Sunday, September 13, 2009

#27 Jessi and the Superbrat

Karen Brewer is
A bigger Superbrat than
Derek Masters is.
Summary
Jessi is excited to discover that Stoneybrook is home (at least part-time) to a child star. Derek Masters went to Stoneybrook Elementary School until getting a role on P.S. 162, which took his family out to L.A. for a good chunk of the year. The Masters family is back in town for awhile, though, and who do they call to sit for Derek and his younger brother, Todd? Well, if the answer wasn't the BSC, this wouldn't be much of a book, would it? :) Jessi is pretty excited to get the first job at the Masters house. She actually approaches Mallory-like levels of dorkiness (love you, Mal!) by calling him by his character's name (Waldo) in her thoughts and getting starstruck at the idea of meeting a REAL TV CELEBRITY. She manages to reign it in once she actually meets Derek, and she finds out that he's just a typical 8 year old kid.

Derek is worried about readjusting to life in Stoneybrook, with good reason. The other kids won't stop treating him differently; the girls go all gooey, and the boys just make fun of him. One in particular (Derek calls him John) is especially bad. He does all sorts of awful stuff, like throwing Derek's lunch out the window and tying his sneakers together. The funny thing is that none of the other sitters know him, and neither do any of the other kids....

Jessi and the other sitters do their best to try and help Derek adjust, mostly by arranging playdates with fairly non-threatening kids like the Pikes. Things do get better for Derek eventually; he makes friends and, for the most part, people stop treating him so differently because he's on tv. When it comes time for the Masters family to go back to L.A., the sitters decide to throw them a good-bye party. That's when they find out the truth about "John;" Derek made him up, and it was Derek himself that did all those mean things, to try and get attention from the other kids. Not the best tactic for proving that you're not a typical celebrity, Derek!

While all this is going on, Jessi is busy auditioning for a semi-professional production of Swan Lake. She wants in badly, but can't admit it to herself. So, at Derek's suggestion, she throws herself into pursuing modeling and (possibly) acting by calling agents and gathering information. Jessi ends up getting a role as a swan maiden, and she realizes that her true love was ballet all along.

Thoughts and Things
  • Eeesh....the cover. Jessi is clearly 35, which is silly. She's only supposed to be ONE YEAR OLDER than the triplets, who are also on the cover. Maybe not even a full year, depending on when their birthdays are. I guess that's all part of 11 being the magical age of adulthood in the BSC; you instantly look decades older than other kids.
  • I kind of like Derek and Todd Masters. I wish the BSC had gotten to sit for them a little more.
  • Jessi mentions the Swan Lake auditions a couple of books ago, which would make for a nice bit of continuity...if she had even acknowledged that fact in this book. Instead, she's hearing about them for the first time.
  • Unlike my recent experience with Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger, this one ended up being much better than I remember.
  • I find it a little hard to believe that Stoneybrook's civic center would be that professional.
  • Claudia is wearing a pink and red outfit at the beginning; pink and red is even worse than red and purple!

3 comments:

  1. this is my favorite jessi book by the way
    and i love derek masters. he seemed totally realistic as a kid.

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  2. it didn't make sense that sweet derek would become a bully- in real life, kids would be tripping over themselves to be friends with a tv star. that's the exact opposite of what you'd do if you wanted people to like you!

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  3. I don't get the " bratty" part of superheat. Derek was more of a bully than a brat.

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