Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween with the BSC!

In honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday, I decided to take the time to check out some "scary" Babysitter's Club stories. I read Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, the second in the original series, as well as the first four mysteries in The Babysitter's Club Mystery spin-off series. Y'all, do I have thoughts for you!

First of all, I realize how young these sitters are! Yes, I was babysitting at this age, but y'all, this is some responsibility they're taking on! Second, I've been (re)watching Rescue 911 lately as its running in syndication! It was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but watching back, I realize how intense this show was. There are so many things that I developed (ir)rational fears of as a result of watching. In reading this set of BSC books, I also realize that some of my reading choices were also a source of these anxious feels.

I started with Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, and y'all, this is a lot for the second book in the series. The title connects to a a jewel thief known as the Phantom Caller because he calls houses and robs them when no one answers. First off, this would never work today, but back when landlines were totally a thing, this was a serious concern. So, as Claudia starts babysitting, she starts getting creepy phone calls. Naturally, her conclusion is that it's the Phantom Caller. Then, instead of involving adults, the BSC come up with ideas how how they'll have a secret code if they need help and lure the caller, and COME ON! So, things eventually resolve when it's discovered that first Alan Gray (always such a nuisance!) was tracking Kristy to ask her to the school dance, then Trevor (the guy Claudia was crushing on) had been getting information from Alan on where Claudia was, so he could call and ask her to the dance. Problem was he kept getting nervous hence all the awkward calls. So, they all went to the dance. Oh, and in case you were worried, the Phantom Caller was finally apprehended.

Next up, it was Stacey and the Missing Ring. First, Stacey is begging her mom for a birthstone ring for her birthday. Her mom refuses. Then, Stacey gets a gig babysitting for a new family. After she gets home, the mom lets her know that she's missing a ring, and she suspects Stacey has stolen it. After lots of dramatics, Stacey finds out the woman's cat had taken and hidden the ring. UM, WHAT?!?! Also, the woman is totally rude and threatens to tell everyone how awful the BSC is - Who would do that to teenagers? Rude.

And then there was Beware, Dawn! In this one, Dawn starts getting mysterious threatening notes from a Mr. X. The other babysitters start to get these notes, too. Although they don't share this with one another because kids are hosting a Sitter of the Month contest. Obvs, in a club full of babysitters, everyone wants to win. Eventually, they realize that a kid who Dawn had told on for bullying some other kids is behind it all. Again, this is a super creepy situation, and there are no adults engaged to address! Oh, and again, the Sitter of the Month contest ends in a seven way tie because OF COURSE IT DOES.

Next was Mallory and the Ghost Cat. This was the least scary of the mysteries by a mile. Basically, Mallory is babysitting, and she hears a cat meowing. The family doesn't have a cat. They find some stuff in the attic (because of course they do) to make them wonder if it is a ghost cat! Eventually, they find the actual cat and reconnect him with his owner, while still wondering if they're ghosts given resemblance to some attic stuff. Honestly, the most intense plot in this one is that Mallory's Uncle Joe comes to stay with the family. He has some Alzheimer's, so it's the family navigating this, and it's a lot of feels. This one was just a lot of things, none of which were really a mystery?

Finally, there was Kristy and the Missing Child. Y'all WHAT WAS THIS?!?!? A kid on Kristy's Krushers baseball team goes missing. The first suspect is his dad. His parents are divorced, and the mom had turned down his request to take Jake to Europe, so they wonder if he just up and took his kid. From there, everyone focuses on finding Jake. At one point, Kristy organizes a search party. She is allowed to make an announcement on her school's PA system, and she organizes a bunch of the kids the club sits to look for Jake. Again, WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?!? Isn't this a project for adults to coordinate, and why are kids searching for a kid who may have been abducted without their parents?!?! Eventually, they find the kid. He's fallen into a hole at a construction site. Kristy saves the day! This one was definitely something. . . 

I'm glad I finally stepped back into the Babysitter's Club. I've been meaning to for ages, and it was fun to use the holiday for this reason!