Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BSC #1: Kristy's Great Idea

By Ann M. Martin. Published August 1986.

I picked up my first copy of Kristy’s Great Idea in 1988, when I was six. I have no recollection of what drew me to them. At that point, I had never even had teenage baby-sitters myself, my grandparents always watched me. I probably thought Stacey looked cool, and I’ve always liked the idea of clubs.

And so it begins…

We start with a very hot day, and Kristy being rude and shouting hurray when the last bell rings. Her teacher, Mr. Redmont, keeps her after class to assign an extra essay on decorum. This makes her late for baby-sitting for her little brother. She and her older brothers each have one day a week to sit for David Michael. Did this continue after the club was founded? And did they get paid?

Kristy gets the idea for the club watching her mom call around to different sitters when none of the family can sit for D.M. one day. Of course, the club probably wouldn’t have done much good here, because Mary Anne and Claudia are already busy. If you’re wondering, Kristy taking D.M. to her job at the Newton’s resolves the problem.

Mary Anne and Claudia think the club is a great idea, and Claudia brings Stacey in to round out the group. The girls have a few meetings to come up with rules and ideas for the club, and to work on ads and fliers.

Kristy’s a bitch to Watson when he brings over Chinese food before going out with Elizabeth. If she were my kid, I’d want to kill her. But she’s not, and I pretty much just find her hilarious. And when I was a kid, I admired her for having the balls to be so straight up bitchy to an adult. I was a bit of a goody-goody.

They have their first meeting, after they all get there ridiculously early. They each get a job, and some crank calls from Sam, because he is awesome.

Kristy’s first job accidentally turns out to be a pet-sitting job, and it goes pretty terribly. Seriously, why would you have two Saint Bernards and not have a fenced in yard? At the end of the job, Kristy decides no more pet-sitting, and everyone has to write up their jobs in the infamous notebook.

Claudia’s job at the Newton’s starts off badly, because Jamie’s three hellion cousins are added into the mix. But Claudia eventually tames them. Stacey’s job for D.M. goes very well, he is a model sitting charge. And Sam and Stacey meet. He thinks she’s a foxy chick, and she thinks he’s a gorgeous hunk.

Mary Anne gets to meet the beast that is Karen, and Andrew. She also meets Boo-Boo and Morbidda Destiny.

Elizabeth has all the kids dressed up to have a dinner of leftovers with Watson. She drops the news that Watson asked her to marry him, and she’s thinking about it. Kristy is not overjoyed.

Kristy has another great idea, and the girls decide to have a pizza party to celebrate the club’s success. However, their plans go awry. Mary Anne’s father won’t let her spend her money on pizza, so she won’t come. Then Stacey says she’ll be out of town with her parents, which they later find out is a lie. Then of course, Claudia’s crappy grades get in the way, and she can’t go.

After learning all this, Kristy’s mom gets a call from Watson. He needs an emergency sitter. It will have to be Kristy. But she has a pretty good time with Karen and Andrew. Karen says she wishes Kristy was their stepsister right then, and Kristy says she’ll sit for them again. Awww.

At the next meeting, Mary Anne says her dad will let her spend half her money, and Claudia lets them know she has brought up her grades. But then Kristy has to press the point that Stacey lied, and they all get into a fight, where we learn from Claudia that, “Sheep are in.” Damn straight.

When she gets home that evening, Kristy walks into the news that Elizabeth and Watson are officially engaged. Remember, they met in May. It is now September. Way to quickly bag that millionaire, Elizabeth.

At the next meeting, all the girls make up quite nicely, and they decide to make the pizza party a sleepover. During the party, Stacey reveals that she has diabetes. Dun-dun-DUN! Not really, the girls are all cool with it.

Kristy hopes the BSC will stay together for a long time. Don’t worry, Kristy. You have about a hundred eighth grades to go through together.

I always liked that Mr. Redmont let them make construction paper fans.

Mary Anne bites her nails. Little character things like that are dropped later in the series.

Mary Anne is “hiding a lot of fun inside.” I guess on the outside she’s a boring loser.

Kristy wears a skirt and blouse and carries a purse to school. Was there still a trend in 1986 of kids having specific dressier school clothes?

Kristy says they have to brainwash Claudia to play dress-up. Really? I think that’s the kind of thing she’d actually be into.

Sam is in the math club. They never really make the connection between that and Stacey loving math.

Knowing her later, I’m super excited that Claud got the sign on her door correct.

Mary Anne gets up to leave at 5:55, and Kristy is ok with this. She’s not our little dictator yet.

How big of a laundry room must it be to hold two Saint Bernards?

Sam wears a Pee-Wee Herman shirt. Isn’t that a little too modern for Ann’s pop culture taste?

Boo-Boo is 17 lbs. I’ve had a 22 lb-er. Booyah.

I’ve always found it hilarious that there’s an emergency Math Club meeting. Watch out y’all, the integers are getting out of control again.


  1. The emergency math club meeting probably had something to do with numbers being irrational. ;)

    1. I may be a dork, but that made me laugh really hard.

    2. I don't enjoy math, but thanks a to wonderful teacher, I did well in it!