This is a book that came out after I stopped reading the BSC series, so I don’t exactly have a memory of reading it. I do have a memory about seeing the book come out, and I may have told this story before. ButI had read book # 99, and saw in the back of the book that the next one was about the club possibly breaking up. I guess I thought it was going to be the last book in the series….and that it was ending with everyone going in separate ways. It just seemed like a horrible end, so I never bought the new book. My thinking was that I’d rather pretend they just went on as a club forever. When I found out later that the books did continue, I decided I didn’t miss them, so there was no need to start again.
The book starts out at the end of summer/beginning of school. Kristy’s just gotten back from a family vacation in Hawaii, and she insists on holding a meeting on Labor Day. The other BSC members are a bit resentful, and not because they didn’t get to go on this latest vacation with the family. They’re annoyed because they were supposed to do things with their families that day. They complain a little, which is the first step towards Kristy deciding to disband the club. That’s right, Kristy of all people, decides that her great idea had never been that great.
The first step in this path is that Jessi has a new ballet class that’s going to meet on Fridays….during BSC meeting. Jessi asks if they can change meeting days to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Which just sounds wrong to me. The rest of the club thinks this is fine, but Kristy pretty much freaks out. She thinks if they change the meeting time, the club will never be the same. But ultimately, they convince her. A few days later Mallory reveals that she was invited to join a special writing group that meets Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:00, and she asks to change Wednesday’s meeting time to Tuesday. I don’t know why they can’t just excuse Mallory and Jessi from these meetings, especially since Mal’s group would only be for six weeks. But these girls aren’t exactly known for being logical. However, Kristy does not want to change a second meeting time.
We also find out that while Kristy was away, Abby acted as club president and the girls had some festival/event thing. Since it went well without her, Kristy is feeling a little insecure and decides she wants to do her own event, “The Fall into Fall Festival Block Party.” The other girls act like teenagers for once and say they don’t want to put time into another project. This, of course, pisses Kristy off. It gets worse because now that the girls are in eighth grade (again), they all have a lot more homework then the last twelve times they were in eighth grade. Maybe the teachers think this is the way to finally get students to pass? Meanwhile, Abby and Mary Anne get to a meeting late, Claudia and Mary Anne get into a fight….basically everyone is just generally slacking off a bit, at least in Kristy’s eyes. And they seem to think it just isn’t fun anymore.
During all this, Kristy’s still trying to have her festival and get the club back on track. Then, Jackie Rodowsky has an accident and falls out a tree he was climbing, while Kristy’s sitting for him. He’s okay, but has a sprained ankle and Kristy blames herself. This is the straw that breaks the camels back. When the girls get into an argument at the next BSC meeting, Kristy suggests disbanding. The other older members slowly agree – only Jessi and Mal want to stay together. But, a majority vote to end the club, so that is what they do. Claudia leaves a message on her answer machine announcing this to parents, but says individual members will still sit. I’m apparently really pathetic, because part of me was still a little sad to read about this.
Kristy regrets the decision the next day, and is hoping other members do too. But, everyone seems perfectly happy. Claudia, however, is annoyed because parents keep calling her house upset, and saying how disappointed they are that the club broke up. I guess because, without easy access to baby-sitters, they may have to actually spend time with their kids. The horror. Especially for Watson. The parents do call some of the girls for individual jobs, but some of their regular clients start asking other teenagers in town to sit as well. However, Kristy refuses to take any individual jobs because she’s still upset about what happened to Jackie.
Then, Jackie has another accident. And the girls all rush to the hospital to see him, although it seems a bit out of character for them to do that. Anyway, when they get there, Jackie says he hurt himself while riding his bike to Kristy’s…..because he wanted to apologize for getting hurt and making split the club up. Seeing Jackie gets Kristy to start feeling a little better about the original accident, and gets her to agree to take a sitting job with the Pikes. While there, Mallory accidentally closes a door on Claire’s hand, and then feels horrible about it. But Kristy’s all, “it was an accident, you did nothing wrong.” Which makes her realize that Jackie getting hurt wasn’t all her fault either.
So, she calls all the girls to Claud’s house to talk about getting back together. It turns out that they all miss it some….the only one who needs convincing is Claudia, who’s worried about school. But, they convince her to agree. Since some of them are a little hesitant about jumping into the deep end of BSC-land, they rejoin for a one month “trial period” with the plan to keep meeting permanently if they all still happy.
- The cover shows all seven girls in Claud’s room fighting. I like to think that was done on purpose as a callback to the cover of Kristy’s Great Idea.
- This book takes place right after Super Special #13, which apparently has most of the BSC going to Hawaii on a school trip (which is ridiculous), with Kristy going with her family later on. I’ve never read it, so I’m not sure if the events they reference in this book actually happened in the Super Special, or if they are just adding random backstory. It’s a bit disorienting not knowing everything that happened previously.
- Kristy says that she’s tired from the long flight back from Hawaii “yesterday.” She mentions that that Hawaii is two hours behind California in time. However, this is only true in the winter. Hawaii doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, so in the summer, it would be three hours behind California. That should be a pretty easy fact to check, ghostwriters.
- Kristy says that Mary Anne left multiple messages on her answering machine, almost in tears because no one was answering the phone (when the family was supposed to be back). I don’t really buy Mary Anne being that worried. She’s sensitive, yes, but she’s smart enough to know that flights sometimes get delayed.
