December 24, 2013

BSC #129, Kristy at Bat: Never Meet Your Heroes

Posted in books tagged , , , at 7:37 pm by Jenn

Kristy bats lefty. Who knew?

Kristy bats lefty. Who knew?

Summary: Kristy and Watson are off to spend spring break at Dream Camp, where they get to play baseball with other fathers and daughters. Dream Camp is the brainchild of former pro ball player Bill Bain, one of Watson’s heroes. Kristy’s been thinking a lot about her biological father lately, because she got her love of baseball from him, but she’s excited to spend some one-on-one time with Watson.

Unfortunately, just before she goes to camp, Kristy gets bumped down to second string on the school softball team. She was pretty confident (read: egotistical) in her skills before the tryouts, which led to her not giving it her all, and she suffered as a consequence. Now she’s worried about going to camp with a bunch of truly committed, truly talented players.

Camp turns out to be pretty awesome, though. The coaches are former pro players, with a couple of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players thrown in. They’re really helpful and encouraging. Kristy just wishes they were more organized. And since Kristy can’t help but be over-organized and take charge, she jumps in to help. The coaches are a little surprised but don’t discourage her from taking a leadership role. Still, Kristy’s a little down because she feels bad about being second string back at home.

As the week goes on, it becomes clear that Bill Bain is connected to the camp in name only. He pops up a couple times but doesn’t do any coaching (which was supposed to be one of the perks of the week), and he even blows Watson off when Watson tries to get some stuff signed. Basically, the guy’s a jerk. Kristy winds up telling him off, which just makes Watson mad, since she’s being rude to one of his childhood heroes. Really, though, he’s mad that this guy he worships isn’t worth being seen as a hero.

Kristy keeps thinking about her dad all week, wishing he could see her play. She also feels a little guilty that she wants to be with him so much when Watson, who’s been an actual father to her, is right there. She eventually decides that there’s nothing to feel guilty about, and that Watson is a great guy who she’s glad to have spent more time with. He’s proud of her for being a leader and speaking her mind. Kristy also helps a fellow player admit to her father that she doesn’t want to play baseball, because Kristy is truly a hero for our time.

Bill Bain totally gets that, and realizes that he’s a jerk. He starts to participate in camp stuff, crediting Kristy with turning things around for him because she told him what he needed to hear. At the end of camp, Kristy gets an award for coaching, since she was so helpful all week. She comes to terms with not being first string, deciding that it’s enough that she’ll get to play softball every day. Plus, she got to meet a bunch of famous people, so that’s pretty cool.

The B-plot is super-boring. David Michael starts collecting baseball cards and trading them with other kids in Stoneybrook. One of the kids is a little con man who takes advantage of the other kids’ lack of knowledge about the cards’ worth to trade for more valuable ones. Abby schools everyone by telling them that the cards her father gave her are more valuable to her than the actual valuable cards because they have sentimental value. David Michael decides to keep his “lesser” cards because he likes those players.

Thoughts: I would have no use for baseball camp, but I would go just to talk to the female players. One of them was a Rockford Peach, just like in A League of Their Own.

“I hadn’t even considered the possibility that I might make a friend at camp.” Because Kristy didn’t come here to make friends.

“How could I stay at Dream Camp when David Michael needed me?” 1) You’re only gone for a week. 2) You’re not his mother. 3) He doesn’t need you. 4) Calm the frick down.

Of course Kristy hits a home run in the last game at camp. I’m just surprised it’s not the game-winning play.

Just two more BSC books left! Don’t worry, I have another series all lined up as soon as I’m done with this one.

September 18, 2013

BSC #122, Kristy in Charge: Isn’t She Always?

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 8:09 pm by Jenn

Cary, we need to talk about your shorts

Cary, we need to talk about your shorts

Summary: Stoneybrook Middle School has no shortage of special programs, and now there’s another one: Students get to spend three days teaching classes. Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Mallory all sign up, as does Cary Retlin. Kristy and Cary are both assigned gym classes, and find out that during this portion of the course, they’ll have to teach together. It goes badly. Very badly.

Cary goofs off all the time, while Kristy yells at the kids and forgets to let them enjoy themselves. She doesn’t think she needs to submit a lesson plan (even though that’s part of the assignment) since it’s a gym class, and you can’t really plan everything out. Plus, Kristy doesn’t like the teacher she’s filling in for and who’s supervising her, so she doesn’t want to do what that teacher advises her to do.

