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Baby-Sitters On Board! (1990)

Baby-Sitters on Board! (1990)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 1
0590442406 (ISBN13: 9780590442404)
scholastic paperbacks
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Baby-Sitters On Board! (1990)
Baby-Sitters On Board! (1990)

About book: this is the first of the super specials. i remember being so psyched about this book's release when i was a kid. it was extra thick & had chapters from the points of view of every club member, plus byron, mallory, & karen. the premise: mr. pike won a contest at work, & the prize was an all-expenses paid cruise for his entire family, plus three days at disney world. i bet whoever came up with the bright idea for the contest was kicking himself when mr. pike, father of eight, won. with all those kids, the pikes of course brought mary anne & stacey along as mother's helpers. when kristy's stepfather, watson, heard about the trip, he decided to book his family as well: himself, elizabeth, kristy, sam, charlie, david michael, karen, & andrew. & he bought tickets for dawn & claudia too, so no member of the babysitters club would be excluded. i totally just went with this when i was a kid, but now...what the fuck? watson just hears that this other family won a prize that had to be pretty costly & decides to join in? & he gets tickets for kristy's friends too, but none of the other kids have friends along? i find it very dubious that karen wouldn't have petitioned for hannie & nancy to be invited--you can't break up the three musketeers! & i can't even imagine how expensive it was for mr. & mrs. pike to pay for mary anne & stacey to come along on the trip. this defies all of my understanding of finances now that i am a grown-up. but let's suspend disbelief & just accept it for now.each character has a little storyline:kristy is bunking with claudia & dawn, & kristy is messy. her messiness annoys dawn, & they fight a lot during the cruise portion of things. kristy is also anxiety-ridden about trying to think of a good gift to give to watson, elizabeth, & mr. & mrs. pike (john & dee dee) to thank them for the trip. & she meets a sad old man on the cruise ship & be friends him. the old dude is bummin' hard because he's a widower & a walter mathhau-style curmudgeon, but kristy helps him have fun on his vacation & says she's going to set him up with her grandmother.dawn is annoyed by kristy's messiness because she is apparently a compulsive neat freak. you'd think she's learn to just roll with the punches after thirteen years with sharon "dude, where's my car?" schafer, but whatever. while she's not fighting with kristy, she's all in love with some random dude she meets on the cruise, who is apparently taken with her as well. she buys herself a glass unicorn charm & then loses it. she cries. her new boyfriend buys her a replacement. *yawn*claudia shares a bunk with the odd couple & finds their fighting annoying. she finally puts her foot down & gets them to make up. she also overpacked to such an extent that the extra bunk in their cabin served as her overflow closet. throughout the trip, she keeps getting little notes & gifts from a "secret admirer". at times, this is really creepy (to me), like when she's wandering around nassau alone & everywhere she goes, her secret admirer is one step ahead of her, paying for her ice cream sundae & buying her expensive mother of pearl earrings. she forgets about her secret admirer when she meets a nice guy & they "date" at disney world. at the end of the book, it is revealed that the nice guy she met was her secret admirer all along & was scared to confess. he's the son of a popular singing duo. stacey is watching the pike kids & meets a little boy who is confined to a wheelchair due to a heart defect. she bonds with him because of her diabetes & understanding how tough it is to be sick. his parents admit to stacey that the little boy is going to be having heart surgery soon & there's a chance he won't make it, so this trip is a way for them to make some memories. this storyline bored the pants off me when i was a kid, & it still bores me. in the epilogue, we learn that the kid pulled through surgey just fine & wants a bicycle for his birthday.mary anne is also watching the pikes, & becomes obsessed with a sophisticated-looking teenage girl on the trip (lila fowler?). the sophisticated girl, alexandra, says she is traveling alone because she is an orphan, & has tons of money because her aunt is a countess (remember when lila fowler was a countess?). mary anne feels a connection because alexandra really fills out her bikini top...i mean, because mary anne's mother is dead, so she understands. but then mary anne finds out that the girl lied, & that she is actually the daughter of a popular singing duo (& sister to claudia's paramour), & she lied because she wanted attention. mary anne forgives her but doubts they will remain friends.byron & his triplet brothers, along with nicky & david micahel, become obsessed with pirates. they find a diagram of a dutch photocopier & think it's a pirate map. they spend the entire trip searching for treasure. they see claudia's weird boyfriend hiding in random dignhys & coils of rope a few times & think he's a stowaway & may be a pirate of some sort. they find dawn's missing bracelet at disney world & return it to her. who gives an eff? it would have been so much more awesome if byron's chapters just recounted all the food they ate, with recipes.karen is a fucking brat who a) has herself a manicure when she's supposed to be going back to her cabin to get her ear plugs & says, "charge it to my cabin," when it's time to pay, b) lies at a disney world breakfast & says it's her birthday in order to get attention, & c) convinces herself that a "hitchhiking ghost" from the haunted mansion is following her around disney world. i hate karen. i know most adult babysitters club fans hate karen. how did she ever get a spin-off series? i wish she had fallen into the ocean & been devoured by sharks. at birth.toward the end of the book, the babysitters have the bright idea to give their adult benefactors an annotated photo album of the trip, recounting all of their adventures. & apparently this super special is that photo album, as it is sprinkled with amateur drawings that are supposed to represent photographs. i was so into this when i was a kid, even though i didn't really have any interest in cruises or disney world. it seems so gimmicky now. but most of the super specials were pretty questionable. one weird thing: dawn is incredibly excited to go on a cruise. but later she becomes an eco-warrior. does she not know how awful cruise ships are for the environment? they spew so much trash & pollution into the ocean. dawn is so excited when the cruise ship leaves & everyone is throwing streamers & confetti around--into the ocean. come on, dawn. i guess at this point, she's just a healthy eater & not the mink-liberating eco fighter she becomes later.

