While I always enjoy reading BSC books, alas, not all BSC books were written equally. Some of it is bad ghostwriting, some just have plain old boring plots. Here are a selection of the BSC books that just don’t do it for me:
“After-School Specials” involving clients.
Jessi’s Wish, Dawn and the Big Sleepover
While there are other books that are very… charitable and issue-raising, it is these two really, really, really bore me. That is because they don’t balance their boring main plot with a fun, kicky subplot. Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever may be both boring and depressing, but it has the fun auction subplot where Stacey wants to get items from Sweet Jane and the Sleazebuckets.
Jessi’s Wish is perhaps the worst BSC book ever. Plot: Danielle has cancer. Subplot: Although she has cancer, she is still really involved in charity work, which Jessi gets involved in as well. This book cannot live up to say, Stacey vs. the BSC. Plot: Stacey’s a bitch. Subplot: Stacey’s such a bitch that she can’t make it meetings and lets down Charlotte Johansson. Kids Can Do Anything except make an interesting story.
Dawn and the Big Sleepover is so boring I couldn’t remember the subplot so I had to look it up. According to the BSC Companion, there isn’t one, but the orange color of the cover is not reused again in the entire series. I say good: better to not be reminded of this book while you are happily reading something less boring and do-gooding, like Claudia and the Perfect Boy. In this book the BSC are insane and decide to hold a gigantic sleepover in honor of the Zuni penpals because the Zuni school burned down. I remember being very upset and grossed-out when I was little at the thought of “whole-wheat pizza pies.” This was the thing that made the deepest impression on me about this book, which I think says something.
Kristy Mysteries can be dull.
Kristy and the Missing Child, Kristy and the Haunted Mansion, Kristy and the Missing Fortune.
I know that these are rather popular books, but I have always disliked them. Kristy and the Missing Child can kind of be disliked on the same grounds as the “issue” books I mentioned above, although Mary Anne being bad at home ec is pretty funny. As for Haunted Mansion, I think I just don’t like the tale of being in the mansion because they only have apples and bread. Also, Kristy and Bart should have made out or something. But they don’t. It’s just Kristy, Bart, and Charlie being really responsible. Kristy and the Missing Fortune raises the question of Cokie and Kristy being related, which is funny, except that Thomas is a really common last name and there’s a good chance that Christina Thomas is not related to Kristin Thomas at all. In this book the kids clean up the Arboretum. What kid would want to clean up an Arboretum? Plus I’m sure the Arboretum staff appreciated having professional help like Jackie Rodowsky while they were trying to get financial funding and needed a nice-looking arboretum to get it.
Worst Super Special
Baby-sitters’ Island Adventure
In this book everyone acts like an asshole. Logan, Mary Anne, Stacey’s dad, Bart, Jessi’s parents–everyone! This book is full of bad decisions. I don’t understand why Mrs. Newton, who is normally a very reasonable lady, decided it would be a good idea for Jamie to go on a boat without an adult or even a professional. Or why no one called Child Protective Services when the Ramsey parents decided it would be a good idea for Jessi to take care of Becca and Squirt for an entire weekend. Or why Logan, Stacey’s dad, and Bart were just jerks. More mysteriously, this book was never really mentioned again in the rest of the series. Everyone seemed to forget about the time that Dawn, Claudia, and several clients were stuck on a deserted island. Claudia even says in some book that she’d never been on a deserted island before. I thought about this for a while, and decided that it was so that no one would remember this shitty book.
There are lots of books that I like–Mallory Pike, #1 Fan, to name one–that most BSC fans hate. For instance, I am a fan of later BSC over early BSC, despite the lessening of quality, but that is another blog post to itself. So tell me–what books do you consider to be real stinkers?