So, I swear that I already reviewed this book. I even have it crossed off my list of books to do, but I went through all the BSC tags on this blog and found no mention of it, so who knows?
Becca is super upset because she's in the Kids Club at school and just learned that the club has to shut down. Mr. Katz and another teacher run the club, but that teacher wants to take some time off to travel with her husband while he works, and Mr. Katz doesn't think he can handle all the kids himself. Jessi approaches the club with an idea: they take a month off to do volunteer work. Everyone thinks it's an amazing idea.
Jessi stops by to talk to him, and he agrees to a trial run. They'll try things out for two weeks to see if it's a good fit. Becca is also upset because she heard that Danielle Roberts, a former SES student, has leukemia and is in the hospital. At her first minute, the kids get letters from a bunch of kids in the hospital because they got shops to donate toys for them. One of the letters is from Danielle and is about how she's coming back to school soon.
When she does come back, the kids her age are almost afraid of her and won't really talk to her, but the younger kids flock to her. She gets really close to Becca and Charlotte. Despite them not being in the same grade, they hang out all the time outside of school. Danielle also gets close to Jessi and reveals that she wants to graduate from elementary school and go to Disney World. When MA hears, she naturally bursts into tears and then tells Jessi about an organization called Your Wish is My Command, which uses donations to make the wishes of sick kids come true. Jessi calls, tells them about Danielle, and gets her on the list.
Danielle comes over to the house and hangs out with the girls. They play with dolls and chase Squirt around the house before she gets so tired that she almost passes out. Jessi's parents try to call Danielle's parents but can't get an answer. They come back, kind of apologize for not being home, and announce that they will get to go to Disney once enough donations come through.
When the donations come through, all the kids are in awe of Danielle. They keep telling her what to do on her trips and asking her a bunch of questions. Her hair also starts coming back in, which makes her a little uncomfortable but she lets one of the girls style her hair. Jessi, Becca, and Charlotte all come over to help her pack. Greg, her little brother, throws a fit. He gets upset when she gets a piece of candy after taking her medication while he doesn't and throws a tantrum when the girls have to leave so Danielle can sleep while he still wants to have fun.
Danielle sends them a bunch of postcards and brings them all back gifts. When they show up for another meeting though, she's not there. One of the kids says that she heard from a teacher who heard from Greg that Danielle is back in the hospital. Jessi takes the two girls to the bathroom and helps calm them down.
That night, she asks her mom if she can call the hospital. Her mom tells her it isn't a good idea but does agree to let her call their house. Greg tells her that his sister is back in the hospital for some tests but seems really uncomfortable so she hangs up. She writes Danielle a letter and hears back from her in the end about how she now knows that wishes come true and won't stop wishing.
*Not just calling it Make a Wish is ridiculous because Ann tells us in the end that proceeds from the book go to that foundation. Of course, they only got like four cents per book sold, which is somehow even worse than the pink ribbon scam.
*This family must have some dough! Danielle brings back all the kids a Mickey Mouse sticker and gets special gifts for others. Charlotte gets a book on the park, Mr. Katz gets his own mouse ears, Becca gets a Donald shirt, and Jessi gets a necklace with a wishing star charm.
*How in the hell did they get Kristy to agree to basically shut down the club for a month? They say that members will show up when they can and take jobs when they can and that they'll rely more on Logan and Shannon but it seems out of character.
*Kristy also annoys me because they get together to talk about what they find and she just automatically decides that she can go first because she's the president.
*Kristy volunteers at the after school center that David Michael once attended. The head teacher gives her the option of choosing where she wants to work, and she decides to work with the babies because she falls in love with this little girl Joy. The kid cries her head off until Kristy sings multiple songs to her and then rocks her for a really long time, but the teacher is all in shock because Joy NEVER goes down that easy.
*Only a few girls get their own chapters. Stacey works for a program designed for those recently diagnosed with diabetes, Mallory volunteers at some park program, and Mary Anne helps a family friend with their special needs son.
*Claudia works for an arts program for seven and eight year old kids and winds up with Jackie, Karen, and Margo in her group. Poor Claudia! Karen freaks out when they work on clay sculptures and says the elephant, snake, and tree in hers is actually moving. It scares all the other kids until Claudia says they can't put living things in the kiln, which causes Karen to say everything stopped moving.
*Dawn volunteers at the Baker Institute for kids with special needs and rides the bus to the city. She bonds with a girl in a wheelchair who wants to be a writer. Funny how this never came up later...
*When Jessi asks why they don't live in the barn, Dawn explains that it's too hot in the summer and too hot in the winter. Just wait!
*The Kids Club convinced shops to donate toys to the hospital, cleaned up litter at the park, has plans to make gifts for the Meals on Wheels group, and creates things for the retirement home. Pretty sure when I was 7-8 that I wouldn't do any of that LOL.
*They want to make gift baskets for the elderly and get together to make popcorn for them, but while working, they are still trying to figure out what else to put in the baskets. How old will this popcorn be by then? Stale popcorn is disgusting!
*So, Jessi's parents tell Becca that she can have her friends over, but then they're just like, “hey, we need to work in the garden. Jessi, you take care of the kids for us.” Given that Cecilia takes care of them on weekdays, you'd think they might want to spend some time with their children on the weekends.
*Becca invites the girls over, but when Danielle gets there, she has to go call Charlotte and tell her to come over. Why not just give them a time to get there?
*Not a big fan of Danielle's parents leaving her at a friend's house and then just taking off. If my kid had cancer, I would be sitting by the phone whenever she was away from home.
*It's kind of shitty that Jessi's mom tells her not to call the hospital but gives her permission to call their house.
*I also dislike Kristy's story. When David Michael was in daycare, we heard about how he didn't always go because their mom couldn't afford it. If this place actually charges parents, I can't imagine then letting 13 year old volunteers work wherever they want. If I paid money for my kid to stay in one of these programs and later found out some volunteer was taking care of him/her, I'd be pissed.
*Maybe it's just me, but it seems like there should be more to getting a kid on the wish list thing. Jessi calls, tells them about Danielle, and they just tell her to have the kid's parents call. They and Danielle then gush about how Jessi helped make one of her dreams come true. Then again, I guess it's more realistic than Frank and Carl on Shameless...