Things really go off the rails when Cary and Kristy split up into teams for a soccer game and the students end up rioting and pounding on each other. It’s technically not Kristy and Cary’s fault, but they’re put on probation and told that the school might not do the student-teaching program again if they can’t turn things around. Of course, Kristy and Cary learn to Work Together and Communicate and Take Things Seriously like the good little fictional ’90s children they are.

Meanwhile, Mallory has a horrible time: She’s student-teaching Kristy and Mary Anne’s English class, and the other students are awful to her. She’s incredibly nervous, and they just make things worse. They start calling her Spaz Girl and taunting her outside of class. It gets so bad that meek little Mary Anne actually yells at them to show some respect. In the end, the students do listen to her, but Mal is still called Spaz Girl, and she’s not happy that people think she’s a joke.

The B-plot is about Vanessa catching the teaching bug and forcing her younger siblings to attend poetry school. They overthrow her because she’s a horrible teacher and criticizes everything they do. Abby gets her to calm down and remember that she needs to make learning fun.

Thoughts: Some of the kids at SMS are terrible people. And the teachers really shouldn’t be blaming the student-teachers for the kids being out of control. Clearly these kids weren’t mature enough to handle this program, which isn’t the student-teachers’ fault. Mallory’s students are bullying her to her face in front of their teacher, and all she does is give them more homework. Come on!

I’m surprised Mary Anne wants to do the teaching program, since she doesn’t like speaking in front of groups.

Kristy wears plaid pleated shorts to teach her gym class. Somewhere, Claudia is shuddering. Later, she wears Umbros. Totally ’90s!

“You’d think a bunch of eighth-graders would give a break to a poor kid who was two years younger than they were.” You’d think a girl who’s been in middle school for a decade would know that’s not how middle-schoolers roll.

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.

May 29, 2013

BSC #118, Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer: Hey, Kids! Let’s Get Traumatized for Life!

Posted in books tagged , , at 6:31 pm by Jenn

Awww, now I want a puppy

Awww, now I want a puppy

Summary: Kristy’s family takes in a puppy named Scout so they can train her to one day be a guide dog for a blind person. Most of the book is about training Scout, and how they have to treat her differently from Shannon (the dog, not the person – though they have to treat her different from Shannon the person, too, of course). The book is basically a big advertisement for organizations that train and place guide dogs, but it’s a good kind of ad.

The B plot fits in with the main plot. A local 12-year-old named Deb has recently gone blind due to glaucoma, and she’s having a lot of trouble adjusting. She’s extremely bitter and nasty about it. The BSC girls are sitting for her younger brothers, so they encounter Deb a lot, but they can’t find a way to befriend her because she thinks everyone’s staring at her and/or pitying her. She also freaks people (including me) out by telling them how quickly she got sick and lost her eyesight, and how the same thing could happen to them.

One day while Kristy’s sitting for Deb’s brothers, Deb disappears. She’d been wanting to go to the video store (awww, remember those?), and when Kristy delayed the trip, she decided to go by herself to show she’s independent. But she went the wrong way and wound up in the middle of a busy road. Kristy finds her, then basically yells at her for acting like she needs pity when she keeps saying she doesn’t want it. It’s kind of mean, but honestly, Deb was really annoying and needed to hear it.

Thoughts: I’m glad I didn’t read this when I was the actual target age of the books, because I might have had a bit of a meltdown. Deb seriously freaked me out. Deb: “You could go blind…right now.” Silence. Me: “Waaaaah, Mommy!”

Trivia: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of Kristy’s favorite books.

“Scout was growing up so fast.” You’ve had her for two weeks, Kristy. Don’t break into “Sunrise, Sunset” just yet.

Kristy says a dog that wasn’t able to become a guide dog now mentors others. Dogs can be mentors? Huh?

February 6, 2013

BSC #112, Kristy and the Sister War: The Time Kristy Saved a Family from Imploding

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 6:37 pm by Jenn

It's hard to see here, but Shannon looks like Michelle Williams on this cover

It’s hard to see here, but Shannon looks like Michelle Williams on this cover

Summary: The ghostwriters realized they haven’t used Shannon in a while, so she gets to be a part of this book. Kristy starts sitting for her sisters Maria and Tiffany a lot, and the girls complain that Shannon has too many after-school activities and is never around. Really, the problem is that the Kilbournes never spend time together, so the whole family is kind of a mess.

