Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC

Summary

School is just about to end, and everyone is looking forward to summer vacation. There's a three week gap between the end of school and the beginning of most camps and summer programs, so the BSC decides to run their own day camp for their charges. It'll be held at the Schafer/Spier house, and the girls choose the circus as their theme. More than twenty kids sign up, which is good. There are, however, problems right from the start, which is bad. The kids kind of split into two groups by school: about half of them go to SES, and half of them go to SDS. To make things even worse, most of the SDS kids had been to another circus camp, and think that makes them too good for the BSC's version. There's also one other problem, and that's four year old Alicia Gianelli. She's got major separation issues, and won't go on any of the field trips that the rest of the camp takes. She's afraid that if she DOES go, her mom won't be able to find her when she arrives to pick up Alicia and her brother. Mary Anne insists on letting Alicia stay behind rather than forcing her to go places that she doesn't want to go. The other sitters think that Mary Anne is just babying Alicia, and that Alicia should be joining the rest of the campers.

At the end of camp, the kids put on a circus for their friends and family. Rehearsals are kind of a mess, thanks mostly to the SDS students who don't see the BSC camp as a "real" circus camp. Most of them take roles reluctantly, and then don't learn their parts. The sitters have to scramble around at the last minute, adjusting things so their lack of preparation doesn't stick out as much. The performance ends up going pretty well, and most of the SDS kids stop acting so surperior to everyone else. Alicia Gianelli also changes her tune by the end of the camp; she realizes that she's been missing out on an awful lot of fun by throwing fits and staying behind, and joins the group on one last trip to the park.

While the camp is being held, Mary Anne is dealing with some issues of her own. Her dad is away on a business trip, and she's surprised by how much she misses him. Dawn and Sharon are totally into being "bachelor girls," as Sharon puts it, but Mary Anne isn't thrilled. They're ordering take-out food every night, and not cleaning up anything. The mess really bothers Mary Anne, and she's finding it hard to get into the spirit of things. She doesn't talk to Sharon and Dawn about how she's feeling, though, since the two of them are having such a good time. Then, Mary Anne gets hurt falling off her bike. It's nothing serious, but she starts feeling even more sorry for herself. She even tries to get her dad to come home early to take care of her. Eventually, Mary Anne pulls herself together, stops acting like a pouty little kid, and apologizes about her behavior to Sharon. She also manages to enjoy the rest of their little vacation from Richard, even though she's really happy to see him when he comes home.

Rating: 2.5

Thoughts and Things
  • There's one place in the book where Mary Anne is talking about the SES versus SDS feud at camp, and she says SMS instead of SDS.
  • I have to side with Mary Anne about the take out food issue; just READING about them eating all that junk made me feel fatter....
  • I actually like that Mary Anne missed her dad so much and didn't quite know how to deal with it; 13 is still a kid in so many ways, and I don't blame her for wanting her dad back, especially after she was hurt.
  • Alicia really annoyed me.
  • The notebook entry at the beginning of chapter 9 is in Kristy's handwriting, but it's clearly Logan talking.

10 comments:

  1. Actually, Karen and her pack go to Stoneybrook Academy, not SDS. Just wanted to point that out.

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  2. Is Alicia the younger sister of Bobby Gianelli? He's a boy in Karen's class, and I think Pamela likes him, but Karen doesn't. (And I can't believe I remembered this.)

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  3. Your recap of this book made it sound better than it probably is.

    (I mean that as a compliment)

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  4. I think this book is just one big inconsistency as to what school people go to...

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  5. This is one book I would rate a 0. Just nothing interesting about it...

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  6. jannie aka girl talkFebruary 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Sadako YES- Alicia Gianelli is Bobby's sister! So sad that I also know that!

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  7. ok, i hate it when mary anne gets like this. she starts feeling sorry for herself, then just...i don't know. it annoys me.

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    1. I think the whole separation anxiety issue that MaryAnne has stems from when her mother died when she was a small child. That's possibly what caused her to seek help from Dr Reese for her depression as well (mentioned in the previous post)

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  8. I remember writing ann and telling her that she could make a super special where a circus coming to stoneybrook gets cancelled and so the kids make their own circus... wonder if she used this idea in this book?

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    1. Sure Sounds like she did :)

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