- Janine’s annoyed that the Kishi’s left a family barbeque early so Claudia could host the BSC meeting on Labor Day. I mean, if Janine thinks you shouldn’t be working, it’s a big deal. Also, I can’t believe that parents as strict as the Kishi’s would leave early to accommodate the club. But then….they’ve let the girls meet there without Claudia. So, I guess it makes sense.
- Jessi isn’t at the meeting, because her family acted like real parents and didn’t let her leave a family party early to accommodate a club.
- She was wearing, “a bracelet of dyed, braided shoelaces, along with a blousy ruffled shirt that looked like it once belonged to Captain Hook; mismatched high-top converse sneakers; and baggy, pinstriped men’s suit paints, gathered at the waist with a bungee cord.” I guess I don’t have to tell you that Claud looked “totally cool” in this outfit. Although, I think it seems a bit impractical to be wearing during a Labor Day barbeque.
- Kristy wants to have apple picking at this fall festival she is planning. And since there are no apple trees in Stoneybrook, she wants to tie them to trees with strings. No wonder the other girls aren’t into her idea.
- Kristy also wants to have “maple sugaring.” I can’t believe she knows what that is, let alone that she expects to do it.
- When she sees it’s causing an argument, Mallory actually says she won’t bother joining the writing group. Way to give up part of yourself for your friends, Mal.
- Kristy wants some neighborhood kids to help her hang apples from trees (to practice picking them). Hannie Papadakis says she won’t climb trees to do this because it is dangerous. And of course later, Jackie gets hurt climbing a tree. I am just going to pretend they meant that as foreshadowing instead of it being a happy coincidence.
- How does Cokie Mason keep passing classes? I remember in a book where she does a group project with Mary Anne, Cokie’s final speech is cribbed directly from some book. And in this book, Cokie reads answers in class that are copied from a book. If Kristy and Mary Anne notice this, how come teachers don’t?
- When Claudia tries to point out that they don’t really have to have meetings, parents could leave messages with the times they need, and get a call back…Kristy freaks out. She’s all, “remember when meeting times were sacred?” I am not sure that it is that healthy to have club meetings like that be sacred.
- When Kristy’s playing with Archie Rodowsky, who’s driving around in a little play car. She plays the part of a gas station attendant and fills his “tank” for $10…..it would be so nice if that was an accurate price.
- Abby says Jackie has a “Sadim touch” – Sidam being “Midas” backwards, since everything Jackie touches breaks instead of turning gold. I was thinking it was actually a semi-smart nickname, but I found out it actually a real-ish term.
- How come Watson and Kristy’s mom bothered adopting Emily? In every scene she’s in, Nannie is the one taking care of her. She is even feeding her breakfast in a scene where Watson and Elizabeth are both present and cooking for the other kids. I can understand needing help, especially since they both work, but Nannie does everything.
- This book is similar to other BSC books, in that Kristy talks about having elaborate breakfasts in the morning, even on school days. They were always describing these in the series. I don’t remember my family ever sitting around the table and eating fresh bacon and eggs on school days. Who has time?
- This scene’s kind of funny. The day after the club breaks up, Mary Anne tells Kristy, “I’m so upset.” Kristy thinks she’s talking about the BSC, but really Mary Anne’s just upset because the cafeteria is serving some diluted pesto sauce at lunch.
- The parents reaction to the BSC splitting up seems a bit much – Mrs. Arnold cried, Mr. Papadakis wanted to pay them a retainer to stay together, and Mrs. Wilder (another parent) wanted to give them a counseling session. I mean, are baby-sitters that hard to find?
- Claudia says she is “D – E – D. Dead” because she doesn’t understand her homework. Which make me think of this and this.
- Claud also misspells Mary Anne’s last name. How long have they known each other? Spier isn’t even that hard to spell either.
- Two other SMS students tell Kristy that the BSC had a monopoly on baby-sitting and they’re glad the BSC is split, so they can have a chance at jobs. And Kristy’s all, “we just wanted to be good sitters, not the only ones in town.” Which, isn’t exactly consistent with her behavior over 99 other books. I’m glad someone pointed out they weren’t always fair to other potential sitters.
- Kristy actually makes fun of (in her head) one of these other girls for not thinking to change Lucy Newton’s diaper when she was crying. She actually gets all condescending when she gives these other girls tips. But then she find out the other girl got paid more than the BSC did. Karma’s a bitch, huh?
- Stacey and Claudia see the Newtons at the mall, and Jamie won’t say hello because he’s mad they don’t sit for him anymore. Is any four-year-old that into his sitters?
- Cokie Mason even gets a sitting job for another BSC client….the Hsu’s. And she makes them go shopping with her. Which of course, infuriates Kristy.
- So, Jackie gets admitted to the hospital, Dr. Johansson calls Charlotte, who tells Stacey, who tells the rest of the (former) BSC. And they all rush to the hospital. I don’t understand why. I mean, I know they like Jackie, but even when the club was intact they wouldn’t all run to the hospital like that.
- Shea Rodowsky on adverbs: “It’s a verb from an advertisement, like ‘brush teeth’ or ‘eat Wheaties.’”
- Shea Rodowsky on pronouns: “Like the New York Knicks. A name of a pro team.” This is what happens when you have Claudia tutor someone.
- This book must be really late, because they girls joke about running the club by fax or even using the net. And Kristy is all…"be serious." But things like this do now exist. Although, they don't seem to include 13-year-olds.
- However, the BSC mentioning the internet is just wrong.
- But speaking of the series not ending....am I the last person to find out about a new BSC prequel? This is what happens when I get too busy to go online too much.