Kristy tries to get Tiffany and Maria to do helpful things for Shannon, but they all backfire. Like they try to bake cookies but the batches are horrible. When Shannon gets mad, her sisters start playing pranks on her. It starts out pretty innocently, with messing with her homework and changing her schedule, then gets out of hand, to the point where their parents should really step in. (Hair dye in her shampoo bottle? Come on, Kilbournes. Pay attention to your children.)

Because she’s been spending so much time with the Kilbournes, Kristy sees what’s really going on, and hears from the girls how unhappy they are with not getting to spend more time together as a family. She encourages them to write a letter to Shannon and a letter to their parents to express their feelings. The girls do, and Shannon agrees that she’s doing too many things and needs to cut back. Their parents also make an effort to have family dinners together and enjoy each other’s company more. And Kristy shows that she might actually make a good therapist or counselor someday.

B-plots: The BSC girls help organize a Stoneybrook all-school dance between three middle schools. Claudia tries to fix Kristy up with a friend of her boyfriend’s, but it’s not a love match. Kristy comes up with the idea to help the kids of Stoneybrook organize their own dance, because of course she does. The kids get worked up who to take to the dance, so the BSC girls tell them they’re not allowed to bring dates.

Thoughts: Tiffany’s 11 – why does she need a sitter? Not to mention that previous books – specifically Kristy and the Snobs – have mentioned that SHE’S a sitter.

With a friend like Claudia, how is it possible that Kristy doesn’t know what snickerdoodles are?

Jordan: “This is bor-ing.” Tiffany: “Did I just hear you volunteer for the decorations committee, Jordan?” Rock on, Tiffany.

Jordan, re: Maria: “She’s the only one who knows the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats.” The recipe’s on the box, moron.

Claudia wears a lime green sweater with a pink skirt. Kristy says she looks great, so I guess Kristy’s secretly blind and we didn’t know it.

I can buy some of the kids wanting dates, but most of them are right at that age where they find kids of the opposite sex icky. Speaking of icky, I find Maria and Tiffany competing over Jordan weird. Maria’s eight. It turns out neither actually likes him; they actually like two of the other triplets. Still. Eight.

Cokie’s dance outfit: a zebra top, a leopard-skin miniskirt, and Dalmatian go-go boots. I bet it would all look fabulous on Claudia.

November 13, 2012

BSC Mystery #30, Kristy and the Mystery Train: Strangers On a Train

Posted in books tagged , , , at 9:28 pm by Jenn

That’s how I look when I run, too

Summary: Derek Masters is back in Stoneybrook, but only briefly – he’s just finished a movie about a boy who witnesses a murder on a train, and he’s about to take a train from Boston to Charleston to help promote it. Mr. Masters, one of the producers, asks Kristy, Abby, and Stacey to come along to look after Derek, his brother Todd, David Michael, Linny Papadakis, Nicky Pike, Buddy Barrett, James Hobart, Derek’s friend Greg, and Todd’s friend Daniel. (Yes, Mr. Masters is crazy for letting all those kids come along.)

Since this is a mystery, there is, of course, some weirdness on the train. People get notes talking about secrets coming out, and it’s not clear if they’re part of the movie’s publicity. The ex-husband of one of the movie’s stars comes to the train station and pleads with her to work out their problems, then makes some threats. Someone puts a rubber hand in that same actress’ lunch. A smoke bomb is set off. There are a ton of people on the train who could all be suspects: the movies’ leads, the publicist, the only reporter allowed on board for the whole trip, and the screenwriter, Daniel’s father Ronald.

One night Kristy, Stacey, Todd, and Daniel are in the observation car when they hear two men fighting. It’s too dark to see who they are (or much of anything, really), but Kristy thinks she sees one man push the other off the train. When the possible crime is investigated, no one is missing from the train. The only clues (if you can call them that) the BSC girls find are a page from the script and a note the reporter was given telling her to be in the observation car at the time of the possible attack.

The BSC girls tell their charges what’s going on, and they all search through people’s rooms to see who’s missing a page from the script. (Totally legit babysitting activity, by the way.) All of the scripts are intact, but Derek later realizes that while the dialogue is correct, the names of the characters on the page aren’t the same as the names of the characters in the actual movie. Kristy realizes that the page is from an earlier draft, which would only be owned by Ronald, the screenwriter.

