Becca Ramsey is bummed out. Not only is there a distinct chance that her Kids Club (sort of an after school community service group for older SES kids) will have to shut down while one of the faculty advisors is out of town, but one of the former members of the club is in the hospital with leukemia. This scares Becca; Danielle is only a year older than her, and she's scared that something like that might happen to her, too. Jessi makes her feel a little bit better about the whole leukemia thing, but Jessi herself feels bad about the Kids Club having to disband. Then, she gets an idea: Jessi herself will take the place of the missing teacher for as long as the teacher is out of town!
Jessi brings up her desire to volunteer at the next BSC meeting. The other members love the idea, and decide to come up with their own volunteer projects for the next month or so. Even Kristy's into it, in spite of the fact that they'll have to run the BSC meetings with a skeleton crew of who ever can make it on any given day.
Jessi meets Becca at SES after the next meeting of the Kids Club. She offers her services to Mr. Katz, who agrees to give her a trial run of four meetings. The very first project Jessi helps the kids with is answering some letters written by kids in the hospital. They're mostly thank you letters for some toys that the club donated, and one happens to be from their former club member, Danielle. Danielle herself shows up several meetings later, and the kids are full of questions (once they get over being afraid of her). Jessi introduces herself to Danielle, and they chat. This when Jessi finds out about Danielle's wishes: she wants to graduate from SES, and she wants to go to Disney World. That weekend, the BSC is having a casual meeting in the Schafer barn to talk over their volunteer projects. Jessi tells the others about Danielle and her wishes, and Mary Anne tells her about Your Wish Is My Command. It's a "Make A Wish Foundation" type of group that grants wishes to sick children. Jessi gives them a call, and they encourage her to have the Roberts family submit their Disney World wish. Later on, the wish is granted; Danielle and her family are off to Orlando! They have a great time, and Danielle is full of stories when she gets back.
On Jessi's last day with the Kids Club, Danielle is absent. As it turns out, she's back in the hospital. The kids are pretty upset; Becca and Charlotte end up in tears, and Jessi has to hide her own emotions in order to comfort them. Danielle's just in the hospital for tests, since she hadn't been feeling well, but Jessi knows that there's a lot of uncertainty still. So, Jessi makes her very own wish: for a safe and healthy recovery for Danielle.
Thoughts and Things
- I feel so, so bad for giving the "kid with cancer" book such a low rating, but I did so for two reasons. First, the sheer number of grammatical errors and awkward sentences, particularly during the first half of the book. Second, Ann really laid on the sentiment with a shovel. It was irritating rather than touching. That being said, I like how they handled all of the other kids' questions for and about Danielle, and I like Danielle herself.
- Quote time: "You guys are so lucky," I said to Dawn and Mary Anne. "How come you don't live in the barn?" Well, their house hasn't burned down yet, for one.....
- Why do I feel like the whole "BSC volunteers" subplot is used again, later in the series?
- I can't freaking believe that Kristy was so in favor of the BSC essentially taking a month off from sitting to volunteer, and that she was so okay with people not coming to meetings during that time if they couldn't make it. I know Kristy was a little more anal about things later in the series, but this felt out of character even for early Kristy!