Friday, September 7, 2012

The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #4: Kristy and the Missing Child


While sitting for the Kuhn family, Patsy tells Kristy that she saw their daddy’s car the other day. The other kids roll their eyes and say that she’s imagining things because their dad lives in Texas now. Jake pouts a little because his dad wanted to take him to Europe and his mom said no, and his dad now can’t come to his birthday party.

Kristy holds a practice for the Krushers that Patsy and Laurel skip because of a dentist appointment. Bart and his team show up, and they play a few innings. Bart walks them home and Jake starts off on his own, saying his mom told him that he could. It starts raining, so they rush home and hang out for awhile.

Caroline Kuhn calls to ask if they’ve seen Jake because he’s missing. After calling the Barrett house, she decides that her evil ex-husband must have kidnapped him. Kristy calls an emergency meeting of the BSC to talk about the situation, and the cops show up because she was the last one who saw him.

The meeting accomplishes nothing, and Mrs. Brewer picks up Kristy and Shannon before stopping by the Kuhn house. Shannon waits in the car because she doesn’t really know the family, and no one seems to care about Kristy. They treat her like a kid and won’t talk about anything important when she’s around.

The BSC decides to gather the local kids and search for Jake. Matt mentions a few places where they played in the past, including drainage tunnels. They search for a few hours and find nothing. Mrs. Kuhn sends the girls to the Pike house, and later, Stacey and her mom take the girls.

Mrs. Kuhn finds letters from Mr. Kuhn that mention his “lady friend”. The cops track her down, but she has no clue where they are. They also discover that Mr. Kuhn is in some random part of Mexico that has no telephones, so they can’t get in touch with him and he has no idea that his son is missing.

The BSC organize another search party and hit the streets. Matt takes them to an abandoned hideout, but they only find some high school boys who join the search. As a last resort, they search a construction site and Kristy hears a noise. They follow the sound and find that Jake fell through a hole in the floor and has been there all along. Jake gets rescued and everyone is happy.

The B-plot (kind of) is about Mary Anne. She’s in danger of failing Home Ec because she can’t handle anything in the class. She keeps messing up the stitches on a skirt and fails several times at making Jell-O. Pete even makes up a fake missile launcher for her hard Jell-O. She finally gets the idea to make harder Jell-O and cut out pieces with cookie cutters. She gets an A in the class, but learns that she didn’t invent the idea.

At the very end, SMS hosts an Award Night event. They make a big deal out of it, but it’s all things like Best Dressed and Class Clown. Mary Anne wins Most Improved Home Ec student, and then they make a special award and give it to Kristy for finding Jake.

*This is at least the second time that Kristy mentions not ever traveling outside the state. That seems a little weird to me, but my parents traveled a lot, so I had already been to 30+ states by junior high.

*I love the references in BSC books! In this one, Jake’s having a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party.

*It kind of surprised me that Logan and Shannon both came to the emergency meeting, especially since Shannon admitted to not knowing Jake.

*It’s nice to see these kids actually treated like kids. Mrs. Kuhn pretty much pushes Kristy into a corner so she can talk with the adults.

*Stacey treats the girls to a “popcorn picnic” where they make popcorn and top it with different spices. Patsy accidentally drops almost an entire jar of garlic on hers. It’s a cute idea, but it makes me sad that it’s something Stacey and her mom usually do together. Maureen needs to get a life.

*Why does Kristy get a special award? There were dozens of people with her, and Bart is the one who ran to call the police.

*Did your school do anything like this Award Night? We had stuff like this, but it was just an insert in the yearbook.

*Kristy wears her usual outfit to the show, but Stacey wears a shirtdress and tie-dyed leggings, while Claudia wears a black jumpsuit and wide red belt.

*Seriously, how does Mary Anne miss the whole jigglers thing? The recipe is right on the back of the package.

*I don’t buy her having so many problems in Home Ec anyway. It’s convenient that she sometimes knows nothing about sewing, and other times she knows everything.

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