Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kristy's Book

The First Five Innings

Elizabeth goes into labor at a Yankees game, and instead of taking her to the hospital, Patrick wants to stay and watch baseball. They make it to the 8th inning before having to leave, early the next morning, there's Kristy. Apparently, she was an active baby, but not fussy. When she, Claudia, and Mary Anne were about 5, they built snowmen in their neighbors' yard to earn money to buy Mimi a birthday present. They got a her a purple and red scarf, which she wore for the rest of her life.

Breaking the Rules

When Kristy was five and a half, she idolized her older brothers. She always wanted to play with them, but they never wanted a little kid (especially a girl) to tag along. One day, they announce that they're going over to SMS to watch a soccer game. Afterward, the mother of one of their friends is going to take them to see a movie, Car Man. Kristy loves Car Man, so she makes up her mind that she's going to go. She tells her mother that she's going to be playing at Claudia's, then takes off by herself for SMS. When she gets there, she finds her brothers and their friends, and tells them that their mother said she could go. Kristy makes it all the way to the theater and most of the way through the movie before she mother shows up looking for her. Elizabeth takes all three kids home, and all three get a lecture. That weekend, Patrick takes the boys to see Car Man, since they missed the end of it before. Kristy isn't allowed to go, but she sort of tricks Sam and Charlie into telling her the rest of the plot when they get home.

On Our Own

David Michael is born, Louie joins the family....and Patrick leaves. He just doesn't come home from work one day, and when Elizabeth calls his boss the next morning to find out what happened to him, the boss tells her that Patrick quit and said he was moving out west. Elizabeth doesn't tell the kids anything for a couple of weeks, in case Patrick comes back. When it becomes clear that that's not going to happen, she breaks the bad news. A few months later, Elizabeth gets a full time job, which means that the kids are going to be on their own an awful lot more. At first, everything's great; they eat takeout every night, junk food every day, and all of Kristy's friends love to play at her house because there are no adults around. Then, one day, Louie gets sprayed by a skunk. Sam, Charlie, Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia take him into the bathroom to give him a tomato juice bath. Louie keeps shaking and spraying the bathroom with the juice, making a huge mess. Then, when the kids try to leave the bathroom, they realize that they're locked in. They don't want Elizabeth to think they're irresponsible, so they wait until they see someone they can trust to help without telling her. Soon, Janine walks by, and they signal her from the window. Just then, Elizabeth gets home, and Janine runs to tell her what's going on. Elizabeth is not exactly happy, but she blames herself more than the kids. She sets some new ground rules for how things have to be when she's not around, and things run a little more smoothly after that.

Play Ball

The summer that Kristy is ten, she gets a scholarship to Camp Topnotch. It's a sports camp for girls, which means that Kristy will get to play softball all day along (almost). There are two softball cabins: the Bluejays (Kristy's cabin) and the Robins. There's quite a rivalry between the two cabins, and the pranks are flying fast and furious. Kristy takes a pretty quick dislike to the Robin's shortstop, Samantha. It's mostly jealousy; Kristy is a shortstop, too, and she doesn't like that Samantha is better than she is. Eventually, the two cabins have to join together to form one team that will be playing teams from other camps. This doesn't work very well, since the Bluejays and Robins can't seem to forego their own rivalry in order to work together. Finally, the coach quits in protest; she doesn't want to coach kids who can't work together. That's a wake-up call for both cabins. They have a meeting, decide they need to start acting like a team, and sign a petition to give to their coach. She agrees to come back on a trial basis, and the two former rival groups rename themselves the Birds as a show of solidarity.

My Real Father

This section, for the most part, covers everything that happened in the BSC movie. Patrick comes back to town, but only wants to spend time with Kristy. Mary Anne is the only one of Kristy's friends that knows, and Kristy has to keep lying for Patrick, who doesn't WANT anyone else to know that he's in town. One day, Patrick gives Kristy a baseball glove, and tells her that it's for all the birthdays he missed. Kristy's thrilled....until she noticed that the glove is for a righty. She's a lefty, but doesn't have the heart to tell Patrick that he got it wrong. She tries to exchange it at a sporting goods store, and the salesperson points out the personalization on the inside of the glove. It had been given away as a souvenir at a sports writers' dinner. It wasn't a real present after all. Kristy never gets the chance to tell Patrick what she thinks of his little gesture, because he skips town again shortly after that. Kristy finally comes clean about what she's been up to, and Watson surprises her with a new glove....a lefty. :)

Rating: 4

Thoughts and Things
  • This portrait book reads smoother than the others have; it feels like one story rather than a bunch of random ones.
  • I think Kristy (who got a B+) should have gotten a better grade on her autobiography than Mary Anne (A+) did.
  • This book makes Patrick's whole visit seem much creepier than the movie did. I mean, he doesn't want to see anyone but Kristy, they're always meeting in secluded places, and he takes her to a freaking DRIVE IN, for Pete's sake! What a weirdo.
  • I can't help but wonder what attracted Elizabeth to Patrick in the first place when they're clearly so wrong for each other. She's always seemed pretty straitlaced and a little conservative. Maybe she was attracted to the fact that Patrick was more of a free spirit, something she wished she could be?
  • Watson and Richard need to form an "Awesome BSC Dads" club. :)
  • I'm going to have to dig up my copy of SS#2 to see if Kristy ever mentioned the fact that she'd been to camp before....
  • How did Elizabeth survive those first six months after Patrick left without a job? We all know he probably wasn't paying child support.
  • It's interesting that Kristy was almost born at Yankee Stadium when she's actually a Mets fan.


  1. Oh no....Patrick in the movie was uber creepy. He drove a freaking rape van! He made Kristy sperm pancakes! (OK, he called them mouse pancakes, but they were sperm). Very very creepy.

  2. I have to second what Nikki said.

    What was up with that motor home. And "Don't tell your mom or Watson what's going on here..."

    What's with that, Patrick?

  3. Patrick was really creepy--that whole "Don't tell anyone" crap was an insane trip to lay on a thirteen year old girl like that. I also hated the way her mom handled it in the movie, where at first she's also mad at Kristy and then she's all, "Well, your father dreams, there's nothing wrong with dreams, you dream, too." I get not wanting to bad mouth the ex but come on! Patrick's problem is that he's a low life, not that he's a romantic dreamer.

    I also can't believe Elizabeth left the kids alone like that. OK, I know she had little choice but couldn't she have had Mimi or at least someone watch them? Or hired a sitter from whoever Richard had for MA? Charlie was only ten, right? Though that was a year younger than when Mal and Jessi started. Which is still insane.

  4. i'm 11 and i started babysitting 2 yrs ago... plus, my parents r divorced, and i get tht dont tell crap allt he time


  5. I wish Mal and Jessi did a portrait book, but just for fun, no grading :)

    1. you could write one for each of them as a fan fiction