Stacey they can take them to his father. It turns out his father is with the Secret Service and was sent to Stoneybrook to investigate the counterfeiters. Stacey gives Mr. Hoyt the pictures she took, and later learns that they were instrumental in breaking up the counterfeit ring. So Stacey’s a crimefighter, but the Hoyts leave town, never to be mentioned again. And then Stacey gets back together with Sam. Wow, sucks to be Terry.

Thoughts: Trivia: Kids in Stoneybrook love the escalators at Bellair’s. Kids in Stoneybrook need to get out more.

Charlotte gets stick-on earrings. Remember those? They were awesome.

“Charlie had been staring at Tasha [Terry’s twin sister]. Obviously he thought she was something special.” Ew, Charlie, she’s 13!

“I, personally, am so excited to know that there are counterfeiters in Stoneybrook.” Yep, Mallory is just as lame as I thought.

What kind of guy introduces himself using his full name? Terry is weird.

Shannon is randomly in a bunch of scenes in this book. What’s up with that?

Terry knows how dangerous counterfeiters can be, and yet he lets Stacey stake one out and doesn’t call the police. Wow, nice guy.

How mad must those counterfeiters be that they got busted by a bunch of 8-, 11-, and 13-year-olds?

December 30, 2010

BSC #65, Stacey’s Big Crush: 13 Going on 30

Posted in books tagged , , at 1:27 pm by Jenn

Stacey looks a lot younger than she usually does on covers. Like, nine

Summary: Stacey has a student teacher in her math class, a 22-year-old college student named Wes, and it takes her about five seconds to fall completely in luuuuuuuuuv with him. And not just luuuuuuuuuuuv, but that kind of obsessive, stalkery love 13-year-olds are prone to. She fantasizes about him, tries to run into him in the halls, and writes him a poem (see below). She also stays after school a couple of times to help him organize some papers, and in one instance scores a ride home from him (inappropriate alert!). Stacey really, really thinks there’s a future there, despite their nine-year age difference and the fact that he’s an adult while she’s not even in high school.

After Stacey gives Wes her love poem, he grows uncomfortable around her, but she still thinks there’s something there. No, she really thinks a 22-year-old has a crush on her. She even turns down Sam when he asks her to a school dance, because she thinks Wes will want to be with her there. And though Wes does dance with her, he also finally tells her directly that she’s great and all, but…you know, she’s 13. It ain’t gonna happen. Stacey’s heart is broken, but we all know Wes will be completely forgotten by the next book.

In the B plot, Dawn and Mary Anne take care of a goat. I don’t want to talk about it.

In the C plot, Charlotte has a similar situation to Stacey’s – she has a huge crush on a guy named Bruce (though at least he’s her age), and she winds up writing him a poem. Only Bruce’s reaction is very different from Wes’s: He starts stalking Charlotte (though in a harmless, eight-year-old way). Charlotte handles the situation by hiding from Bruce, and it actually pays off, as Bruce just transfers his affection to someone else.

Thoughts: I can’t say I’ve never been in Stacey’s shoes, having a crush on an older guy when I was way too young for him (I was probably 12 while he was about 18), but I never took it as far as she did. And I never suffered under the delusion that anything could actually happen. Stacey’s kind of…crazy in this book. And not the fun kind of crazy. The Glenn-Close-in-Fatal-Attraction crazy.

Trivia: Stacey’s dad went to Wesleyan.

Stacey’s math teacher says Wes is getting his master’s, but Wes says he’s a senior getting his BA, which makes more sense, since he’s at a community college (though later he says he lives in a dorm). But why can’t the ghostwriter keep things straight over less than 20 pages?

Stacey’s poem to Wes:

I see two stars in summer’s night,
Hovering, lost, in blinding light,
Each so dull in heaven’s net,
So each remains, as yet unmet.

But Fortune moves in strangest ways;
It lengthens nights, it shortens days.
May this night end, and day begin
And bring two young people back again.

I wish I could include the I’s dotted with hearts.

Bruce’s poetic response to Charlotte’s poem:

Roses are red,
Red’s the same as scarlet;
Sugar’s sweet,
And so is Charlotte.

Watch out, Vanessa Pike.

Stacey notes that she can’t drink the punch at the dance, since it’s ginger ale and Hawaiian Punch, but then a few pages later, she does. Maybe they should put this girl on suicide watch.

June 1, 2010

BSC #43, Stacey’s Emergency: Therapy for Everyone!

Posted in books tagged , , , at 10:53 pm by Jenn

I love the antennae!

