Welcome to the book that made me think being diagnosed with diabetes was one of the scariest things that could happen to me as a kid. It’s talked about as if it’s a shameful secret for both Stacey and her parents, giving yourself insulin injections is labelled “gross” and there are multiple references to how Stacey could die if she doesn’t manage her diabetes. No wonder I was scared.
We’ve already read Kristy and Claudia’s first BSC books. Now it’s Stacey’s turn. Stacey was the babysitter who made me want to be sophisticated long before I’d wrapped my head around what sophistication meant. She was also the one who added an extended visit to Central Park and clothes shopping in New York to my bucket list before I knew what one was.
In the beginning of book #3 we learn it’s been two months since Kristy had her great idea. I guess Stoneybrook Central Time must slow down rapidly after this book if the babysitters stay roughly the same age during the next 128 regular series books and all of the Super Specials, Mysteries, Super Mysteries, Friends Forever and Portrait Collection. Wow, that’s a lot of books to have to spend being frozen in time at the most awkward age ever.
In what is the BSC’s biggest existential crisis since Mary Anne almost had to leave the club because of the Phantom Caller in book #2, they have to deal with copycats. Their rivals are The Baby-sitters Agency (because apparently no one in Stoneybrook can think of an original or catchy name). The BSA have older babysitters who are allowed to babysit later than the BSC club members can. They don’t advertise business hours so it’s okay to call them during the hours of the week when it’s not Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 5:30pm to 6pm. They even have balloons!
Okay, maybe that last one could have a downside.
“I hereby change this meeting of the Baby-sitters Club to an emergency meeting,” she announced.
Sidebar: Why is the first ‘s’ in sitters always capitalised on the BSC logo but never in the book’s text?
Pretty soon after we all decide, “We’re doomed”, it’s time to get into the trash talk.
“They have smart mouths, they sass the teachers, they hate school, they hang around at the mall. You know, that kind of kid.”
Oh, dear, my Claudia. Pull up a chair and let me explain to you how trash talk is actually supposed to go.
It’s even possible the BSA might have spies listening in on the BSC’s conversations. Not that we’re getting dramatic about this or anything.
Besides the expected two emergency meetings, there’s also a special planning session. There’s even a triple-emergency club meeting; this is when you know things are super duper serious. What’s the bet Kristy grew up to become one of those annoying people who loves team meetings and is solely responsible for them dragging on long after they’re supposed to end …
But it’s not all bad news. It’s the Crisis of the Competing Clubs that leads Kristy to come up with her Kid-Kit idea, after all.
We babysit for Charlotte Johansenn, who’s having trouble at school but at least she has the honour of being the first kid to explore a Kid-Kit. We also find Jamie (Hi-hi!) Newton in our kitchen after school because his mother is in hospital giving birth to his brand new baby sister, Lucy. Aww! The girls also book a job babysitting for Nina and Eleanor Marshall but didn’t think to invite me along.
I never really thought about how wealthy Stacey’s family must have been before now. Her bedroom in their New York apartment overlooked Central Park, their apartment building had its own doorman and she attended a private school. That all sounds pretty fancy to me.
I’d completely forgotten that Mary Anne wears reading glasses.
I realised that Kristy’s mother works in Stamford. I had always read that as Stanford. Huh.
We’ve heard of the eight Pike kids already but this is the first time we meet Mallory, future BSC Junior Officer. Sort of. She’s in the room but doesn’t get a speaking role.
Stacey and Charlotte visit Polly’s Fine Candy so prepare to hear all about the chocolate and other sugar filled delicacies. It felt really mean of Stacey to pull out money in front of Charlotte, who’s practically drooling at this point, only to change her mind and tell poor Charlotte she can’t have anything. Charlotte is a lot more forgiving than I would have been. I bet Claudia would have bought one of everything for her. This scene reminded me that it was Stacey gazing longingly at the white chocolate that prompted me to ask my parents to buy me some.
Word of the book: traitor. Various people are called traitors at least three times.
This book’s school dance: Snowflake Dance.
It’s almost time for Mary Anne to save the day! Yay! The book that initiated me into the BSC!
Once Upon a Blurb
The truth about Stacey is that she has diabetes. Nobody knows … except her friends in the Baby-sitters Club.
But even they don’t know the real truth about Stacey. Stacey’s problem is her parents. They won’t admit she has the disease, and they drag her to practically every doctor in America!
Seeing so many doctors made Stacey lose one friend, and she won’t let it happen again. Especially now – when the Baby-sitters Club needs her more than ever.
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