Mallory has been feeling tired and run-down for the last couple of books. She's been getting lots of colds, and is too tired to do much of anything most of the time. One morning when she's especially sick (fever, sore throat, etc), Mrs. Pike takes her to good old Dr. Dellenkamp. She runs a few tests, and few days later, Mal gets the news: she has mono. The doc tells her that the only cure is bed rest, and lots of it.
After about a week, Mallory is so bored that she's ready to (as she tells us) burn her pajamas and blow up the tv. She starts to feel good enough that she asks to go back to school, but her parents say no. Her recovery has been much slower than they expected, and even when she IS back to normal, the only thing Mal will be allowed to do is school. That means no BSC, and no planned family trip to New York for Thanksgiving. Mallory breaks the news to Kristy, and tells her that they should start looking for a replacement sitter. The club holds an emergency meeting the next day, though, and they vote not to replace Mal for the time being. Instead, she'll be an honorary member until she's able to return to the club.
While all this is going on, the BSC is busy with yet another project. They're going to have a Thanksgiving party for the Stoneybrook Manor residents, complete with gift baskets and games. Mallory is given a list of things she can do to help without ever leaving her bed, and at first, she's glad to have something to do. Then, she gets to thinking. The club was shorthanded when Dawn left, and it's only gotten worse. Mallory feels they'd be much better off replacing her after all, so she decides to be so unpleasant to everyone that they fire her. She's rude to the club members when they visit her, and she refuses to help at all with the Thanksgiving project. Mal hates being that way with her friends, but she just wants to do what's best for the club. It doesn't work; the BSC knows exactly what she's doing, and they don't let her get away with it. The Thanksgiving party is a big hit, but the books kind of ends with Mal (kind of) on the road to recovery.
Thoughts and Things
- I HATED this book when I read it as a kid. Seriously. I considered writing AMM and telling her that, plus giving her some ideas for future books if she was having trouble coming up with any good ones on her own. I actually like it a lot better now.
- No mention is made of Mallory's visit to the doctor in #68. At that point, she's told that nothing's wrong with her. Given her symptoms, wouldn't they have tested for mono at that point, too?
- We get two holidays in this book: Halloween and Thanksgiving. I like that. :)
- Giving the Manor residents toys in their gift baskets was a pretty good idea. Old people tend to get shafted when it comes to presents, because people DO kind of assume that they're only into boring stuff.
- I loved the chapter where Claire and Margo play hospital with Mallory. It's cute!