Monday, November 23, 2015

The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #13: Aloha, Baby-Sitters!

The BSC, minus Kristy and Mallory, are off to Hawaii for summer. Kristy can't go because Watson already planned to take the whole family later in the year, and Mallory can't go because her family can't afford it. To twist the knife in a little further, Jessi decides to create a diary for her that shows her everything they did on their trip.

Mallory: Speaking of Mallory, she gets the luck of the draw to sit for Jenny at the same time that Jenny's parents decide she has way, way, way (way?) too much freedom. They now let her throw tantrums but won't give in and ask that Mallory do the same thing. Jenny throws a fit at home, gets over it, and then throws a mega fit at the park. Some random woman sees and lectures Mallory about how Jenny is clearly in pain and needs attention. Since Kristy got them all BSC shirts and Mal is wearing hers, the woman sees it and calls the next day to lecture them again. Mallory goes back to the park later and sees some little boy throwing a massive hissy fit. It turns out his mom is the same woman from before. Even though Mal wants to tell her off, she just wanders away and thinks about how the woman will now know how she feels.

Jessi: Despite opening and closing the book, Jessi really has no story. She annoys everyone by taking a bunch of pictures and writing down their experiences in her book. Oh, and she also stops listening to their tour guide to focus on writing more to Mal.

Kristy: Kristy gets the phone call from the crazy lady at their meeting and worries that they have a new enemy in town. She also helps out on the Stone farm and leads a camp for kids. The only thing she really does is lecture Karen and some random kid about watching television instead of helping out on the farm.

Dawn: Since this is a book with a Dawn story in it, she somehow finds a disgusting beach and decides to clean it up. She encourages everyone else to help too, and they wind up finding a group of local kids to help. She then encourages them to keep the beach clean and probably nods in a condescending way.

Abby: While out on the beach, Abby comes across a crew filming a commercial for sun tan lotion. One of the actors dropped out, so she wanders up and pretends like she's eighteen. They immediately give her the job, but the head chaperon almost won't let her. She gets super sunburned but has a great time and starts daydreaming about Steven Spielberg discovering her on television.

Mary Anne: Mary Anne and Logan decide to be TBI on their trip, Together But Independent, because apparently their friends hate how much time they spend together. She helps a family find their missing son who was just hiding in a room, and she gets a job sitting for a local family. Though she assumes they will be all crazy Hawaiian, their just a formal family. They ask her to sit again, and she recommends Claudia for reasons you'll discover shortly. Her and Logan then decide they would rather be together than apart.

Claudia: Claudia gets down in the dumps after visiting Pearl Harbor because she's Japanese and even wonders what side Mimi was on during the war. She keeps hiding out and refusing to go places that have any connection to the war. Mary Anne finds out that the grandfather of the family she sat for was in WW II and encourages Claudia to sit for them. Claudia breaks down to the man and confesses her feelings for him, and he calms her down by telling her a story about his ancestors and later pointing out that the bombs made Pearl Harbor look minor by comparison.

Stacey: Stacey gets pissed off at Robert when he spends most of the flight talking to Sue Archer and later accuses him of hitting on the flight attendant. They take a trip with a group to go on a helicopter tour but wind up on two different helicopters. Hers naturally goes down in the middle of nowhere, but no worries because they get rescued the next day. Robert feels really bad and even confesses that he cried, and people in town want to touch her because she's the girl from TV.

Jessi gives Mallory the finished journal, and Mallory almost cries before thanking her, saying that it was almost like she was there. Seriously? She should have shoved it down her throat for reminding her of what she missed!

*Dawn gets all pompous to inform them of a banyan tree they see on the island. Logan then asks her if she plans on eating the leaves for dinner, and I giggled.

*The waiter explains to them that mahimahi is dolphin, and Dawn almost flips her lid until he explains it's dolphin fish. You would think someone like her would know that.

*I love that the chaperon doesn't want Abby to leave the group to do the commercial, but he doesn't have a problem when Mary Anne wants to skip out to babysit.

*Given that Watson had no problem with Kristy skipping their last family vacation, he should be a nice guy and invite Mallory to come with them to Hawaii.