I didn't much care for the Super-Specials when I was a kid because they kinda confused me with the shifting points of view. I also usually had a problem with the sort of contrived individual plots in which it seemed like the author was trying to give each narrator an individual conflict and silly resolution.In this book the Pike family goes on vacation. Whenever the Pike family does anything, you know it's going to be full of hijinks, because there are eight children and some of them are pretty wild. The Pikes have won a trip and they decide to take along the same two babysitters who were their helpers for their vacation in an earlier book. And since Kristy's new stepfather is rich, he just starts buying tickets for everyone (except Jessi--where's Jessi?? Not invented yet when this book was planned?) so they can all vacation together and we can have a plot. Watson is the money fountain! Yay!So they're on a cruise ship and they have roommate issues, because Kristy is a giant slob and it pisses off her roommates, and Claudia brought too much crap. Kristy's making friends with an old man who obviously just needs to be set up with her grandmother to fix everything, and she spends a lot of time whining about not knowing what to do to thank her stepfather for the trip, and they end up doing a scrapbook for him. Everybody meets weirdos or People With A Story on the trip, and every storyline gets resolved. Claudia gets stalked by a secret admirer and finds it flattering when it was totally stalkery, creepy behavior. Dawn also has a boy crush that doesn't make a lot of sense and is formed over nothing. (I kinda wanted her unicorn charm, though. Even though I wasn't a unicorn kid.) Stacey has a connection with a kid who has a heart defect because they're both sick, which seemed sort of like it was reaching. And Mary Anne starts believing some sophisticated girl's lies and finding her totally glamorous, which is kind of odd. There were also some extra plots told from the points of view of some of the kids who were being babysat, and I didn't find them very convincing. Kristy's stepsister was pretty bratty, and the Pike triplets kept imagining incredibly unoriginal mysteries about pirates and treasure while on the ship. (Their suspicion of Claudia's stalker boy, and the PLACES HE WAS HIDING TO WATCH HER, was totally absurd.)
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Hahahah, okay this is obviously getting 4 stars for purely nostalgic reasons. This had to be the first book in my childhood that made me obsessed with the idea of cruises and vacationing with friends. Karen's little manicure that she charged to her father's account was like the highlight of my elementary school life back in the day! But even then, I remember finding Claudia's little stowaway stalker more creepy than adorable, but I guess they were all kids back then and it was all harmless. Haaaa. Oh, memories!
In which Watson shows up John Pike by going on the same cruise on a whim, Satan Karen is a megabrat who needs locked in a cage, K. Ron frets over a gift, is a slob, and chills with an old guy who I like to think of as Rudy from Survivor, and Mel-ry narrates for the first and only time as a sittee. Also, Caludia has a stalker but it's romantic, STFUDawn falls madly in LUV in minutes, MA chills with a lying bitch, and Stacey has The Diabetes. This Super Special is bizarre to me because Stace spends all her time babysitting instead of scamming on hot guys. Still, it's one of my faves.
Oh, nostalgia!I used to obsessively read this book when I was the proper age for it. It was probably my second favorite book in the series, after the Super Special where they go to California. I always liked the Super Specials better than the regular books since they didn't focus as much on babysitting; when I was eleven, I wasn't fond of babysitting or children, but I did like wacky adventures, and the Super Specials had plenty of those.Characters that annoyed me to no end in this book: Kristy, Dawn, Karen, Mallory.Characters that I liked in this book: Claudia, Stacey, Mary Anne.So, pretty much exactly how I remember feeling about the characters last time I read this (15 years ago probably?).Things I liked about this book: how ridiculously dramatic everything is, the totally stupid love interests.Things I didn't like about this book: the serious lack of ridiculous Claudia outfits.
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