The lights go off and another smoke bomb is detonated, but Kristy manages to get to Stacey and Abby and fill them in. They confront Ronald, who confesses that he took the idea for the movie from a student who’s now blackmailing him. He was fighting with the student, Laurence Channing, in the observation car and thinks Channing is going to come after Daniel. Indeed, Channing tries, but Kristy protects Daniel, and Mr. Masters and Ronald subdue the crazy blackmailer. And no one even had to call Sgt. Johnson!

In the most boring B-plot ever, the other BSC girls babysit at the new/old country club and Jessi teaches Stephen to swim. See, told you it was boring.

Thoughts: This is one of the better BSC books, though there are too many suspects and red herrings. It’s a little like an Agatha Christie mystery for tweens.

Three days on a train with nine elementary-school-aged boys? I would tie myself to the tracks. (Though the kids are really well-behaved.)

The director’s name is Rock Harding. Um, what kind of movies does he direct, exactly?

Other ridiculously named characters: Jane Atlantic, Anne Arbour, Benjamin Athens, Elle San Carlos.

Channing’s plan, revealed after all the drama, is fairly awesome in a soap opera way: He was going to fake his death, frame Ronald for his murder, wait until he was convicted, then reemerge pretending he had amnesia. I would read that book.

September 17, 2012

BSC #107, Mind Your Own Business, Kristy!: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 8:29 pm by Jenn

Angelica looks appropriately awful. (This caption was brought to you by the letter A.)

Summary: Charlie Thomas has just broken up with his girlfriend, Sarah, which bums Kristy out, since she liked Sarah. Kristy then gets bummed out further when Charlie becomes interested in an annoying girl named Angelica. He’s supposed to be helping out with a softball clinic for the Krushers, but he’d rather flirt and try to look cool.

Kristy decides to play matchmaker and try to get Charlie and Sarah back together. It doesn’t work. At all. Charlie tries to get some famous baseball player named Jack Brewster to come to the clinic, but he forgets. This plus the matchmaking plus the whole Angelica thing leads to fighting, and eventually Kristy tells Charlie he’s just like their father, which is a pretty low blow, even though he kind of deserved it.

Kristy wins four tickets to a rock concert and decides to take Claudia, Charlie, and Charlie’s friend, who eventually gets replaced by Angelica. They borrow Watson’s car, but Charlie’s so unused to driving a car that actually works that he’s not very good at it. Angelica asks to drive, and she gets pulled over for speeding. She tries to switch places with Charlie since she doesn’t have a license, and she winds up driving the car into a guardrail.

Charlie and Angelica get into major trouble with their parents, and Angelica decides Charlie isn’t mature enough for her. Yeah, the girl who drove without a license, tried to switch places with someone else, and crashed a car is really mature. Charlie decides Angelica’s right, though, since he couldn’t even be responsible enough to help with a kids’ softball clinic. He comes through in the end, going back to helping Kristy, and the kids even get to meet Jack Brewster, who turns out to be related to Sarah.

Thoughts: Kristy: “When a boy is forceful and responsible, people say he’s ‘strong-willed’ or a ‘born leader.’ But if you’re a girl, you’re ‘bossy.'” Well, yes, but also, you’re bossy.

David Michael thinks it’s lame that a college wants to turn people into leaders and tells Charlie to go to one that will make him an astronaut. Hee.

Charlie eats grapes dipped in Cool Whip. Is that a thing? Do people really do that?

The Hsus hire a non-BSC sitter (Angelica), then have her take the kids to BSC-run Krushers practices. That’s mean.

Either Charlie has two friends named Travis or he’s still hanging out with that jerk Dawn kind of dated.

After the accident, Kristy asks a cop to take her and Claudia to the concert. That seems very un-Kristy of her.

Jack: “Give that girl a contract!” Nina: “My mommy wears contracts, but she changes to glasses at night.” Adorable.

May 17, 2012

BSC #100, Kristy’s Worst Idea: Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment to the BSC

Posted in books tagged , , , at 10:43 pm by Jenn

The real bad ideas here are everyone’s clothes

Summary: School is back in session (eighth grade again! Woo!), and the girls are so busy with non-club activities that it’s hard for them to keep up with meetings. Kristy is not pleased. She tries to organize a big fall celebration including activities like maple sugaring (huh?) and apple picking, but no one else is interested. Plus, Jessi wants to take a ballet class and Mallory wants to join a writing group at the same time as club meetings. There’s also a stupid Mary Anne/Claudia fight.

