Continuing on in the rereading books that are way below my reading level, I got through books 11-15 of The Baby-Sitter’s Club. As I am going in publication order, this also meant that it was time for a Super Special! Thus there were a total of six books to read for this installment in the series.
So without further ado, here’s the latest in my reading.
In Kristy and the Snobs, Kristy must get used to living in a new, rich neighborhood of Stoneybrook. There she meets neighborhood kids, who she immediately deems snobs. In her defense (though I have found Kristy’s attitude to be rather annoying stubborn throughout the books, something I definitely did not remember from my childhood reading). In true BSC book fashion, she is quickly at war with them and they play childish pranks on each other (like sending a pizza they didn’t order and a delivery of diapers… I am not proud to say that this seems to be where me and my childhood best friend of some of our prank ideas…). Also in true BSC book fashion, Kristy and Shannon are friends at the end of the book after the swiftest conflict resolution every recorded!
In a sub-plot of this book, Martin gets into heavy topics with the death of Kristy’s family dog, Louie.
In Claudia and the New Girl, a member of the BSC does the unthinkable: makes a non-BSC friend. But seriously, Ashley Wyeth is not a particularly good friend and Claudia start shirking her responsibilities. And while the other members of the BSC react to it in a really childish way (i.e. leaving Claudia mean-spirited notes while they are at meetings without her), they are right to be hurt that she has essentially abandoned them. This was one of those books where I have to remind myself that these ARE books meant for children, and I should expect the level of immaturity that comes with the stories.
In the end, Claudia sees the error of her ways and realizes that Ashley is not a particularly good new friend to have.
The next book in publication order is Baby-Sitters on Board!, the first Super Special. I used to LIVE for the Super Specials. Not only were they longer, they featured multiple narrators and often had illustrations! In Baby-Sitters on Board, the club members, along with the Pikes and the Thomases, head off on a cruise to the Bahamas and then Disney World.
Of course, what ensues is a series of not-so-substantial misadventures. Dawn finds her first quasi-boyfriend, Mary Anne gets wrapped up in the mystery of a passenger she learns is lying to her, the Pike triplets think they have found a treasure map… adventure is around every corner! And, of course, baby-sitting!
Don’t get me started on the timeline for this one… it would seem as though this book takes place after Mary Anne and Stacey go to Sea City with the Pikes (as they mention it) but as far as publication order goes, the girls have already started school at this point. So they took off? Or do the Super Specials exist in an alternate universe? Or are you just supposed to not care? No need to decide!
In Good-bye Stacey, Goodbye, we lose the first member of the BSC. This happens relatively frequently throughout the series, with one member leaving for a while and then returning later. I can’t help but wonder if this was meant to test out the popularity of the characters, or if it was just to give the books a chance of scenery. In any case, Stacey is moving back to New York. Of course, there needs to be something else going on, so the BSC arranges a yard sale for the McGill family junk. Stacey goes through the process of saying good-bye to her Stoneybrook friends, as well as her baby-sitting charges, most notably Charlotte Johannsen.
I’m sure that when I was reading this as a young pre-teen, this was probably one of the saddest things to ever happen, however as an adult there was not a ton of emotion connected to it! (This is also possibly because I know Stacey will be back within a few books anyway…)
With Stacey gone, the BSC needs a new member to help with an influx of business and so Hello, Mallory it is. Readers already know Mallory Pike at this point, so it makes sense to bring in someone familiar to fill the hole left by Stacey’s moving away. The BSC invites her to join, but then tells her that she has to pass a test and an observation in order for them to see if she’s a good baby-sitter. Never mind all those times they have baby-sat at her house and said how big of a help she was and how good a baby-sitter she will make. Honestly? The older girls were really bitchy to Mallory in this book for no real reason. Like, insanely unreasonable, as though Mallory was someone they found out on the street outside Claudia’s house rather than have known and trusted for many years.
This book also serves to introduce Jessi Ramsey, who will become the seventh member of the club. Jessi is another new girl in time, and ends up sitting next to Mallory in class. They become quick friends. They ultimately try to get revenge on the BSC by starting their own baby-sitting club and this is how they ultimately get an apology from Kristy and the gang and an invitation to join the club, test-free!
In book fifteen, Little Miss. Stoneybrook… and Dawn, the BSC finds themselves inadvertently in competition with each other when the Little Miss. Stoneybook pageant comes to Stoneybrook! Dawn gets asked to help Margo and Claire Pike prepare, and soon more members of the club are involved with other baby-sitting charges.
I had extremely distinct memories of reading this one, which doesn’t always happen with the books in general. I was annoyed by the same things I was annoyed by as a kid – such as the kids’ talents, which sounded ridiculous and not pageant-like AT ALL (yes, I used to watch a lot of pageants as a kid). I wish the book had focused a little more on the actual pageant, rather than the lead up to it, but perhaps that’s also for the best. In any case, I don’t know if I would call this one a favorite at this point but I do still have a soft spot for Dawn books!
At this point in time, it seems as though all attention to a specific time-line has been abandoned. With over one hundred books to go, I know the girls don’t graduation 8th grade in this time… so time is about to go into alternate universe status!
Moving on to books 16-20 now, and severely disappointed that there isn’t a Super Special in this group… but stay tuned because after 25 things start to get crazy with more Super Specials and the addition of the mysteries!