Saturday, June 27, 2009

#62: Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever

Tagline: Need a sitter for Lou? Don't call the Baby-sitters!

Cover: Kristy looks like she's adopting the same baby-sitting strategy as Dawn in Dawn and the Impossible Three. But nevermind that - I want to talk about the Papadakis children. Compare and contrast to Welcome to the BSC, Abby below. Hannie's still rocking the pigtails (which is consistent with her Little Sister character, too), but she doesn't look Chinese. Linny, on the other hand, looks about five, and he has a much different skin colour than his sister, Hannie (dropped adoption plot?). Why is that dog all over the furniture? The Papadakises have a poodle (named Noodle). Is that covered in the book? And Lou could not look more butch if she tried, which I guess she is trying to do. Why does her sweater have an elbow patch, though? Maybe it's because she's poor. But when I see that, I don't think 'poor,' I think 'academic.' Finally, the book acts as a kind of historical record - someday people will see it and ask "did people really have televisions that looked like that?"

Plot!: The Papadakis family takes in a foster child - Lou (and don't call her Louisa). She has difficulty adjusting because she misses her mom (who ran off), and her father (who is dead) and her brother (in a different home). So the BSC tries to figure her out. Meanwhile, they are having an auction at SMS to benefit...something, and people are bringing in fancy items. So the BSC decide to get celebrity items to sell, as well as baby-sitting hours. And they worry that the items won't come, but they do, and they're a big hit. Yay.

Points of Interest:
  • My copy, which I bought used, has the following inscription: "Dearest Ashley, Happy Easter Dear, all my love, Nana." Poor Nana.
  • In a strange bit of continuity, Sam has his job delivering groceries for the A&P, which was mentioned in Kristy's Big Day, and maybe other places. But how does a fifteen year old with no car deliver groceries? On his bike? Walking? It makes no sense, ANM!
  • Boo Boo, Watson's cat, has gray fur and terrible yellow eyes.
  • Hannie and Linny and Karen and David Michael discuss whether they want a girl foster kid or a boy foster kid. With Lou, they kind of get both.
  • There are two Wizard of Oz references in the first two chapters. Lazy.
  • Kristy says Dawn "appears to be easy going," with the implication that she isn't, which might be the best description of Dawn in any Chapter Two. She's not California Casual, people!
  • Logan flexes an arm, and Mary Anne blushes. I like the Mary Anne in the Friends Forever series a LOT better.
  • The auction is for new computers. That's a lot more realistic than the carnival to fund the arts program in Welcome to the BSC, Abby.
  • The social worker is "pinch-lipped," because basically every career woman in this series is some kind of uptight unhappy woman.
  • The BSC makes a big deal about Lou wanting to be called Lou, and not Louisa, which I find strange. Firstly, she's introduced to them as Lou, so it's not like all of a sudden she's like, call me something else. Also: Kristy goes by Kristy, not Kristin, and Stacey doesn't go by Anastasia, Jessi doesn't go by Jessica, Hannie doesn't go by Hannah, and so on. They don't go "I went shopping today with Anastasia, excuse me, Stacey." And they try to make it into another case of Lou being 'difficult.' Please. These thirteen year olds need to chill.
  • The Papadakis parents aren't doing anything with Lou - she's always either at the Brewer house, not playing with Karen or with a baby-sitter. Shouldn't they be, like, more involved with her? They don't seem prepared or interested in this at all.
  • I don't know anything about the Craine family at all. Margaret and Sophie and Katie? Who are these people?
  • The BSC has to do some brainstorming for the auction so they don't feel 'guilty' when then they goof off, eat junk food, and fall asleep at their sleepover. Gah.
  • Okay, the cover picture actually takes place at the Brewer house, so that's...Boo Boo being held, and Shannon jumping up. MAYBE it's David Michael in front, but that makes even less sense. Speaking of David Michael, I once read a BSC fan fic where he was Watson's biological child. Weird.
  • Would Lou's social worker really show up and talk to Lou without one of the foster parents there? It seems...dangerous.
  • Lou and her brother Jay go to live with her aunt and uncle, and she seems okay with this, eventually. The baby-sitters marvel at the change in her, like they had never considered how much this had taken a toll on her and that all of her problems couldn't be solved by playing in Karen's playhouse.
  • Lorne Conners, some fake artist who won four "Grammies" sent the BSC a T-shirt, autographed, for the auction. They had written to famous people and asked for items. It's kind of like when Zack Morris sells Johnny Dakota doorknobs. Anyway, by some miracle, the items actually arrive in time. In addition to the shirt, they get toe shoes from a ballerina, a boxed set of autographed books, an autographed baseball from a sports team, a blanket from a horse that won the Kentucky Derby, an autographed picture of a track and field athlete, and Cam Geary's jacket.
  • In my version, Chapter 15 is just in plain type, not in the traditional block letters.
  • Heh. Watson buys a hand crack phonograph. Dirty!
  • Logan buys Mary Anne diamond earrings. Too bad there wasn't a diamond ring there - Stacey might have got one for a great price!
  • I've never understood the ending: Stacey announces that the BSC contributed the highest ticket item of the auction, which is 24 hours of baby-sitting. And Jessi notes that they're worth more than Cam Geary's jacket, which went for more than a hundred dollars. If that is true, and the hours went for more than a hundred dollars, why didn't they mention this during the auction? It's needlessly confusing. To me. And I don't like being confused by ANM.
Final Thought: Has anyone read Abby and the Best Kid Ever, where Lou comes back? I haven't.


Susan said...

The Craines are from Mallory and the Ghost Cat, mystery #3. And yes, I've read Abby and the Best Kid Ever. There's a puppy involved, so it's got that going for it.

Caroline from Sheep Are In said...

Thanks, Susan...I know I read that book at some point, but it hasn't been recently. Although I did just pick up Mysteries #1,2,4, and 5 at a Salvation Army....I guess someone wanted to hold on to #3!