Summary: Stacey’s tired of having diabetes, sticking to a diet, not feeling well, etc., so she starts sneaking chocolate. She starts feeling worse and worse until, on a visit with her father in New York, she ends up in the hospital. That’s pretty much the whole book. Eventually she yells at her parents to stop fighting and using her as a go-between, and the three agree to communicate better. Sadly, no one suggests that they all go to therapy, which is clearly what they all need.

Speaking of people who need therapy, Charlotte responds to Stacey’s illness by becoming a hypochondriac/drama queen. The girl knows way too much about various medical conditions for an eight-year-old. She “recovers” when she learns Stacey will be okay, and that’s the end of that.

Thoughts: I would totally stay at Charlotte and Becca’s Grand Sparkle-Glitter Hotel. (I imagine Adam Lambert performs there nightly.)

Mary Anne asks Stacey to bring her table scraps from anyone famous she meets in New York. While we’re on the subject of therapy, has anyone suggested taking Mary Anne to a psychiatrist? Also, I would like to second, third, and courth what Kristy says: “If, for whatever reason, I ever wind up as a celebrity, don’t let Mary Anne near me.” Hee hee hee.

Who brought Stacey a hat that says “Daddy’s little hunting buddy”? It sounds like something I’d get for one of my friends as a joke. These are the same people who would give me birthday cards that said, “Happy fifth birthday to Grandpa’s little girl.”

March 21, 2010

BSC #35, Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook: Can’t There Just Be a Normal House in This Town?

Posted in books tagged , , at 4:16 pm by Jenn

It's okay, Charlotte. Early '90s fashion was scary for everyone

Summary: Charlotte’s parents go out of town for a week and leave her with Stacey and her mom. (This isn’t that important, it just explains why Charlotte’s in the book so much.) Stacey and Charlotte see some kind-of-but-not-really weird stuff around an old house in the neighborhood and get it in their heads that it’s haunted. Of course. They start looking into the house’s history, getting the other BSC girls involved as well, and learn that Stoneybrook was built on an ancient burial ground. Uh, of course. The house is being torn down, and the old owner, who the girls bug in his nursing home, thinks that “disturbing the earth” will make the spirits of the people buried underground freak out.

While there’s no word one way or the other if Stoneybrook really was built on an ancient burial ground (my guess: no), all of the “mysteries” surrounding the house are solved. And the old owner dies. Like we care. Then the book ends. Really, really anti-climactic.

Thoughts: According to Stacey, Charlotte “knew it was an honor to be invited to a club meeting. Not too many ‘outsiders’ had attended meetings.” One, you’re a babysitting club, not a gang. Two, who wants to tell her that that was a decision made voluntarily?

The Thomas/Brewer kids sing lullabies before bed (dorks), and David Michael’s favorite is the Ghostbusters theme. Rock on, David Michael.

Stoneybrook being built on ancient burial grounds isn’t nearly as cool as being located on a Hellmouth.

There’s no way Claudia would figure out that she could use tax records to find out who owned a piece of property. Sorry, but no.

January 18, 2010

BSC Super Special #2, Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation: Drink Every Time Charlotte Cries

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 5:41 pm by Jenn

Lamest kickline ever

Summary: The BSC girls all go to summer camp to serve as counselors in training (CITs), except for Mallory and Jessi, who are too young. All of the obligatory kids-at-summer-camp plots are included: Someone falls in luv, someone gets poison ivy, someone goes on a camping trip, there’s a food fight and a dance, and there’s a whole subplot about…racism? Geez, let’s make things extra-serious, why don’t we?

Since it’s a Super Special, that means everyone gets a plot:

Stacey becomes a hypochondriac and thinks she has Lyme disease, when she really has poison ivy, a ton of mosquito bites, and a couple other minor ailments. She lands in the infirmary for a few days and then recovers. Thrilling, huh?

Dawn deals with a girl in her cabin who’s quiet and doesn’t want to hang out with the other girls. When the group goes on an overnight camping trip with an inept counselor and they all get lost, the quiet girl takes charge and gets everyone back to camp safely.

Jessi and Mallory are taunted by their cabinmates for, basically, being new and not both being white. They also are put in charge of teaching a group of eight-year-olds a dance for a talent show. They transform their foes through THE POWER OF DANCE, and everything’s good in the end, except one girl still won’t talk to them, but who wants to be friends with a racist anyway?

Claudia falls in luv at first sight with a guy named Will from the boys’ camp, and spends the book either trying to find out who he is or hanging out with him. This is pretty much because every BSC book involving a trip has to involve a love connection of some kind.

Kristy deals with problems similar to Mary Anne’s, in that her co-CITs want to change her. She also has to put up with Charlotte Johannsen, who spends pretty much the entire book crying because she’s homesick.

