4 out of 5 stars
Well, the covers are slowly getting better for the Jessi books. Her styling is for sure, check out that Huxtable sweater and the scrunchy double socks! That's totally fresh as Claudia would say. Fresh means cool just an FYI. ;) I enjoyed this one, even with the evil dictator, AKA Aunt Cecelia. And there are several great subplots, so let's get started!
Jessi's mom has decided to go back to work and they need somebody to watch Squirt during the day and Becca after school. So Jessi's dad's sister, Aunt Cecelia, is going to move in with them. She's apparently way older than her brother, because she is a widow(er?) with grown kids and doesn't want to live at home alone anymore. Jessi and Becca are horrified by this turn of events, but of course, they don't sit down and have a rational discussion with their parents. No, they decide to play stupid pranks on her to make her want to leave. Because pranks always work out well. Aunt Cecelia moves in with a UHaul stuffed full of all her old crap and they have to cram it in anywhere it will fit. Jessi is upset because her room doesn't say "Jessi" anymore but "Jessi and some old lady" haha!!
Aunt Cecelia is super strict and just doesn't do things the way their parents do, so Jessi & Becca are constantly at war with her. She doesn't let Jessi ride her bike over to Mallory's because she doesn't know this girl, she makes them eat healthy cookies for a snack instead of a sandwich, she won't let them walk Squirt because it's getting dark and cold and dangerous. And then she does the unthinkable...Jessi is a few minutes late home from a baby-sitting job and Aunt Dictator forbids her to go the BSC meeting that afternoon. Jessi is piiiissed.
In the meantime, Walking Disaster Jackie Rodowsky and a bunch of other kids have decided to enter the elementary school science fair. Jackie wants to build a volcano after seeing it on the Brady Bunch (who didn't want to after seeing that??!) and Jessi agrees to help him but in true BSC fashion, she ends up doing most of the work for him. Poor Jackie just wants to make a mess, as usual, and those meddling baby-sitters ruined it again.
And over at the Pike household, those adorable little red-headed rascals have decided to build a library in their bedrooms. This is totally something I would have done. They organize all their books into genres in the separate rooms and assign Vanessa as the librarian and even make library cards for each book. I miss paper library cards, don't you? Getting to see who has checked out a book ahead of you. Good times. They put a sign out in the yard saying "Pike Library" and tell all their friends about it. Those kids are too dang smart.
I will give you 3 guesses how all the issues are resolved in this book. Did you guess "actually talking things over for once"? Ding ding ding!! You are correct sir or madam! ;) Jessi & Becca talk to their parents about Aunt Dictator and confess to pulling pranks, Jessi realizes she screwed up Jackie's project by taking over, Aunt Cecelia claims that she was afraid she wouldn't be as good a baby-sitter as Jessi (yeah. right.) and gets even with the girls by pulling a few pranks of her own (real mature). And we get a What Claudia is Wearing right at the end (which I almost missed oops!).
Claud was wearing a fake leopard-skin vest, a fairly tame blouse, and blue leggings. She had made her jewelry herself-five papier-mache bracelets that were painted in soft desert colors.
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