Friday, October 22, 2010
The Baby-Sitter’s Club #7: Claudia and the Mean Janine
So originally I had this plan, where at some point I’d start reviewing Baby-Sitter’s Club books, but only after I made it through a good chunk of the teen books. Then I stumbled onto a thrift store that had something like 30-40 of the books for 25 cents! I knew it was now or never, so I snagged them. I’ll try to space the books out some, so you don’t end up with a ton of BSC book reviews all at once. That same store had a couple SVH and Fear Street books too, so yay! LOL
It’s been a long time since I picked up a Baby-Sitter’s Club book and I probably should have started with a different one. At least this one has Mimi, who I completely forgot about! Basically it’s summer, which I’m guessing is the summer between 7th and 8th grade, back when the books followed some sort of realistic path.
Claudia is taking summer art classes and the BSC decides it would be “fun” to start a new play group for kids in the neighborhood. Somehow they get parents who think it’s a smart idea to leave their child, with a dozen other kids and five newly teen girls watching over them. Plus the BSC charges $3/child/day and agrees to split the money between them. This is a pre-Mallory book, but they ask her to help out with the group and then don’t pay her. Child labor at its finest!
Claudia is also having problems with her older sister Janine, who I for years thought was Jeanie. She’s super smart and taking all this brainy classes and Claud feels like crap. The book is supposed to be about how mean Janine is, but I actually think Claudia is the bitch. Like Janine is trying to point something out and Claudia gets so mad that she almost hits her! Plus Janine is jealous of how close she is with their grandma Mimi.
One night the two girls are fighting and they hear a thud from downstairs. It turns out that it’s Mimi and she’s unconscious. She ends up at the hospital and the doctors say she had a stroke. The rest of the book focuses on Claudia trying to take care of her and working with her, rather than her parents getting Mimi actual help. Seriously, would you leave a 13 year old girl home alone with an elderly woman who recently had a stroke?
Mary-Anne has to watch Mimi one day because Claudia already had a sitting job lined up and apparently no one else in the club could take the job (?). MA keeps pushing Mimi and acting like a snotty substitute teacher and Mimi kind of snaps and shouts at her. Later she apologizes and they make up over tea. It’s kind of shitty though because Mimi can’t remember words and MA keeps getting snotty with her and making her repeat words.
Anyway, Claudia finally has it up to here (picture me holding my arm up high) with Janine and confronts her. Janine confesses that she’s jealous and feels like everyone expects her to be the smart one and to focus on her schooling instead of family. Claudia makes her feel better and she ends up spending more time with Mimi. Kind of makes me sad that Mimi will die soon!
The play group is a huge success, but does have some funny moments. Jenny is so prissy that she won’t wear a smock over her clothes and keeps showing up in fancy dresses. Kristy’s new step-sister Karen tells everyone that her little brother Andrew is a monster and he gets Jenny to start wearing her smock.
*Stacey shows up with a new haircut and everyone oohs and ahhs over it. Yet when MA gets a haircut later, everyone’s pissed that she did it without talking to them.
*Claudia wears earrings shaped like little green Coke bottles. I totally want those earrings!
*Kristy’s mom is packing up the house and getting ready to move them in with Watson, yet they were married in the last book. Wouldn’t you have most stuff moved already?
*Louis (the dog) is still alive in this book and the kids give him a bath and do his hair. Kristy realizes that he looks like a girl.
*The Pike family is getting ready to go to Sea City for two weeks and Stacey and MA are going too. I actually found the next book at the thrift store too and I remember it!