Friday, December 9, 2011

The Baby-Sitters Club #3: The Truth About Stacey

Stacey’s parents want her to see a specialist in New York. She hates the idea, but doesn’t get a choice given that she is basically a kid. They promise that it will only take a few days, but later announce that they actually have to spend five days in New York City. In what is our first Thanksgiving in the series, they skip a trip to NYC because of going back in a few weeks.

Kristy wants the club to keep afternoons free because Mrs. Newton is pregnant and she will need help when the baby comes. Of course everyone in town needs help from the BSC! The big storyline really revolves around a new club that pops up: The Baby-Sitters Agency. Janine rushes in during a meeting and gives them a flyer.

The club promises sitters at least 13 and can sit later at night. They all worry about it a little and Kristy decides to call the club, just to see how things work. The girl on the phone takes the information, calls around and finds a sitter. She gets a cut of everyone’s pay.

Things get worse when the Agency advertises at school and gets new members. Everyone is feeling pretty down and wondering what they should do. Stacey goes over to Kristy’s house and sees Jamie Newton there. His mom went into labor and Mrs. Thomas offered to watch him. He seems down about the baby, so they throw him a big brother party. Jamie breaks down and tells Stacey that his mom won’t use the club anymore.

The four girls go over with gifts for Jamie and his new little sister Lucy. Kristy asks Mrs. Newton point blank about babysitting and she admits that they are too young to sit for a newborn. She wants older kids until Lucy gets older. Kristy comes up with a slew of ideas, including free housework, cutting prices and creating Kid-Kits.

Kristy also decides that they need new recruits/members and makes the girls wear sandwich boards advertising the club. She finds two girls named Janet and Leslie that were former members of the BSA, but dropped out. They come to one meeting, get jobs and then never show up again. Their clients call, pissed off because they never showed up.

They confront the girls at school and find them with Liz Lewis, president of the BSA. It turns out that they tricked the BSC to make Liz look better. Kristy breaks down twice and cries, which freaks Stacey out a little. She sits for Jamie and learns that he doesn’t like his new sitters. One burned a hole in the couch with a cigarette, another talked on the phone all the time and they all ignored him. She sits for Charlotte and discovers that she feels the same way. Her sitter invited over a boyfriend.

The girls walk home from school and see Jamie playing outside by himself close to the road. They talk to him and learn he has a sitter. They send him back inside and warn him to play in his backyard. They go to the Newton house that night, explain what happened and she is shocked. She agrees to call other parents and warn them about using the BSA.

Stacey goes to NYC and gets stuck staying with Laine and her family. She talks to Dr. Johansson, who warns her that the doctor her parents talked to is a quack. They secretly schedule an appointment with another doctor. After one day of tests, Stacey talks to her parents and tells them about the other doctor. They rush for that appointment and he basically tells them that she’s fine, warns them about the other doctor and suggests they give Stacey more freedom.

Both families go out to dinner and Stacey gets pissed because Laine doesn’t bring her a snack, but buys herself one. She storms out, Laine follows and they have a long talk. They go back to being friends and at the end of the book, Laine calls her to hear about everything that happened. The BSA went out of businesses, but Liz now does makeovers. Stacey is excited about her life and wants Laine to visit soon.

*Claudia points out that high school kids could sit until 2 am or possibly overnight and Stacey says they could sit for an entire weekend. Really?? When I was in high school, I still had a freaking curfew!

*Poor Charlotte! She always thought her sitters were her friends, until the little sister of one set her straight. She told her mom, who asked Stacey to sit, not realizing that Charlotte wanted her friend to come over, not a sitter.

*Apparently a small diet soda and popcorn cost 95 cents in Stoneybrook, but $1.75 in New York. I know this book came out in the 80s, but no place around me ever had stuff that cheap! And I live in freaking Ohio!

*Stacey “likes” two guys, Sam Thomas and Pete Black. She never sees Sam anymore, but still mentions that she likes him. Then Pete asks her to a dance and she kind of forgets about Sam.

*I have the older copy and the reissue. In the reissue, Ann says that she wanted a character with diabetes because two of her friends are diabetic. Then she explains that she wanted readers to have a responsible young woman that takes her disease seriously. Um, did she forget about Stacey’s Emergency? Plus this is generally a horrible depiction of the disease…says me, a diabetic. LOL.

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