Kristy’s Great Idea!

I know, I know- every single YA blogger out there has recapped this book.  And I am sure some of them did a much better job than I will tonight. But I just HAD to recap this book regardless of everyone else having done it. I know the spirit of this blog is to try to focus on YA novels that other bloggers really don’t cover- like Sleepover Friends, Freshman Dorm, ( and big UPS to I want your sass who praised my FD recaps:), Girlfriends, Fab Five, what have you. But hey we all know that I do plenty of SVH and Baby Sitters Club too because I did love these series, as did my sister, cousin and best friend at the time.

I first heard about this book via a TAPE- yes an audio tape- as in the tapes that would sometimes unravel then you had to stick your fingers in the circles to try to get tape back in tapes. Actually, my mom still buys cassette tapes of Portuguese music. But yep in about 4th grade or so my dad bought me the Kristy’s Great Idea cassette tape after I begged him after seeing it in the Scholastic News book club flyer! My sister and I listened to this damn tape God about 500 times in a year!!!  I didn’t actually read the book until about seventh grade and by then I was addicted to all things BSC. ( I would still love a Mary Anne doll 😉

Well, on to the recap. I think most of you know how the BSC began- one night ( after a day at school where Kristy gets in trouble for yelling ” Hurray” when school is done for the day, and Kristy has to write an essay on decorum) Kristy’s mother announces that Kathy, a fifteen year old girl who babysits for David Michael two days a week. The other days, Kristy, Sam or Charlie ( Kristy’s older brothers who are 16 and 14 at the time of Kristy’s Great Idea) each watch David Michael one day a week the other 3 days.  Charlie and Sam are both busy, as is Kristy. So Kristy’s mother has to make phone call after phone call trying to find a sitter as her pizza gets cold. Kristy starts to think that this is just a huge hassle, and it would be so much easier if Kristy’s mom could make one phone call and reach at least three sitters. So Kristy recruits Mary Anne, who at this time has to wear her hair in braids and wears Little House in the Prairie like dresses, and is very shy and cries a lot, and Claudia, who at this time has started to wear lots of makeup and a bra, loves art, and is beginning to like boys. Kristy and Mary Anne don’t like boys yet.  At the first organizational meeting, so to speak, Claud suggests that they invite her new friend, Stacey McGill, to join the club. Stacey just moved to Stoneybrook from New York, is a very ” fresh” kind of dresser, and seems to be hiding a secret…

Now- a brief recap of each girl’s first BSC job ever!

Kristy- Kristy gets a job to sit for three year old ” twins” Pinky and Buffy. Stacey laughs hysterically upon hearing those names. When Kristy gets to the house, she notices that there are breakables everywhere, which seems odd in a house of two three year olds. After some Three’s Company like conversation between Kristy and the ” twins” ummm mom’s  niece, ( e.g. Kristy is shocked that Pinky and Buffy are locked in the laundry room) , the niece opens the laundry room door- and TWO HUGE DOGS COME RUNNING OUT!!! The dogs are friendly but very rambunctious and Kristy has to run down the street to catch them at one point. Kristy vows that the club will never pet sit again ( at least until Jessi Ramsey joins the club as shown in ” Jessi Ramsey, Pet Sitter”)

Claudia- Her first job is babysitting for Jamie Newton, who is the sweetest three year old, and ( without Claudia knowing) Jamie’s annoying cousins Rob, Brenda and Rosie Feldman.  Rosie is 3, Brenda is 5 and Rob is eight, and hates all girls including his sisters and mom. Rosie, Brenda and Rob begin running around the house and being little terrors to annoy the shit out of Claudia, but Claudia remembers a trick her parents used to used when Claud was little- she totally ignores them and reads  Where the Wild Things Are to Jamie ( incidentally has anyone seen that movie? I sort of want to, but I am not sure it’s worth it) and then Rob, Brenda and Rosie calm down upon realizing they are being ignored. So Claud has tamed those nasty Feldman kids. And Lucy Newton is still in Mrs. Newton’s tummy in this book.

Stacey- Gets to sit for David Michael Thomas! Stacey discovers Sam, who has come home early. Apparently after their meeting Sam thinks Stacey is a foxy chick, and Stace says Sam is a gorgeous hunk.  On that day, Stacey is wearing a matching gray shirt and skirt made out of ” sweatpant” material, barettes in her hair like rainbows, and whistles in her ears for earrings. Kristy thinks the outfit sounds cool, but not exactly adult. But Sam is still enchanted, apparently.

Mary Anne’s first sitting job for the BSC is sitting for Andrew and Karen Brewer! Now in this book Mrs. Thomas and Watson have been dating for about four months. Kristy has refused to meet Karen and Andrew so although Watson sort of hoped Kristy would sit that day, Mary Anne takes the job instead. During this job, we first hear about how Karen thinks Morbidda Destiny cast a spell on Boo Boo.  Andrew is very shy and quiet, and Mary Anne thinks both Karen and Andrew are adorable and tells that to Kristy. Still, Kristy doesn’t want to meet them. Kristy is also really mean to Watson whenever he comes over to pick up Mrs. Thomas ( or  ” Edie” in this book) for a date. Kristy tells us readers that it sort of hurts her that Watson is such a great dad to his kids despite being divorced from their mom and her dad can’t even remember her 12th birthday.

