{Rereading The Baby-Sitters Club: Books 16-20}

Exciting news! Between this and my last BSC post, I saw the teaser trailer for the upcoming Netflix show! Let’s just say I already have complaints with the way they answer the phone in the teaser… but that definitely won’t stop me from watching the show. The show is the whole reason I started revisiting the series (aside from the comforting nostalgia factor).

In this post, I’ve made it up to book twenty. I’m still trying to go in fives but I noticed that once we start adding more frequent super-specials and mysteries in, the space between five regular series books gets bigger and bigger. So at some point I’m switching over to every five books, regardless of type, but we’re not quite there yet.

In Jessi’s Secret Language, we have the first book narrated by Jessi Ramsay though she has already been around for two full books at this point. However, here the reader gets to know her and her family a bit better, and experience some of Jessi’s dance. She ends up taking on a lot in this one book: becoming the new baby-sitter for the Braddocks and learning sign language as they have a deaf son. Meanwhile, she is also the lead in Coppelia at her ballet school. She ultimately combines the

I feel like Martin was making a jab at people who choose artsy careers in this one, as Jessi mentions MULTIPLE times that she loves dancing, but she is not planning to do it professionally. However, she is described as the perfect ballerina and manages to land herself the lead role in the school ballet. She does this all the while learning how to speak sign language so that she can care for a new client, Matthew Braddock.

Can we also just briefly discuss how she’s supposed to be eleven years old? This cover pictures makes her look about twenty-five.

In Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery, it is coming up on Halloween around this point, as they attend the Halloween dance and deal with bad luck charms. This is the book that they seem to have taken some plot points for the 1995 movie, with Cokie Mason and her gang trying to sabotage the BSC for the sake of stealing Logan Bruno away from Mary Anne.

In Stacey’s Mistake, the BSC heads to New York to visit Stacey for the first time she since moved back. I always like the New York stories because, as a New Yorker, I know everything the story is talking about. Martin presents New York in such a touristy way, and the BSC members are the worst of the tourists. I completely feel Stacey on this one. Her friends are being crazy embarrassing as they make their way through the city.

The reason for the New York trip is to help Stacey baby-sit for a large group of children, much like in Kristy’s Big Day. However, this time around they are going to take ten children around New York City, visiting the Natural History Museum and Central Park.

Claudia and the Bad Joke book really messes with the timeline of things, as Claudia breaks her leg and it takes TWO MONTHS to heal. This is one-fifth of the normal school year. So we just used two months of 8th grade in one book, and it’s only book 119. There’s, like, 100 more books to go and the Friends Forever section of the series (they graduate 8th grade at the end of it). I know this is not reality and that Martin herself admits that the timeline gets sketchy since they need to remain in 8th grade, but as an adult it gets kind of infuriating.

On the plot line side of things, the reason Claudia breaks her leg is because she is baby-sitting for Betsy Sobak, a new client who knowingly lets her swing on a broken swings as a prank. Claudia falls off and breaks her leg, and Betsy, the little obnoxious twit, continues to play practical jokes on everyone around her. This is one book that does not age well when you read it again as an adult. Sure, as a kid it makes perfect sense to play practical jokes on the practical joker to get back at her… but as an adult, I’m just judging the parents who keep saying their daughter is “spirited,” rather than an obnoxious pain to everyone around her.

My main take-away from Kristy and the Walking Disaster was a one-sentence in the firsts chapter that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot: Kristy’s mother is three years younger than me with four (technically six, if you count the step-kids) children, the eldest two being seventeen and fifteen. It also makes me feel super old that Alicia Silverstone will be playing her in the new show. Granted, Silverstone is older than me but only by five years. But I was a big Clueless fan so Alicia Silverstone is firmly implanted into my teenage memories… sidebar: I should do a Clueless costume review.

In this book we are introduced to a love interest for Kristy. Bart Taylor coaches a baseball team, which inspires Kristy to do so as well. Her team is made go up a ragtag group of terrible, but devoted, young baseball players. This includes walking disaster Jackie Rodowsky. The team preps to go up against Bart’s Bashers, a slightly older group of kids. The storyline is much what you would imagine from an underdog team movie: not so great players who have big hearts, a fragile relationship between coaches, mean other team players… and the underdogs coming out on top in the end! However I like a sports movie, Kristy’s team doesn’t actually win, but they are darn proud of themselves for trying!

And again, the BSC member in the cover looks more like she’s in her early twenties than in middle school…

So we’re moving right along… the next post will include another super-special, which I am super excited about!

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