Mary Anne tries to prove to her co-CITs that she’s cool and sophisticated (and also that Logan, who’s at the boys’ camp across the lake, actually exists). She tries to sneak around the lake to deliver a hideous love letter to Logan (more on that below) and even tells her co-CITs they can pierce her ears so they’ll see her as cool. Everyone chills out when they realize that Logan isn’t a figment of Mary Anne’s imagination after all.

Logan puts up with his annoying co-CITs who tease him about Mary Anne’s love letter (trust me – you would, too) until they meet her and see that she’s not a complete wreck. Sort of.

Thoughts: I think I enjoyed this book so much as a kid because I never went to overnight camp. (If I had, I would have been the Charlotte of the group.) Taken separately, the individual plots are pretty dull, but together, they’re not horrible. They’re still pretty predictable and generic, though.

It always bugged me that in this book, we’re told that Jessi’s father’s name is Alex when it should be John, since Squirt’s real name, as we’re told in every book, is John Philip Ramsey, Jr. Oops!

Dawn says of a camper, “She reminded me an awful lot of Mallory. Only in a good way.” I think if I were Mallory, I’d be insulted. Doesn’t that imply that you can be like Mallory in a bad way?

What kind of 11-year-old calls another 11-year-old an Oreo? Kindly remove yourself from civilization until you can actually be civil, Maureen.

The exchange between Kristy and Tansy, her co-CIT, upon their first meeting cracks me up:

Tansy: “My name’s Tansy. I know it’s a weird name. It means someone who’s tenacious. In Middle Latin. I mean, it’s the Middle Latin word for tenacious. So I don’t mind the name at all. It’s an important one.”

Kristy: “I looked my name up in a book once and I couldn’t find it.”

Tansy: “I need new nail polish.”

Once again, Claudia’s the funniest girl in the club. Boys unexpectedly show up at her cabin and people freak out.

Leann: “I’m changing!”

Vanessa: “I’m naked!”

Claudia: “I’m Claudia.”

She also puts an inchworm on her co-CIT’s pillow “to see how she’d react.” Four pages later, we get this: “‘There’s a worm on my bed!’ she cried, and darted across the cabin, out of worm’s way. (Oh, so that’s what would happen if Sally found an inchworm on her pillow.)” Hee.

So here’s Mary Anne’s letter to Logan in its entirety. She actually writes it as a joke, hoping her co-CIT will find it and see how sophisticated she is. Yeah, tell me if this sounds sophisticated:

Dear Logan,

I miss you so much! I am counting the days until next Wednesday. This next week will seem like a year. I think of you and want to swon swoon. Oh, to feel your arms around me at the dance! It has been too long since our last kiss.

I will be wearing the formal teepee wear, of course, and a yellow ribbon in my hair. What of you, my love? Will you wear your after-shave? If you were to bring me a yellow flower to match my ribbon, I would melt in your arms.

Love forever, kisses and hugs,

Your love-bunny,

Mary Anne XXOO

The love-bunny also calls Lake Dekanawida, which no one can pronounce or spell correctly, Lake Dukakis. Heh.

Is getting your ears pierced at camp, like, a thing? It happens in The Parent Trap, too. And why does Mary Anne’s co-CIT have a big needle with her at camp? Just in case this sort of situation arose?

December 5, 2009

BSC #15, Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn: Sabrina Bouvier is the Swan Brooner of Stoneybrook

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 10:45 pm by Jenn

You call those pageant smiles? You're sloppy! Sloppy babies!

Summary: The BSC girls get a little jealous when Charlotte’s parents request Claudia as her sitter because she’s close to Stacey and Charlotte misses her so much. So when Mrs. Pike asks Dawn to help Claire and Margo get ready for a beauty pageant, Dawn accepts, wanting to prove that she’s just as good a sitter as Claudia is. This leads Mary Anne to back Myriah Perkins, Kristy to help Karen, and Claudia to pressure Charlotte into joining in the festivities. All the girls suck except Myriah, who comes in second (even though she should have won because the girl who does win, Sabrina Bouvier, can’t carry a tune). Mallory and Jessi provide snarky color commentary.

Dawn is also dealing with her brother, who wants to move back to California because he’s so miserable in Stoneybrook. The storyline that’s been building over the past half-dozen books finally comes to a head, and Jeff goes back to California for good.

