The BSC gets a call from Mrs. Kilbourne, aka Shannon's mom. Apparently she wants to go back to school and things are so hectic that she needs someone to sit for Tiffany and Maria. Kristy gets the job and quickly realizes that the girls are really unhappy. Shannon is busy with school, their mom has 900 things going on, and their dad is super busy with some new case.
Kristy initially convinces them that if they help Shannon with some of the billions of things she needs to do that she'll have more time for them. This completely backfires in a bunch of different ways. They make a mess of the kitchen that she gets stuck cleaning up, they screw up her math homework, and they lose Astrid, which results in Shannon tracking her down. After she explodes on them for meddling so much, they decide to get back at her.
Instead of helping, they go out of their way to hurt her. They put purple dye in her shampoo, do the whole bowl over the door trick with red Jell-O, and screw with her appointment book so she misses a bunch of after school activities. Shannon finally breaks down crying to Kristy, who snarkily points out that she knows more about Shannon's house than she does. Kristy then tells her that the girls are only acting out because they want attention from her, and Shannon agrees that something needs to change.
While all this is going on, there's a huge all Stoneybrook dance for all the middle schools in the area. Kristy decides that there should be a similar dance for the kids. Tiffany takes over, holds a meeting, and invites kids from other schools. She and Maria both have crushes on Jordan Pike and want him as their date. They keep fighting over him until they realize that Tiffany actually liked Byron, Maria liked Adam, and Jordan liked Becca.
Claudia is in the seventh grade in this book and dating that guy Mark. They decide to set Kristy up with his friend Steve. Kristy ends up disliking him because he only cares about sports in terms of collecting memorabilia and selling it, but he asks her to the all Stoneybrook dance. She winds up turning him down in the end.
Shannon gets a role in the school play, which starts rehearsals the night of the kids dance so she can't go. Kristy tells the girls to write letters to Shannon and their parents. Shannon shows up at the kids dance and announces that she quit the play. Their parents also come out and tell the kids that they gave up some stuff so they could spend more time together.
When her date gets sick the next night, she calls up Kristy and asks her to be her date. They all have fun dancing with random people. In the end, Kristy forces the BSC to all dance together.
*Kristy is kind of a horrible sitter in this book. She helps the girls make cookies, they mess up the kitchen, and then she just leaves. She says she can't help clean up because she promised her mom she would cook dinner. Can you imagine what she would do if someone else in the club did that?
*Since when does Kristy cook dinner for her family? I thought that was the whole point of her grandma moving in with them.
*They also make the most disgusting snickerdoodle cookies in the history of cookies. They put raisins and walnuts in the batter. I have never, ever heard of anyone doing that before.
*The girls get yelled at because Shannon used up all the towels trying to get the dye out of her hair. Um, why was she drying her hair in between shampoos?
*There really isn't much of a resolution in the end. Mr. Kilbourne agrees to give up some club he's in so he can have more free time, even though the club was never a reason why he wasn't home. Shannon really only seems to give up the play because she didn't like her part or the director, but she'll still have all the other stuff going on that she did in this book. Their mom says she'll only take two classes next semester, which is the exact number of classes she took in the book.
*Kristy says that both Tiffany and Maria are pretending that they have crushes on Jordan because they're too young to think about boys. Isn't Tiffany the same age as Mal and Jess or just a year younger?
*Claudia wears a pink corduroy skirt with a lime green sweater and a lime green hair thing. Kristy says it sounds bad but looks amazing on her. I highly doubt that.
*Kristy is really snarky in this book about Mark. She thinks he's too late for their double date, doesn't pay enough attention to Claudia, and is just a bad choice.
*Claudia gets her to go on the double date by pointing out that Bart might come to the dance with a date. Poor Bart. I wonder what happened to him.
*Steve makes a bad first impression on Kristy because he wears a Yankees jacket, Bulls shirt, and a football hat. She also hates that he buys her a ticket to see some action film. Even though she says she hates those kind of movies, it seems like something she would love.
*The BSC make a rule that none of the kids can bring a date to the dance. They make it seem like everyone was worried about how to ask someone and freaking out over taking a date, but it doesn't seem that realistic for little kids.
*The straw that breaks the camel's back is when the girls dump spaghetti in Shannon's backpack. BTW, this happens while Kristy is watching them!
*Claudia makes Kristy go shopping for a double date worthy outfit. The one she pick out is a fleece vest, silky shirt, and floral skirt with clunky/strappy black heels. There is a great moment where Kristy storms out of Steven E after picking up a white tee shirt that cost $79. Claudia thinks it's a normal price, which makes me wonder how the hell much they charge for sitting!
*During a meeting for the big dance, everyone starts fighting. Kristy puts on some music and makes Alan dance with her. Everyone else falls in line and starts dancing too. It's actually kind of cute because the ghostwriter describes him as looking all amazed, then smiling, and being a little dopey that she wants to dance with him.
*At the real dance, all the girls and guys stand on separate sides of the gym until someone finally starts dancing. It's like we never read a dance book before where everyone just started dancing like crazy.