Kristy is finally forced to meet Andrew and Karen because Watson has to go to the hospital to sign insurance paperwork for his ex wife when she breaks her ankle.  Seth is apparently on vacation and he and Karen and Andrew’s mom aren’t married yet. Karen asks Kristy a bunch of questions about ” oh would you be my sister?” if Mrs. Thomas and Watson got married, and they swap stories about being ” divorced kids” and have ice cream. Kristy begins to really like Andrew and Karen.  Kristy also decides to like Watson when she sees his big mansion- seriously, seeing Watson’s mansion is what warms Kristy up to Watson. Kristy decides that being Karen and Andrew’s stepsister wouldn’t be so bad, and it is good she thinks that way because toward the end of this book, Elizabeth Thomas ( or sorry EDIE) and Watson get engaged.

Soooo seems our Stacey has a big secret. She always turns down sweets, and is super thin. One weekend Kristy wants a plan a pizza party to celebrate each of the members having a successful week of sitting.  Well that plan falls flat when Claudia’s parents ground her for a bad progress report, Mary Anne’s dad says her money from sitting all has to go toward college, and Kristy calls Stacey and her mom claims she stayed in New York with friends for the weekend. But then Mary Anne calls Kristy and says that she saw Stacey and her mother in the car together so Kristy and Stacey could still have pizza. Kristy is completely confused.

Kristy’s confusion, and subsequent grilling of Stacey’s whereabouts at the next BSC meeting ( yep Kristy confronted Stace about what Mary Anne saw) the BSC has their first big fight.  Claudia calls Kristy’s snowman sweater babyish and Kristy says ” well you’ve got sheep barrettes in your hair you call that adult” and Claudia says witheringly ” Sheep are in!” Well that puts Claudia and Stace against Mary Anne and Kristy.  The club starts to make up when Mary Anne says that she had a talk with her dad and he said a little money toward a pizza party was fine after all, and Claudia has a talk with her parents saying she will try harder and she is not Janine, aka her genius sister, and Claud’s parents go for that and Claudia is also allowed to party. As everyone talks about the pizza party Stacey looks kinda uncomfy.  Kristy tells Stacey they can get salads at the pizza place if Stacey doesn’t want pizza and Stacey looks so grateful. Kristy telling Stacey the party will be at her house where Sam will be gets Stacey all hot and bothered as well.

At the pizza party, Stacey confesses her big secret- the DIABEETUS ( or diabetes for those of you who aren’t Wilfred Brimley and Bret Michaels). Stacey says she was afraid to tell the girls about her diabetes because at her old school, other girls including her best friend rejected her because of it. Kristy says that’s silly and the BSC would never do that, and besides Kristy’s cousin Robin has diabetes.   Stacey is extremely relieved to hear that the BSC all accept her diabetes and all.

At the end, Kristy says the BSC has been great for everyone- it brought Kristy closer to Watson and helped her meet two great kids, it got Mary Anne to stand up for her rights and speak up against her dad sometimes,  it got Claud to see that she can be good at something and gave her some good self confidence, and she’s not Janine and that is OK, and it helped Stacey to make new friends.  Kristy hopes the BSC will be together for a long, long time.

I have to say that I wonder why in the first four books Kristy wore skirts and jumpers and what not, but as soon as she hits eighth grade, wiht no explanation at all, she only wears jeans, sweaters and turtlenecks. Claudia barely looks Asian on this cover. Mary Anne has on an outfit I’d wear NOW- a skirt that seems kinda short considering Mr. Spier is so conservative, a sweater vest and a white blouse. Stacey’s hair is perm city and I hate her striped leggings. NOT a flattering look.

A couple of notes- both blog and non blog related- I am on Twitter and I am Janniecel77- so if you want to follow me request to be a follower and I will oblige you!  And come December, I cannot wait to do Christmas themed recaps of our favorite YA novels- Special Christmas from Sweet Valley High and Karen’s Wish from BSC Little Sister will be among the Christmas treats I will bring!  And for those of you who don’t celebrate Xmas I hope you enjoy the entries anyway. I am sorry the Sweet Valley Twins never celebrate Kwanzaa with Maria Slater, and there’s no Freshman Dorm Hannukah and I swear Winnie is Jewish. Sigh!!! 

Sometime this week or early next week get ready for some Sleepover Friends! Also scheduled for next week- Amy Moves In, which is from SVT and possibly another Sleepover Friends book.


I seriously cannot wait for Thanksgiving-what about you all? I may have a Sweet Valley Kids Thanksgiving book somewhere but I have to search. If I do I will read and recap it for you all!


5 Responses to “Kristy’s Great Idea!”

  1. I always thought it was weird that they revealed Stacey’s “secret” here–it would have been better in the Truth About Stacey. Also, I love that they all know what anorexia is here but they have to go to an encylopedia for Jessi and the Awful Secret.


  2. Raise your hand if this book taught you what decorum means!

    *raises hand*

  3. I still want a MA doll, btw. And a Claudia, and a Stacey, and a Dawn. Not a Mallory though.

    How is it that Amy Winehouse might get her own Barbie doll, but BSC dolls are probably really hard to find?

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