Then Jackie Rodowsky falls out of a tree and hurts his ankle while Kristy’s sitting for him. She blames herself for his injury and starts doubting herself as a sitter. Add that to the other girls having trouble getting to all the meetings and everyone wanting time to do things other than sit, and it all equals Kristy deciding that the club should disband. The girls will keep sitting, but they won’t have meetings anymore.

Kristy surprises herself by being a little relieved at first. She has lots of free time now, and she gets to avoid sitting, which she still isn’t comfortable with. The other girls have a harder time: Mallory and Abby have no other friends, Claudia’s overrun by phone calls from parents who don’t know the girls’ home numbers, and Stacey can’t buy clothes because she’s not making any money. Also, their sitting charges think the girls hate them, and the parents can’t live without the BSC. (They start hiring other girls in Stoneybrook, including Cokie, but of course, non-BSC sitters aren’t as good as the BSC girls.)

Jackie tries to fix everything by riding his bike to Kristy’s house, but he falls off and winds up in the hospital. All the girls rush over to check on him, and he begs them to work things out. Kristy gets everyone together and suggests that the club start meeting again. Stacey is the only one who isn’t sure; she’s afraid they’ll backslide again. Kristy suggests a month-long trial period to see how things go. But there are still dozens of books left in the series, so obviously it works out okay.

Thoughts: Why would Kristy buy Mallory clip-on earrings when she has pierced ears?

Mr. Papadakis is so upset about the club splitting up that he offers them a retainer to get back together. Dude, take it! Free money!

“If a cologne were based on Cokie, it would be called Obnoxious.” Snerk. She would probably take it as a compliment, though. You just know one of Cokie’s life goals is to have her own perfume.

Jackie’s mom is all, “Oh, he’s okay, it’s just a concussion.” Um, they have to DRAIN FLUID FROM HIS SKULL. That’s not “okay.”

Claudia: “The last time Mr. Hobard called, I made him help me with my math homework.” For some reason, that cracked me up. That, and her telling Janine that her homework is covered in ink blots because she was stabbing it with her pen.

March 27, 2012

BSC Mystery #25, Kristy and the Middle School Vandal: “You Guys Need Me. I Keep You from Becoming Complacent”

Posted in books tagged , , at 9:05 pm by Jenn

Cary isn't cute enough. NOT CUTE ENOUGH

Summary: The school year is almost over (allegedly), but the teachers at SMS are talking about striking if they don’t get an acceptable contract in place for next year. On top of that, the BSC girls are also dealing with some vandalism around school, which seems to be the work of the Mischief Knights, specifically Cary. Except the Mischief Knights usually sign their work with a red MK, and the recent vandalism has been signed with a green MK. The girls think the Mischief Knights are either trying to throw the scent off of themselves or someone’s trying to frame them.

Cary and the BSC girls get into it about whether the girls are capable of figuring out who’s behind the vandalism, and Cary challenges them to a mystery war. He’ll plant eight clues and they’ll have six days to solve them all. If they do, he’ll leave them alone. If they don’t, Cary gets Kristy’s watch.

As the girls work on the mystery (clues below), the vandalism continues, so they really have two mysteries to solve. At various times they suspect a school board member who’s really angry about the strike; Brad, the guy who sold Abby her “study guide” and got in trouble for it; and a guy named Troy who was mysteriously suspended for two weeks but keeps turning up on campus. Cary looks less and less like the culprit as time goes on, though at one point Kristy thinks he’s guilty and trying to set them up.

Cary’s last clue instructs the girls to figure out who the vandal is, which is kind of weird, because they were trying to do that anyway. Mary Anne figures out that since the vandal has been using green instead of red and mistook a green car for the vice principal’s red car (which he keyed), the culprit must be colorblind. Claudia’s knowledge of fashion helps her realize that it’s Troy, as his clothes never match.

The girls want to break into Troy’s locker to see if he has any green paint or chalk in it, but this requires asking Cary for help, which requires them to forfeit the war (and Kristy’s watch). But it’s worth it, as they prove Troy was the vandal and somehow get the strike called off. Cary will still be allowed to bug them, but for me, that’s a plus.

The B-plot involves BSC sitting charges doing scavenger hunts. It’s dull.

Thoughts: This is my favorite BSC book. It reminds me a tiny bit of another awesome book, The Westing Game.

Cary has nice handwriting and is sarcastic. Just two more reasons I adore him.

Claudia has mint chocolate M&Ms. Do those really exist? If so, I need some.

