Mallory on Strike: The Baby-Sitters Club #47 by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars
This is the 2nd book in a row with a school project centering around authors and books. What's the deal? Did they switch ghost-writers in between and forget to inform the new ones of what they were doing? Either way, I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than the last. I think I've finally come to terms with Mallory being my favorite character. I mean, appearance wise, I'm more of a Mary Anne and family wise, more of a Kristy. But I just connect with Mallory more. I'm a big nerd and I'm okay with that.
Annnyway...Mallory's life is changed forever when her creative writing teacher tells them about "Young Authors Day". Okay, first: Mal is in the 6th grade. She was picked for this class because she's so freaking creative. How can they tell? From her 5th grade work? I was creative in 5th grade too (example), but come on. This is more of a 10th grade class. And second: another special event?? I am repeating myself from the last book, but really, these kids should be studying SAT vocab lists. Ugh, I hated those lists. My younger sister was so lucky I kept all of mine too because she totally just copied mine lol.
Mallory is convinced that she is going to be an Author one day and decides to enter the Best Overall Fiction Story category. She goes home from school all excited to start writing and then gets distracted by all her brothers and sisters. You know what's really distracting? Those pants she's wearing on the cover. Seriously, what's going on there? With all the chaos, Mal starts to wonder if she'll even be able to write her story. "Seven brothers and sisters is just too many! I hate to admit this but sometimes I wish they would just disappear so that I could have a normal life." And then her guardian angel appeared and showed her how everyone's lives would be different if her siblings weren't around. Just kidding. :) She goes to her BSC meeting and we get a What Claudia is Wearing (or might wear, actually).
Claudia can wear anything and it looks great. Like she'll wear polka dot leggings with a short red skirt. Then she'll wear a long-sleeved T-shirt with a black vest (covered with cool pins that she's made herself) over that. Sometimes she decides to go fifties and wears penny loafers with white anklets.
At the meeting, Mal is offered a sitting job for the Hobarts for the next 4 Saturdays which would be "yay, money!" but "boo, no time to work on her story!" so she turns it down. But she doesn't explain to the other club members why she's turning it down, so they just basically think she's being a brat or something. The next day, Saturday, she gets up early (she usually sleeps til eight) to finish her homework and have time to work on her story all day. Only she doesn't get more than a sentence written, because her family needs her help all day long. I know how that is! Just writing this blog, I've had to dry my own clothes and help my sister pick out nail polish colors lol...she chose the smaller polka dots just FYI.
Mal knows something needs to change, so she makes herself a super strict schedule that doesn't leave any time for fun or new baby-sitting jobs. She almost misses a BSC meeting because she was on a roll with her story and Kristy gives her the Death Glare. Mal starts to wonder if maybe she should just leave the club for a while. And her baby-sitting job with the Impossible Three, the Barretts, helps make that decision a little easier. They spill flour all over the kitchen floor and try to clean it up with water, then Buddy cuts his foot bad on his bicycle and Mal has a minor freakout, thinking she's a horrible baby-sitter. She tells the other girls at the next meeting that she wants to be demoted and, predictably, it does not go over well.
"So please demote me. If you don't, I'll quit!"
There. I'd said it. Jessi gasped in horror. Mary Anne's eyes instantly filled with tears. Claud dropped the candy bar she was unwrapping onto her lap and stared at me, openmouthed.
"Quit?" Stacey and Dawn repeated in barely a whisper.
Kristy sat very still. No one had ever voluntarily quit the BSC. It was unthinkable.
Kristy tells her to just take 2 weeks off to think about it, which duh, is all she really needed to work on her story. Back at home, Mallory makes a sandwich board with the titular "Mallory on Strike" and lets her family know that she won't be leaving her room until she finishes. Unsurprisingly, Mr & Mrs Pike go along with it and also later reward her with her very own Mallory Day. Mal finally gets some writing done on her story, "Caught in the Middle", and is very pleased with herself. And of course, she wins the Best Fiction award and everyone cheers for her and she's totally awesome.
On Mallory Day, her parents take her & Jessi to the mall and we get an extra special What Mal & Jessi Are Wearing: [Mallory] changed clothes three times before finally settling on jean skirt and jacket, bright red tights, sneakers, and multi-colored earrings that Claud had made. [Jessi was] dressed in a new purple jumpsuit with a gold turtleneck, which made her look taller and more like a dancer than ever. (I'm sorry, I just could not force myself to make Jessi's outfit, so I updated her a bit!)
While they're at the mall, they have lots of fun, but Mal realizes that she actually misses her brothers & sisters and decides to make up an adventure for them. She and Jessi take them all on an Explorers' Day thru the neighborhood, generally making lots of noise and being annoying for the neighbors. And everything ends up happily ever after...for now. Dun dun DUN!! ;)