Mary Anne Saves the Day (and then hides under the bed), Part One

This is book 4 of the Baby-Sitters Club series, told from Mary Anne’s point of view. I must, once again, voice my displeasure at these new designs for the covers. This one has a set of colorful Band-Aids floating on a blue background. Dumb.

Mary Anne reminds us that her mom is dead, and that the BSC was Kristy’s idea, and Claudia eats junk food, and Stacey is a glamorous diabetic from . . . New York City.

The girls converge on Claudia’s room for their meeting. Several job offers come in and are assigned without incident.

Then Mrs. Newton calls (mother of Jamie, the “hihi!” kid) and all the trouble begins. Kristy gets so excited about the opportunity to watch the new baby as well as Jamie that she automatically takes the job. This causes the friction between the girls to erupt into sparks! Kristy begins pointing fingers at Claudia, who has also done this before. Stacey piles on, and then she turns around and calls Mary Anne a shy little baby, who defends herself by crying. And then calling Stacey’s diabetes dumb. More name-calling, and then Mary Anne leaves, slamming all the doors behind her. Claudia’s grandmother is home – doesn’t she wonder why everyone is making so much noise?

Horror of horrors, now Mary Anne has to have dinner with dear old Dad, who still makes her wear her hair in braids, and dress appropriately at mealtimes. She manages to calm down enough to have an awkward meal with her father – they don’t seem very comfortable with each other.

After dinner, she can’t concentrate on homework – she revolves the fight in her head again. She would try to call Claudia, but her father won’t allow her to use the phone for items non-homework related. Mary Anne describes her room to us – it is pink and white, colors which are not her favorite, at all. She has little kid decorations, like Humpty Dumpty; no posters because her father doesn’t like the idea that they make holes in the walls. Have you gathered that her father is kind of clueless?

Mary Anne is hoping to talk to Kristy via their flashlight code, but Kristy never appears at their scheduled time. She must be PISSED.

The next day, Mary Anne walks to school alone, which is rare, she informs us. The girls are still obnoxious to each other IN school, replete with hair-tossing, flouncing, and “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?” style retorts.

Mary Anne writes a note of apology to Claudia, hoping to give it to her at lunchtime. The group is still fractured in the cafeteria, so you KNOW that it’s serious. Mary Anne’s usual spot is taken, and Kristy does the super-mature “whisper and laugh loudly” routine when Mary Anne looks her way. So, she finds an empty table and sits down. She is soon joined by a new girl, who assumed that Mary Anne was new, as well, because she’s flying solo. The new girl’s name is Dawn, and Mary Anne begins to gossip about various kids; it’s mainly for Kristy’s benefit, who keeps giving her venomous glances, but Dawn seems to like her enough to invite her over after school the next day. Good job, Mary Anne! Especially when you think how great it would be to see Kristy be hurt by her hanging out with Dawn.

Everyone goes her own angry way home. SO serious, you guys!

The next day is a meeting day, so naive little Mary Anne figures that the fight HAS to be over. Since these are twelve-year-old girls we’re discussing, that is the opposite of true. Kristy slams the door in Mary Anne’s face when she stops by on the way to school. Dayum!

Dawn and Mary Anne eat together again; she’s a bit suspicious of Mary Anne’s story about her friends being absent for the second day in a row. Claudia and Stacey are now sitting at the same table, but still not back to being friends in the least.

Mary Anne meets up with Dawn after school, in full view of Kristy, and she even walks past Claudia. It’s really shitty, Mary Anne; you should stop that.

Dawn lives in an old farmhouse, which is still disorganized from moving. Dawn’s parents are divorced, and she and her mom moved to Stoneybrook because that’s where Mrs. Schafer grew up. Mary Anne reassures her that it’s okay to be a child of divorce, as she thinks of Kristy. Then they watch The Parent Trap before Mary Anne has to go to her BSC meeting, otherwise known as walking into a den of lions.

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