Do you remember when Dawn went to California and swore she would be back for good? Well, that comes right before this one. With her gone, the club is short a member and has no alternate officer. They rely on Shannon and Logan more than ever and still need more help.
Luckily for them, Jessi has a new friend named Wendy. Wendy comes over and helps her watch her siblings, they hang out in school, and they seem to like each other. Kristy says to bring her to their next meeting. Since she apparently didn't get the memo about being late, she's super slow to get ready, but they still get there in time. It's so busy that no one really explains the rules of the club. Kristy decides to let her sit with Jessi to see how she does before giving her the job.
Sitting for the Barrett family goes pretty well. They have to relieve Claudia so she can rush to another job, and Wendy makes them get there 10 minutes late. She's good with kids though and becomes an official member. Unfortunately, Wendy doesn't really like all the BSC rules. She shows up late once because she took a job from a client without telling the BSC and shows up late again because she was playing video games with friends.
Wendy also comes late to sitting jobs. When they sit for the Pikes, Wendy doesn't show up, and Jessi has to call Mary Anne for help. Wendy admits that she was late because she once again took a job without telling the club. During the next meeting, she gets into things with Kristy and quits. Wendy takes the time to tell her that she gets told to do enough of the time without adding someone like Kristy to the mix.
Kristy flips out about how Wendy is completely irresponsible and how she can't believe Jessi would be friends with someone like that. Jessi feels bad because she thinks Wendy won't like her anymore. They eventually talk on the phone and decide that they can be friends, even if Wendy isn't in the club.
In other news, Buddy comes up with an idea to make a video play for Dawn to remind her how much they all love her. They decide to put on Snow White and the Seven Zorbs with Captain Planet saving the day. Buddy takes on Captain Planet, the Arnold twins play Snow White, Suzi plays the witch, and a bunch of other charges help out.
Dawn conveniently comes up with an idea to make a video for them too. She goes around with a camera, films some of the kids they met, and has everyone say hello. The videos cross in the mail, with both sides loving their copies. Oh, and Mallory is super tired all of the time, has no energy, and winds up skipping a bunch of jobs because she's so tired...
*Mallory's doctor says she's probably just anemic or fighting a virus. Bull shit. I had mono around the same age (12 or 13?), and when I went in with my symptoms, the doctor immediately took a blood sample and told me what she thought I had. Mallory just goes home with a prescription and says the blood tests will be in later.
*Claudia outfit #1: oversize white shirt, black vest covered in beads, black flats covered in matching beds, neon green leggings, an earring made of the same beads in one ear, and a green hoop earring in the other.
*Claudia outfit #2: hot pink stirrup pants, fuzzy pink sweater, and neon green pads and helmet.
*The girls all go skating, with Claudia wearing the above outfit. Stacey goes with jeans, a leather jacket, and a black helmet with silver steaks. Kristy wears rollerblades, but most of the other girls wear old-fashioned skates.
*Stacey gives them $30 to buy props for the video. Jessi and Mary Anne divide the money in half and buy way too much stuff for just $15 each. Jessi gets a bank shaped like a red apple, a blow up palm tree, green crepe paper, ears for all the “zorbs,” and other stuff for $15.
*Suzie recently watched a cartoon and keeps quoting, “think again buckaroo” all the time. I totally started saying that.
*When they go the store to buy supplies, Mallory begs off because she's too tired. Jessi and Mary Anne freak out because they can't control all those kids. It's really just Margo, Vanessa, Suzie, Nicky, and Buddy though. Is it really that hard?
*In a C-plot, Jessi sees Margo steal a troll ring from the store. When she confronts her, it turns out that Margo also took some gum and other trinkets. She and Mallory encourage her to tell her mom. Mrs. Pike then takes her back to the store, she gives what she can back, and pays for the rest.
*Shannon comes up with a solution in the end. She'll take over as alternate officer until Dawn comes back and will then step down. She makes a comment about all the stuff her family has planned, which causes Kristy to freak out because they might need her. Shannon just laughs and tells her they can deal with that later.
*I thought I never read this book, but I totally remember the whole play thing.
*All the girls are super excited about Dawn's video, but it kind of ticked me off. The BSC and their charges spend all this money and time on a script, props, and filming. Dawn comes up with the idea in a day and spends like 30 minutes filming.
*Wendy really hates the idea of giving up her regular clients to the club. She does have a good point though. One kid she sits for her is a baby who hates strangers. How would Kristy deal with that?
*At the beginning, Jessi asks if anyone wants hot chocolate and microwaves three mugs of chocolate milk. That is not hot chocolate!!!
*While sitting for her siblings, Mallory falls asleep while reading The Three Bears. Jessi finds Claire playing by herself, and Claire says Mallory fell asleep but she doesn't blame her because she thinks it's a very boring story. I kind of love this kid.
*Vanessa uses her mom's electric rollers to curl her hair for a pizza party. One set gets stuck, and Jessi has to cut them out. She then shows Vanessa how to braid the short side of her head to make it look better, which she does again later in the book. I literally cannot picture how this would look.