*Mary Anne freaks out because Logan is all quiet when they get to Hawaii and thinks he might want to break out. Turns out he's upset because they didn't get leis like they did on The Brady Bunch. They do get leis at the end though.

*Mary Anne is also so “devastated” when Stacey goes missing that she can't function and spends all day crying. Really? Because it kind of seems like they aren't even friends outside of the club.

*The teachers decide to just proceed as normal to keep the kids' minds off the missing helicopter. Seriously? Three of their friends and one of their teachers is missing and they want them to just hit the beach?

*Um, yeah, how much did this trip cost? They are constantly going off on all these little side trips without paying any extra. It doesn't seem fair either if everyone paid the same price. The cost of going on a private helicopter tour alone should add significantly to the price they paid.

*Miss Holier Than Though Dawn actually eats one of Claudia's Doritos. I think California softened her.

*Carol, her dad, and Jeff come to see her at the airport when they have a layover. You can tell this is before 9/11.

*Abby in no way looks eighteen. She has to bring a teacher along and the BSC shows up to cheer for her. She laughs it off like the teacher is her agent and the members are her little sister's friends.

*Abby goes to help them set up the volleyball net, and someone tells her it's not her job because she's the talent. Ugh, like she needs a bigger head.

*Dawn supposedly hates the term eco-conservatism or something like that. Personally, I think she would love it.

*Robert and Logan both get one chapter each, and both are pretty pointless. Robert's just sets up his fighting with Stacey, and Logan's is about him missing Mary Anne and getting a surfing lesson from Dawn.

*I know a lot of people love Claudia's sections of the book, but they were pretty meh for me. She acts like she never heard of World War II before, which really makes me worry about Stoneybrook Middle School. At the end, she does find out that Mimi never talked about the war though.

*Mallory's story really annoys me. Margaret, the woman from the park, has both a son and an older daughter. Yet somehow, an 11 year old girl knows how to handle a tantrum better than a mother of two.


  1. Dawn really knows how to suck the fun out of everything.

    I love Hawaii. My family vacationed there once when I was in middle school. Its one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I loved it and Maui especially. I think every one should visit it at least once. If I ever win the lotto that's where I'm heading with my winnings.

    We visited Pearl Harbor and it was really interesting place to visit. Seeing all of the battleships. And yes we watched probably the same video Claudia did.

    I really didn't like Claudia's section. Aside from how she could have
    World War II. Unlike most wars World War II is so
    much more then Japan bombed us and we bombed them back.There's also the Japanese conquest of parts of Asia and the South Pacific and did some really bad stuff. The US responded by refusing to export oil to Japan unless they pulled their troops. There's also how bad and bloody Iwa Jima and Okinawa were. How high the death tolls were. And of course Nazi Germany. Its one of the few wars, that losing, would have
    been a really bad thing. I realize this is a series aimed at preteens and World War II is a pretty heavy subject and probably too heavy for BSC. But Ann could have made her point that wars and bombs while also educating her readers on the war. I'm sorry if it sounds like a rant and I'm probably taking it a little too seriously, so I'll shut up now.

    1. I agree with you; WWII wasn't as straight-forward WAR IS BAD as the book seems to indicate. There were things like concentration camps and Project 731 that needed to be stopped (although the extent of those weren't widely known to the US right away). My grandfather was in the Marines near the end of the war and trained for the invasion of Japan. Given how the citizens of Japan were ready to defend themselves, he probably wouldn't have survived and gone on to father my dad seven years later. Most of the people training to invade wouldn't have. That's why Truman made the decision to go with the atomic bombs--less loss of American life. He regarded it as the lesser of two evils.

      I'm not saying the bombs were good. I'm saying it's a complicated issue. Given the year this book was written and the ages it targeted, it's not a huge stretch that a lot of girls reading it had grandfathers in the same situation as mine.

      Ideally the US would have never been in the position to decide whether to invade another nation or drop atomic bombs (and even then, it can be argued that there were better targets). But in that same ideal world there would have been no war to start with.

    2. I completely agree. I've read so many recaps of this book where people talked about how heartfelt her scenes were, and some people even said that they cried. It wound up being really boring to me, and I thought her whole story was pretty one dimensional.