Thoughts: I love how low-class the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant is. There are 15 girls, Sabrina’s apparently the only one who’s ever been in a pageant before (though why would she slum it in this dinky little affair?), and no one other than Sabrina gets all made up or wears a really expensive dress with tacky rhinestones on it. (See Living Dolls, the documentary starring child pageant star Swan Brooner, or the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras for how it’s really done.) The parents don’t even participate, they just let the BSC girls take charge of everything. So of course their girls don’t do well – there are no pushy pageant moms there to live vicariously through their daughters.

In fact, Mrs. Perkins is the exact opposite of a pageant mom. Actual pageant moms would probably be sickened by her and her mad parenting skills. This is what she tells Myriah after allowing her to be in the pageant:

“In any pageant, or in any game or contest, there are winners and there are losers. You might be a winner, Myriah, and that would be wonderful. Daddy and Gabbie and I and even Laura would be very proud of you. But you might be a loser, too. There are going to be lots more losers than winners. And I want you to know that we’ll be proud of you if you lose. We’ll be proud of you for having the courage to be in the pageant, and for the work and rehearsing you’ll do.”

Jeff is surprisingly mature for a ten-year-old. He tells his mom exactly how he feels about being in Connecticut, asks if she thinks he should see a psychiatrist, and offers a reasonable solution to his problem, all without whining and while still taking responsibility for his actions. Dawn could learn a lot from him.

I’m surprise Dawn the crusader doesn’t think pageants are sexist, like Mallory and Jessi do. I guess her crusades only extend to healthy eating and ecology. Speaking of healthy eating, here’s a ridiculous Dawn quote: “I’ll never understand how the people on this coast can eat so much red meat and white rice and disgusting stuff.” First of all, it’s not specific to this coast. Second, vegetarians don’t just live in California. Third, stuff it, Brown Rice Queen.

I totally want Margo’s alligator bathing suit. But I have to ask, how in the world does a seven-year-old discover that she can peel a banana with her feet?

Stoneybrook gives Sabrina a parade after she wins the pageant. What the–?

November 26, 2009

BSC #13, Good-bye[,] Stacey, Good-bye: Empire State of Mind

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 9:17 pm by Jenn

Why does everyone look so happy? Do they secretly hate Stacey?

Summary: Stacey’s father is being transferred back to New York, so she has about a month to say goodbye to all of her friends. It’s not enough. Uh, and that’s basically it.

Thoughts: I’m not sure why Ann M. Martin decided to send Stacey back to New York, but it only lasts for 15 books, so it’s kind of a waste. And seriously, Stacey moving is pretty much the only plot. There are a couple of sitting jobs recounted – Jeff still wants to go back to California, the Pikes pretend to be secret agents – but it’s all about Stacey.

This is where all the foreshadowing about Mallory joining the club pays off. The BSC girls aren’t sure they should take on an 11-year-old – and with good reason, since most parents, given the choice between an 11-year-old sitter and a 13-year-old one, would choose the older girl – but they figure that with seven younger brothers and sisters, Mallory can hold her own. And since her parents let her help out with watching her siblings while they’re out and another sitter is present, she’s probably qualified enough.

Though speaking of the Pikes’ two-sitters-for-seven-kids rule, why is it that they hire two girls to watch seven kids but Kristy watches seven kids on her own?

Another moment that doesn’t quite hang together: Stacey says it’s too far for her father to live in Connecticut and commute to work in New York, but later in the series, that’s exactly what Abby’s mom does.

When Stacey first tells Claudia that she’s moving back to New York, the girls come up with the idea of Stacey moving in with the Kishis. It’s a completely age-appropriate suggestion, and once again a reminder that despite their maturity when it comes to watching kids, these girls are still in middle school.

Dawn claims that people in California don’t have yard sales. Dawn, just because you’ve never been to one doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Speaking of Dawn, when she becomes the new treasurer of the BSC, Claudia remarks, “Too bad she can’t add.” Oh, so now we’re commenting on people’s weaknesses? Watch yourself, Spelling Queen.

Funny how Charlotte Johanssen is so attached to Stacey – with her shyness, sensitivity, and tears, she’s more like Mary Anne.

There are two standout outfits described in this book, and, surprisingly, Claudia’s is the less flashy one. She wears “a purple-and-white striped body suit under a gray jumper-thing. The legs of her body suit stretched all the way to her ankles, but she was wearing purple push-down socks anyway. Around her middle was a wide purple belt with a buckle in the shape of a telephone.” Incidentally, I really wanted push-down socks when I read these books, and I wasn’t even sure what they were. I’m still not sure. Anyway, the weirder outfit is worn by Dawn: “She was wearing a very short kilt, an oversized red sweater, and yellow socks over red tights. On her head was a red beret with a sparkly initial pin attached to the side.” She’s dressed like a French ketchup/mustard bottle.

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