Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BSC #39: Poor Mallory!

By Ann M. Martin. Published November 1990.

Mallory and Jessi are being super goofy on their way home from school, singing a song about underwear that Mallory learned from the triplets. I do so love it when they act their age. But Mallory’s good mood is tempered when she gets home. Her dad may be fired. His company is letting people go, and he thinks he may be one of them. Mallory finds out for sure after the BSC meeting. He was let go. The family has an awkward dinner that night. Her mom announces she’s going to work for a temp agency, and her dad just seems angry.

After dinner, Mallory calls her brothers and sisters into her room, and they have a meeting of the Pike Club. They agree to do things like cut back on their electricity usage to save money.

At the next BSC meeting, the girls all agree to give Mallory as many afternoon jobs as she can handle, to help her out. This includes a month long job at the Delaney’s. Mal’s going to give most of her baby-sitting money to her parents. They also discuss some girls who were making fun of Mal for her dad losing his job. I’ve never understood that line of thinking, but I guess mean girls are mean girls.

It sounds like Mr. Pike is hella depressed. After he’s applied for all the jobs he can, he has nothing to do but take care of the house and Claire. He does neither of these very well. He doesn’t play with Claire, and has Mrs. Perkins pick her up from school. Mal gets unnecessarily judgey about his attire, though. I see nothing wrong with wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and slippers around the house, Mallory. Anyway, Mrs. Pike finally lays the smack down, and Mr. Pike shapes up around the house. Then Mallory worries that he likes it too much, and he won’t want to go back to work.

There’s another meeting of the Pike Club, and Mallory explains about mortgages. They worry they’re going to end up homeless. The younger Pikes all decide to make some money, to varying degrees of success. The triplets start an odd-job service, Nicky gets a paper route, Margo and Claire have a lemonade stand, and Vanessa styles hair on the school playground. Very enterprising.

At her job at the Delaney’s, Mallory’s got Amanda and Max’s issues to deal with. The Delaney’s have just gotten a pool, and they let any kids who can swim the width of the pool come over. Even when there’s a baby-sitter. At one point, Mallory’s watching like seven kids. Seriously? How dangerous is that? I don’t think I’d let an eleven-year-old baby-sitter watch any kids swimming, or even an adult watch seven kids by themselves. Granted, a neighbor has to be home, but a lot could go wrong really quickly.


The first day, Amanda’s kind of mean about not letting the bad swimmers come in. But another day, Amanda and Max get tired of swimming, and want their friends to play something else. But the other kids just want to keep swimming. Mallory can’t be in two places at once though, so she makes the kids get out. Everyone but Karen leaves. They realize the kids only “like” them for their pool. Mallory tells them to tell the other kids the rules have changed, and they can’t swim with a baby-sitter there, and they’ll find out who their true friends are. This works, and the Delaney’s are much happier.

Mallory stands up for herself, and totally tells off the mean girls when they make fun of her again. Good job, Mal.

And there’s more good news. Mr. Pike has an interview. And then he has a second one, and then a third. Mal just about shits herself with nervousness. But it’s all good, he gets the job! It pays a little less than his old job, so Mrs. Pike will continue temping a couple of days a week.

During a celebratory dinner, the kids tell their parents about what they’ve been doing, and the worries they’ve had. Mr. Pike tells them they wouldn’t have lost the house, he was getting severance pay the whole time. Really? It never occurred to you that the kids might be worried, and it might help to TELL them that? Honestly. The lack of communication in these books never ceases to amaze me.

o   Mallory tries really hard in this book to make dibbly happen. It’s a little annoying. They also use stale a few times.

Good news y’all! I just found out the Lifetime Petals on the Wind movie will premiere on Memorial Day! You know it’s going to be so bad it will be great! So expect a book recap soon, and live tweeting that night.


  1. Was "dibbly" ever used by anyone outside the BSC books? I get so embarrassed for anyone trying to force a catchphrase like that.

    1. I know, right? I've certainly never heard it used elsewhere.