During a scavenger hunt, one of the Hobart boys sees a garden gnome “among the bushes at one side of Kristy’s old house.” The ghostwriter says that Claudia doesn’t know who it belongs to. Okay, I know Claudia isn’t the brightest, but she would know that the Perkinses live there, especially since she lives right across the street.

Here are Cary’s clues, which are mostly pretty clever:

  1. “Get Your Mother (understands).” GYM, under the bleachers.
  2. “a drop of golden sun = re (as in the song from The Sound of Music)
    just short of failing
    = D (the grade before F)
    a skater’s figure
    = 8
    not him, you see, but
    = her
    (where does it all come from?)”
    Re + D + 8 + her = radiator. “It all” (heat) comes from the boiler room.
  3. “Toasted gloves or barbecued bats, anyone?” This refers to the supply shack Kristy thought she burned down in Kristy and the Copycat.
  4. “Cafeteria hamburger + A Theory of Man and Woman – SMS on Street = a fly on the wall of…”
     A cafeteria hamburger costs $1.69. A Theory of Man and Womanis a book with the library call number 305. The school’s street address is 358 Elm Street. 169 + 305 – 358 = 116, a biology classroom with a giant picture of a fly on the wall.
  5. “Nothing personal, Claudia, but check your spelling.” Claudia has to take a spelling test on a computer she used when she wrote her personals column.
  6. “B2 or not B2…that is the question. (Are you sitting down?)” The next clue is under seat B2 in the auditorium.
  7. “Hey Abby. IPA2tFotUSoAand2tR [picture of four witches] (look up)” The letters and numbers are an abbreviation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Four witches stand = “for which it stands.” Abby is instructed to look up at the flag in her and Cary’s homeroom.
  8. “Bring me the head of the False Mischief Knights!”

February 8, 2012

BSC #95, Kristy + Bart = ?: The Friend Zone

Posted in books tagged , , at 9:43 pm by Jenn

I love the look on Kristy's face

Summary: We all know Bart has been Kristy’s “sort-of boyfriend” for a while, and now he wants to be her actual boyfriend. He lets her know by trying to make out with her during a movie, inviting her to a school dance, and introducing her to friends as his girlfriend. Kristy’s semi-clueless, since she thinks they’re in agreement about just being a little more than friends. She also isn’t sure she wants to be more than a little more than friends.

Bart drops by the Brewer/Thomas house one evening to watch a baseball game while Kristy’s babysitting. They get caught kissing, and Kristy realizes too late that she’s broken her mom’s rule about having a guy over when no adults are around. (It’s never been an issue; it’s always just been that Sam and Charlie couldn’t have girls over.) Since Kristy doesn’t think of Bart as her boyfriend anyway, she didn’t think about the rule. She gets grounded and blames Bart, even though he had no idea there was any rule.

With some help from Mary Anne and Jessi, Kristy decides to tell Bart how she feels (I know! A novel idea!). He tells her he wants a real relationship, not just one where they hang out and are really just friends. Kristy admits that she’s not ready for that. She thinks things will go back to the way they were, but it sounds like things are a little awkward instead. Poor Bart, stuck in the friend zone.

Kristy’s involved in the B-plot as well, as she comes up with a Guinness Book-like project for kids. It’s actually a good idea.

Thoughts: Kristy sure is a drama queen. Wait, why am I surprised? She’s also really annoying in this book; she comes across very arrogant and full of herself. And as mature as she tends to come across, at least in terms of watching kids, she really isn’t. Though I guess I have to admire her for admitting that she’s not quite ready to date. Of course, then the question is, why am I admiring a fictional character?

Grounding Kristy for breaking a rule is reasonable, but making her stay in her room the whole time is a little much.

Kristy calling Jessica for advice about boys seems kind of random, but I get the feeling that Jessi gives good advice.

Kristy gives Bart a hilarious written speech to tell him how she feels:

“Hi, Bart, how’s it going? I realize I hung up on you and that was rude. So I would like to clarify my position in terms of my feelings and in regard to the breakage of the house rule which you already know about. First of all, I have and will like you in the sense of being a friend, but I felt that the pressure which I was feeling from you was changing the way that I conceived of our friendship but maybe not in the direction that it was meant to happen in my own mind, and not in the sense of measuring up to what you expected in terms of me being a girlfriend or not.”

Girl, back away from the thesaurus.

Lindsey DeWitt has a dead fly collection. Someone please get that child some help.

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