By Ann M. Martin, ghostwritten by Jan Carr. Published September 1989.
Jessi and her family are settling down for a night of TV, watching P.S. 162. Becca has a crush on the kid playing Lamont, but Jessi likes Waldo because he’s funny. Becca comes out with the info that the kid who plays Waldo, Derek Masters, is actually from Stoneybrook. Jessi calls Mal to confirm this, and it’s true.
And what do you know, at the very next BSC meeting, Mrs. Masters calls. They’re back in Stoneybrook, and need a sitter. Jessi, of course, gets the job. She’s super excited.
Jessi has a dance class, and I have to read Mme. Noelle’s French accent spelled out phonetically. She tells the class about the upcoming auditions at the Stoneybrook Civic Center for Swan Lake, and then personally asks Jessi if she’s going to audition. At least Jessi knows she’d never be Odette/Odile. I would absolutely lose it. She’s not sure she’ll audition at first, but then decides she will.
Jessi has her job for the Masters, and she’s super annoying at first, asking Derek all sorts of questions about Hollywood. It takes her a while to figure out he’s more interested in what’s going on at Stoneybrook Elementary. But she does say she has an audition coming up, and he offers to be her coach, since he knows all about auditions.
She has another job for the Masters, and she lets Becca come over. Becca is way worse than Jessi was about the questions. But she’s able to answer Derek’s about school. She decides to take the kids over to see the Pikes, because Derek and Nicky were in the same class. Mallory is totally weird, and treats Derek like he’s royalty, and the triplets just kind of act like little douchebags, teasing Derek pretty badly because he beats them at badminton.
Derek’s first day back at school goes pretty badly. The newspaper sends a reporter and photographer. The girls all think they’re in love with him, and the boys all hate him. Derek tells Jessi about a boy names John who is really horrible to him. Jessi calls him a Superbrat. At least Nicky is cool to him.
Kristy sits for her family, and Karen is super excited about Derek, and desperately wants to meet him. She thinks he can help her get on TV. Kristy says no way. So Karen puts on a play with Hannie and Amanda, where she becomes a star anyway.
Jessi has her first audition for Swan Lake. There are dancers from New York there. I have no idea if everyone is supposed to be around her age, or if there are adults, or what. They’re all just lumped together. But Jessi gets a callback for the next week. She calls Mal to tell her the news, and Mal has some news of her own. Nicky said Derek threw food all over a kid at school. Jessi figures the Superbrat pushed him too far.
Claudia sits for them, and takes the boys to the playground. They run into some boys from Derek’s class, and he seems wary of them at first. But Claudia decides to invite them over, and it goes really well. The boys see Derek lives in just a regular house. They all have a good time. Derek says John was not one of the boys.
Jessi survives another round of auditions, and gets called back for the final round.
Derek has news of his own. He’ll be heading back to L.A. in just a couple of week to start shooting a TV movie. He’s pretty bummed, because he’s just starting to make friends. He says Jessi should come to L.A., too. There’s lots of dancers, and she could get modeling or commercial work. She thinks that sounds easier after the anxiety of ballet.
Jessi thinks they should have a surprise good-bye party for Derek. The rest of the club thinks it’s a great idea, of course. They’ll have it at Kristy’s house, and it will be a breakfast party, because morning is the only time they’re not all busy. They’ll invite Derek’s whole class, and some other kids they sit for.
Jessi gets permission from her parents to start calling around to some agencies in Stamford for modeling and acting. She’s not feeling too great about ballet at the moment. Derek gives her all sorts of tips at her next sitting job.
The party plans are coming together. The girls are bummed to learn John is not part of the class, and they won’t get to meet him. Nicky doesn’t even know him.
The party is a bit hit, and they totally surprise Derek. It’s a typical BSC party, with food and games. Yay.
Jessi thinks she did pretty well during her final audition, making only one tiny mistake. But she won’t know if she makes it for four days. So she starts calling agencies, and Mallory worries about her moving to L.A.
It’s finally the day for Jessi to call and find out if she made it. Of course, she does. She makes the corps, and doesn’t get a lead part, thank goodness. I still find it highly unbelievable an eleven-year-old is in Swan Lake at all, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.
She forgets all about the agencies until her dad mentions them. He says he knew she was essentially just distracting herself from what she really wanted.
Derek is really happy for her making the cut, but is a little bummed she won’t be going to see the agents. He was really hoping she’d move to L.A.
Jessi wants to get the Superbrat issue cleared up, she thought he was in Derek’s class. Derek finally fesses up, and admits he was actually the Superbrat. He was doing all those terrible things to other kids after they were mean to him. He and Jessi have a good laugh over how silly that seems.
Ha-ha, being an asshole is hilarious. Good lesson.
o We learn Jessi’s middle name is Davis. I wonder where that came from.
o Jessi is a bit judgey about there being old newspapers and dirty dishes at the Masters’ house.