Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Babysitters Club #111: Stacey's Secret Friend

Stacey is suddenly a member of the Pep Squad, which is some random club filled with kids who have school spirit or something. She and Barbara (remember her as the best friend of the girl who passed away?) recently made a large jaguar from paper mache for some upcoming school event. Claudia gave them the “brilliant” idea to use two big ass glass marbles for its eyes. Just as they finish, the new girl walks right into and completely destroys the jaguar. Her name is Tess Swinhart, she feels awful about what happened and offers to help, but she winds up dumping glue all over Alan Gray.

Alan thinks the new girl is totally awful and makes it his mission to destroy her. He starts calling her Swine-hart because she's a bigger girl who wears pink all the time. Alan even creates a comic book to make fun of her. Kids pass it all around school and make fun of her behind her back and to her face. She doesn't get it when someone writes Petunia on her locker, and she doesn't get why King constantly calls her Babe. Stacey decides that she'll make over Tess and turn her into one of the cool kids.

Since they're partners in their English class, Stacey invites her over to work on their project, which is a replica of a real castle. Instead of working though, she encourages Tess to flip through her fashion and makeup magazines. Tess really isn't into it, so Stacey drops a bunch of not too subtle hints about how she can change her style. Stacey then makes up an excuse that she needs to leave for a BSC meeting before they get any work done. She also drops hints about how Tess should switch from her thick black glasses to new contact lenses.

Though Tess does join the Pep Club at Stacey's urging, it's clear that she doesn't want to be there. Someone randomly decides they should change the school mascot, the administration agrees, and they decide to vote on it at the next pep rally. Stacey suggests a panther because they really wouldn't have to change the mascot much. When everyone else submits their ideas, there are multiple cards with Tess's name. Barbara and Stacey just throw those away and decide to make large cards with the animals on the front that they'll hold up for kids to vote on at the rally.

Tess eventually comes to school with a little bit of makeup on and a blue sweatshirt instead of one of her pink outfits. Stacey keeps going on and on about how good she looks to the point of making the poor girl uncomfortable. The rest of the BSC are too sure how to feel about Tess. She's definitely a little odd, dresses weird (always in pink), is something of a klutz, and seems pretty cold. Kristy thinks it's weird that Stacey won't invite Tess to sit with them, and Claudia points out that the two girls aren't really friends. Stacey does attempt to warn Tess about King, but Tess thinks she's only doing it because she likes him too. Stacey really doesn't know what to do when she hears that Tess has a date with King at some new restaurant called Hog Heaven.

During the pep rally, Stacey holds up the cards as the crowd yells for which mascot they like the best. When she holds up the pig card, people laugh like crazy. It turns out that someone blew up a big picture of Tess and pasted it on the card. Someone in the crowd hits the poor girl with a hot dog. As she tries to get up and run away, she falls over the side of the bleachers. Stacey runs over to help, but Tess realizes that Stacey knew about the kids making fun of her all along and tells her that they are not friends.

Still not one to give up, Stacey stops by her house. Poor Tess sprained her wrist and broke her ankle. She finds that Tess has this amazing room with a replica of a famous mobile hanging from the ceiling and all this unique stuff. Tess then reveals that she transferred from a school in Paris. Stacey realizes that's why she didn't get all the pop culture references and why she acted so odd. She also finds a bunch of photos of Tess and her friends and even a fashion magazine from Paris that show kids wearing bright pink clothes and thick black glasses. Tess once again tells her that they aren't friends and asks her to leave.

Emily comes to Stacey with some bad news. King, Alan, and some other random guy are planning on playing a bad joke on Tess. When she goes on her “date” with King, he'll keep putting her in front of all this pig stuff. They'll take pictures, make horrible comments, and put the whole thing in the paper. Stacey tells the BSC, Kristy comes up with an idea, and surprisingly, Tess agrees to go along with it.

Claudia gets a huge plate of fries and smothers them in ketchup. When they see King and Tess, Stacey pretends to trip, which causes Claudia to drop the whole platter on him. Stacey then pulls out a rag covered in blue paint and smears it all over him. Abby stands nearby and takes photos of everything. They then tell him to knock it off or they'll share the embarrassing pictures with everyone they know. King kind of slinks off with his tail between his legs. Tess is suddenly okay with everything and happy, but in the end, she seems to like Barbara way better than Stacey or anyone else.

While all this is going on, Jackie starts acting weird. He keeps stealing his mom's new cell phone and inviting Nicky over. When Nicky can't come over, Jackie flips out and mumbles to himself a lot. Abby finds Nicky giving Jackie a “lesson” that involves walking on the roof of the house. While sitting for him, three other kids show up to talk to him. She sees them acting really threatening to him and being bullies but decides to see what happens. It turns out that one of the kids thought he stole his jacket, so Jackie hired Nicky as his bodyguard. When he explains that it was really his jacket, the other kid calms down and they even play soccer together.

*Abby does a really bad job of watching over Jackie. There is no way she should have let those kids into the yard, and there is no way she should have left Jackie alone. That could have ended way worse.

*The comic Alan makes is really mean and kind of makes me rethink the way I felt about him in the FF series.

*Tess outfit #1: black boots, brown cords, shirt with a Peter Pan collar, and pink cardigan. That's what she wore when she walked through the mascot.

*Speaking of the mascot, who just suddenly decides to change their school's mascot? The administration should have just said no!

*Stacey picks panther because she says that she can just paint the one they made a new color next year. Damn, even she knows that she's never leaving eighth grade!

* Tess outfit #2: hot pink sweatshirt and matching pants with white lace collar and cuffs. I don't think even Claudia could pull that one off...

* Tess outfit #3: the one from the cover: hot pink overalls with a pink, green, and yellow flowered shirt underneath. Mary Anne thinks it looks cute, but everyone else finds it disgusting.

*Tess also wears a pink, yellow, and maybe green pantsuit type outfit that Stacey thinks looks like it's from the 70s. Tess says it was her mom's and she loves it. If Claudia wore it, people would be all up in her business about how it was so innovative.

*Stacey basically says that Tess growing up in Paris is even more impressive and sophisticated than how she grew up in NYC. Ooh, I think someone is jealous.

*When Tess shows up with makeup on, she's incredibly uncomfortable and even says that she doesn't like the way the mascara feels. Stacey poo poos her because you “can't feel” makeup. Fuck yeah you can, it's why I pretty much wear makeup once a year. Well, that and the fact that I work from home, so some days I don't even wear pants!

*It's funny that her glasses are so lame when hipsters today made those glasses stylish. I may not be a hipster, but the glasses I wear most days look a lot like the pair on the cover but in brown.

*I'm sure I did a bad job of recapping this book, but Stacey is really and truly awful. She gets it in her head that Tess needs saving and does all this crap to change her looks without really being her friend or spending any time with her.


  1. Stacey was horrible in this book. She wanted to change Tess for herself not for Tess. I felt horrible for Tess, everyone treated her like crap.

    1. I also felt really bad for Tess, mainly because my glasses look so much like hers :(