you may recall that in kristy in charge, mallory was drafted to teach an eighth grade english class & it didnt go so well. the eighth graders teased her a lot & called her spaz girl. her life at stoneybrook middle school has deteriorated to the point that she is contemplating transferring to boarding school. she found one she likes a lot in the berkshires. its called riverbend hall & it seems academically challenging & has a strong creative writing component.
mallory has applied & in this book, she is accepted. mary anne happens to be at the pikes house babysitting when mallory gets her acceptance letter. she tells mary anne that she has decided to go, but shes not looking forward to breaking the news to the other babysitters--especially jessi. jessi has not been especially accepting of mallorys decision to leave stoneybrook...& who can blame her after the way mallory reacted when jessi was invited to enroll in dance new york in jessis big break?
it seems that a big reason why jessi chose to defer enrollment at dance new york was because she didnt want to leave mallory, but now mallory is leaving her. mallory is not sure how to proceed & vents a lot of her concerns & frustrations to mary anne, because mary anne is such a great listener.but jessi is also using mary anne as a sounding board. jessi just knows that mallory is going to accept riverbend if they invite her to go to school there, & jessi is really frustrated.
she cant understand why mallory cant just pull it together & deal with the teasing at school, nor can she comprehend how mallory can be okay leaving her family & the babysitters club. but jessi doesnt know that mallory has been accepted & is planning to attend starting in january.mary anne feels caught in the middle.
she doesnt feel that its her place to tell jessi that mallory has already been accepted (& i agree with her on that), so she is forced to try to assuage jessis feelings without letting the cat out of the bag. & while she is sad to see mallory go, she wants to be supportive of mallorys decision.the younger pike kids are also having a tough time with mallorys decision.
i guess they feel abandoned. they give mallory the cold shoulder & tell her that theyre practicing for after she leaves. mallory is really frustrated with everyone because she feels that no one really understands how difficult it has become for her to get along at SMS. jessi doesnt help matters by accusing mallory of abandoning her siblings, right in front of them.things come to a head at a babysitters club meeting when jessi demands to know mallorys decision, framing it as crucial information the babysitters club needs in order to move forward as an organization.
she says that they need to start looking now if theyre going to have to replace mallory. mallory explodes & admits that shes been accepted & is going. everyone is shocked, but jessi is especially pissed because she can tell from the look on mary annes face that she already knew. jessi storms out, & is mad at both mallory & mary anne.to try to smooth things over, mary anne signs both mallory & jessi up for a joint sitting job at the barrett/dewitts place.
the babysitters are doing another one of their dumb projects that involve the whole town, making new holiday decorations for the old folks home. has there been a single holiday season in the last twenty years at the old folks home that the babysitters havent had their part in?
jesus. mallory & jessi both bring art supplies to the sitting job so the kids can make decorations, but they get into a fight when suzi wants to make a snowman instead of a kinara. mallory says thats fine, but jessi says she brought the clay & shell decide how it gets used. she wants suzi to make clay fruit instead, in keeping with a kwanzaa theme.
suzi is okay with this, but mallory doesnt see why the kids cant make what they want. jessi doesnt think its right for mallory to give the kids permission to do stuff without jessis input.both girls call mary anne when they get home & rant to her. she has to keep switching from one call to the other. she finally loses patience & tells them both to come over. she hopes that forcing them to be in the same room & express their feelings to each other with result in a truce, & that mallory & jessi can then appreciate their last few weeks together as friends.mary annes plan works.
jessi explains that shes hurt that mary anne knew about mallorys decision before jessi did. mallory explains that jessi was the hardest person to tell because she is going to be the hardest person to leave behind. everyone cries & makes up. mallory also patches things up with her siblings. the kids all write her nice poems about how much theyre going to miss her.i kind of think mallory was in the wrong on this one. while it may have been difficult to tell jessi that shes leaving for boarding school, that really is the kind of thing that you just have to do.
i guess its unrealistic to expect mature adult perspective from an eleven-year-old, & jessi didnt help matters by being so passive-aggressive about mallorys decision. i dont know.hilariously, the little girl who once owned this book filled out the weird little reading comprehension sheets in the back of the book.
under, which babysitter are you most like & why? she wrote, mallory because she is cool. its weird to remember that a lot of girls thought mallory was cool when they were elemntary school-ages (me included), when she is now seen as a huge dork by nostalgic adult readers.