25 February 2010

+JMJ+

BSC #3: The Truth about Stacey


Thursday, December 11

Surprise! Today Stacey called an emergency club meeting for lunchtime. That was unexpected for two reasons. First of all, Kristy had said no more club business in school. Second, Kristy calls emergency meetings at the drop of a hat, but no other member has ever called one. Stacey called one though, and it was a good thing she did, because what she told us got the club ready for the final battle in the war against the Baby-sitters Agency.

I read what Mary Anne wrote in our notebook about battles and wars, and I think she was being overly dramatic. However, she was right--it was good that we held that meeting. It started us thinking about some important things . . .

Oh, I just love Stacey McGill! Ann M. Martin's prose may be nothing to write to a fancy Lit journal about, but her character's voice is just great. As I was reading, I could really believe Stacey was talking to me.

She also happens to be the perfect narrator for this month in the BSC chronicles, when a rival group, which calls itself The Baby-Sitters Agency, tries to horn in on the BSC's business. While all the girls have a stake in the club's survival, new girl Stacey is probably more passionate about it than even Kristy, whose "great idea" it was in the first place . . .

My parents and I moved into our house in August and I didn't make a single friend until I met Claudia in school in September. Everyone here seems to have known everyone else since they were babies. Claudia, Kristy, and Mary Anne have. And they've grown up together, since Kristy and Mary Anne live next door to each other on Bradford Court and Claudia lives across the street from them. (I live two streets away.)

So, was I ever glad when Claudia told me Kristy wanted to start the club! Friends at last, I thought. And that's just what I found. Even though I'm better friends with Claudia, I don't know what I'd do without Kristy and Mary Anne. It's true that they seem younger than Claudia and me (they don't care much about clothes or boys yet--although Kristy
did just go to her first dance), and Mary Anne is unbelievably shy, and Kristy's sort of a tomboy. But they're my friends and I belong with them. Which is more than I can say about certain traitors I left behind in New York . . .

(In case you're wondering, those "traitors" dumped Stacey after she got really sick from diabetes. Yes, that gets resolved, too.)

That Claudia would have become Stacey's first friend makes sense, because they're both crazy about fashion and a little nuts about boys. In this book, however, Stacey finds something in common with the fellow baby-sitter she is least like. And I must say that the Stacey-Kristy dynamic is wonderful.

We already know that Kristy is quite the character, but she looks even more funny when it's Stacey who's observing her. (I laughed out loud several times.) It's clear that Stacey has never met anyone like Kristy before and is equally amazed at how different they are from each other and pleased at how well they can work together. Don't you really like it when opposites not only attract but also become good friends?

All the elements of this story fit well together: Stacey's desire to fit in, her true affection for the children she looks after, her insecurity from her diabetes, and her own growth as a person and as a friend.

Image Source: BSC #4: The Truth about Stacey by Ann M. Martin

4 comments:

mrsdarwin said...

What I remember most about the battle with the Baby-Sitters Agency (which may be resolved in different book) is when the girls confront the mole who joined up with them to undermine the Club and call her some sort of name, and she replies, "Call me anything you want, but don't call me late for dinner!" I'd never heard the phrase before, and I spent a long time pondering out what it meant. :)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Hi, Mrs. Darwin!

I just looked it up, and I don't know what the expression means, either! Did you figure it out?

mrsdarwin said...

It's just a silly play on words, which means that although the speaker doesn't mind being labeled with epithets, the speakee should on no account summon the speaker after the appointed dinner hour, thus making her late for her food. It's not the sort of phrase someone who is thirteen would use -- it's more like a grandma-ism.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Oh, one of those!

May my Lit teachers rejoice: I finally understand what zeugma is! Well, prozeugma, at least . . .

Thank you, Mrs. Darwin, for the lesson! =)

And I agree that it does sound rather old-fashioned . . . But wasn't Ann M. Martin born in the 1950s?