Claudia’s not worried when she hears her newest baby-sitting charge, Betsy Sobak, is a great practical joker. After all, how much harm can one little girl do?
Plenty. Claudia breaks her leg as a result of one of Betsy’s mean joke… and now she’s talking about quitting the club. “Baby-sitting,” she says, “is just too dangerous.” Kristy thinks Betsy needs to be taught a lesson. She also thinks the Baby-sitters are just the ones to do it.
For a Baby-Sitters Club book, this book kind of feels like it’s all over the place. Especially since the majority of Claudia’s story is her whining about how dangerous baby sitting is. Claudia’s whining aside, the rest of the club is determined to do everything they can to teach Betsy Sobak a lesson. Now, I’m all for trying to teach a little girl that playing jokes on people all the time is wrong. But these girls declare war on this little girl and all in the name of Claudia.
While I appreciate the girl’s dedication to their friend who was injured because of one of Betsy’s pranks, their idea is immature at least. Why didn’t anyone just tell Betsy’s mother the truth? Not once do any of them attempt to approach the parents. Instead they just assume her mother will just turn a blind on, so they embark on a joke war. But what’s sad is, these girls have nothing on this little girl and she basically shames three of them before Kristy finally manages to out prank Betsy. Which by itself was merely a situation of circumstance, as Betsy was not at home and embarrassed in front of her peers.
But are the girls embarrassed by their childish behavior? Nope. Not one single one of them feels ashamed to gang up on a little girl. It really leaves you with an icky feeling because these girls are supposed to be role models and so far, I’ve found at least a dozen examples of why they shouldn’t ever be trusted to watch someone’s children. While I appreciate the idea behind the plot, I felt there could have been a better way to handle the Betsy Sobak situation… perhaps using Stacey’s reverse psychology?