Friday, November 12, 2010

The Baby-Sitter’s Club Special Edition Reader’s Request: Shannon’s Story

I find it hard to believe that readers actually requested/demanded a story devoted solely to Shannon. Plus, if we really wanted to read about her, then why not give her a story in one of the regular books?

This one follows Shannon’s life away from the club (kind of) and focuses primarily on her life at home. Her dad is almost never around because he’s either at work or on the golf course. I think he calls/leaves notes 6 or 7 times in the book, saying he won’t be home for dinner. Her sister Maria is obsessed with her swimming and Tiffany is obsessed with her garden.

She’s also worried about her mom because she’s obsessed with her daughters and living through them, without having a life of her own. It’s even worse when her dad forgets about Mother’s Day. He gives her a gift that he keeps at the office for situations like this, but she finds out the truth when she opens the birthday card on the front.

Shannon decides to focus on herself and on her French classes. The students who have a specific grade point average and French grade are allowed to go on a school trip to France for a week. She’s super excited about the trip and can’t wait, until she learns that her mom volunteered to go on the trip too.

Shannon voluntarily tanks her last French exam, which means she can’t go on the trip. Her mom decides to go anyway and gives her a list of rules to follow while she’s gone. Shannon has to go grocery shopping, watch her sisters and keep the house running. It’s clear she has no clue what she’s doing, when she takes the bus to the store (with her sisters) and then can’t figure out how to get the groceries home. Turns out that they have a delivery service for that.

Shannon ends up living her mom’s life and seeing what her mom goes through. She has problems juggling everything, but once she gets into the groove, she’s bored out of her mind. She realizes that her mom needs something to occupy her time outside of the house.

Originally her dad had a business trip planned that would take him away, just as her mom got home. They’d drive to the airport, he’d get on a plane and her mom would get off a plane. Shannon has a talk with him and he decides to put his trip off for a few days, so they can have a real welcome home party.

Once her mom gets home, Shannon talks things through with her. Her mom eventually decides to start working or at least looking for a job and getting a hobby of her own. All’s well that ends well.

*Nice to see some continuity. Claudia was the one who helped Tiffany pick a specific hobby (gardening) and Mary Anne was the one to introduce the idea of a hobby.

*The girls make a from scratch cake for their mom.

*I wish I went to Shannon’s school. They have classes like astronomy, in middle school! She also mentions that if a few people express interest in a topic, the school lets them study it on their own. If one kid wants to study something, they’ll do an independent study project. I’m really not sure how the state lets them do this…

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