Friday, July 10, 2009

#3 The Truth About Stacey



Like I said last time, this one is tied with #2 for my favorite among the first four books. I might even give it a slight edge, if I had to pick only one. I love Stacey's "voice;" she comes across as more mature than the other members, but she still seems 12 years old. I also love the way that she sides with Kristy when it comes to doing anything to save the club, proving that even sophisticated New Yorkers need friends. :)

Summary

It's competition time for the BSC; a group of older girls has set up a rival sitting service called the Baby Sitters Agency. Parents call eithe Liz Lewis or Michelle Patterson (the "leaders" of the group), and those girls in turn find them a suitable sitter. Or, a not so suitable one, as we find out later. Kristy has all sorts of drastic ideas for saving the club, including giving jobs away to older siblings lower rates. I don't understand how their rates could get much lower; Kristy only made $3.50 from her job with the dogs in #1! I know this was the 80's, but sheesh...was it really common to make so little back then?

The BSC begins to lose clients to the new sitters, so they decide recruit new members. The two girls they end up with are spies from the Agency, though; they stick around just long enough to accept one BSC job each, which they never show up for. Needless to say, they're fired from the BSC.

Not long after the agency gets up and running, the BSC starts hearing reports from the the kids they sit for that the sitters aren't exactly on the up and up. Jamie Newton claims that one of his agency sitters brought her boyfriend over, and burned a hole in a chair cushion with a cigarette. Just a thought...cigarette smoke is a tough smell to get out of fabric. If someone was smoking in the house, wouldn't the Newton parents have noticed, especially since neither of them is a smoker? You'd think they would be extra sensitive to the smell. Jamie is also left outside on a cold day to play near the street without a hat or mittens, and Charlotte Johanssen's Agency sitters ignore her as well. After finding Jamie outside, the BSC decides to tell the Newtons what's been going on. Mrs. Newton is outraged, and decides to call other parents to tell them what's happened. The BSC wants to settle the score with Liz and Michelle, though. They do, leaving them once again with a monopoly on the Stoneybrook baby-sitting market.

In other news, Stacey's parents have been looking for a miracle cure for her diabetes ever since she was diagnosed. That was a rough time for Stacey, but her parents seem to have taken it even worse than she did. They keep dragging her from doctor to doctor, looking for a miracle cure, and they've scheduled more tests with yet another one. Stacey isn't into it, but her parents basically tell her that she doesn't have a choice. Before leaving for New York for the tests, she decides it's time to take charge of her own health in whatever way she can. She gets Dr. Johannsen to help her schedule an appointment with a sensible doctor (not the holistic quack that her parents are taking her to see), who manages to convince the McGills to lay off the search for a miracle. They finally see the light, and agree to include Stacey in any future decisions that are made about her care. Stacey also makes up with her former New York best friend, Laine Cummings, who she'd been fighting with since she got sick.

Thoughts and Things

  • Lucy Newton is born in this book. It was published in late 1986, which means that Lucy would now be approaching her 23rd birthday. I feel so old...
  • Stacey goes to a dance with Pete Black in this book, making her forget about Sam Thomas until he romances her at Shadow Lake.
  • Stacey's parents didn't tell anyone but family what was wrong with Stacey, so she didn't, either. Is diabetes something that people really try and keep secret? Stacey wouldn't have had half the problems she did with her friends if she'd just told them why she was having so many issues. I know 6th graders (she was in 6th when she was diagnosed) aren't normally known for their maturity, but I'm pretty sure it would have been better just to say something.
  • Stacey's Kid-Kit has Colorforms in it. I loved those back in the day...are they still sold anywhere?
  • Polly's Fine Candy sounded pretty freaking awesome.
  • Why is Stacey so chunky on the cover when she's supposedly really thin?

10 comments:

  1. Jannie aka Fitzie'sAugust 12, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    I NOTICED THE SAME THING! and I posted that in my recap on Fitzie's- Stace does not look one BIT thin on this cover! I also think Polly's Fine Candy sounds bitchin'

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  2. I think Stacey's parents probably didn't tell their friends because they didn't want their friends to treat them any differently (people do that). It seemed to work for her parents so Stacey did it too.

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  3. dude polly's candy make me want to get some candy myself. in particular the gingerbread houses and the chocolate turkey's( yummy)

    i agree that stacey does look a bit chunky in that book. in fact she looks very fat. i so like the remade stacey cover better because at least she actually looks like stacey in that cover.

    this is a great stacey book by the way and one of my favorites. great blog post too.

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  4. They do make Colorforms still, although the quality now is nothing like it used to be. I actually bought some for my daughter when we were going on a plane trip, and the pieces fell all over instead of clinging to the background. :-(

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  5. this is one of my favorite stacey books cause i love charlotte johnanssen and the way her and stacey bonded in that book.

    and omg the candy references and chocolate scenes makes me very hungry for some chocolates.
    i so want to go to polly's candy store.

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  6. i dont get the title of this book... don't we learn that stace has diabetes in the 1st book?

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    1. Yes but here Stacey tells us about how important it is that she can rely on something stable- the BSC and how much she hates visiting doctors-it's like mirroring what happened in New York with doctors.

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  7. You know you're right when she looks chunkier. I haven't seen this cover or the other one before. I have the new one with the cupcake on it. I like the old covers better :)

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  8. All the personal stuff about Stacey and her diabetes was great. Hell even I learned a few things about the disease that I did not know. Also, was it really taboo in the 80s to mention you had diabetes? I mean it wasn’t like she had HIV/AIDS. Stacey as narrator is refreshing because she’s mature for her age but you also feel that yes she is still just a teenager as well. The sideplot about the rival Baby-sitters agency was good but I might have held it off until later when the club really started taking off. About the time they recruited Jessi and Mallory.

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  9. People keeping illnesses secret is still a thing. They don't want people to be constantly giving them the Sad Eyes.

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