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Review: Jessi and the Superbrat by Ann M. Martin

Stoneybrook has gone star-crazy! Derek Masters, an eight-year-old regular on a hit TV sitcom, has moved to town. Everyone’s wondering what a real live TV star will be like—will he drive to school in a limo?

Jessi can’t believe it, but even stars need baby-sitters, and she’s the lucky club member to watch Derek Masters. Even though a lot of kids at school call Derek a spoiled brat, Jessi likes him immediately. He rides bikes and eats junk food like a normal kid, but he has exciting stories about Hollywood, too!

Pretty soon baby-sitting and ballet start looking kind of boring next to TV scripts and cameras. Maybe Jessi would like to be a star, too!

 

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I used to be such a big fan of the Baby-sitters Club books as a young girl.  However, the books featuring Jessi were never really appealing to me and I could never understand why.  As an adult and after all of my multicultural literature classes, I think I’ve finally realized why.  Although Ann M. Martin tried to add some diversity into her books with Claudia and Jessi, she didn’t have the knowledge or understanding of the cultural aspects that would make these girls more realistic.

As I reread the book, I was surprised to find that Jessi essentially cowers in Kristy’s presence.  I find this appalling as it is brushed aside as merely happening because Kristy is in charge and older.  But it does come off as a bit ignorant and insensitive to have one of the only two minority characters to cower around one of the main characters.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as one of the other culturally insensitive aspects of this series to talk about Claudia’s “almond-shaped eyes.”

As for the storyline, this book is lacking in any actual substance.  The presence of a “superbrat” is ignored for the majority of the book.  Especially since it is Derek who claims he’s being bullied, when in truth he is the bully.  Also, this idea that Jessi would become so star struck that she would consider pursuing a modeling/acting job is ridiculous.  It’s written off as being a coping mechanism for her nerves about auditioning for a local production of Black Swan.  Looking back, the reason I probably disliked most of the Jessi books is because the author wrote one-dimensional stories that didn’t even fit into the context of the blurb on the back of the book.  If this series had been written in today’s current climate, these books wouldn’t be able to compare to other popular series that can incorporate diversity and fully develop the characters in their series.

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Rating

Gold StarGold StarGold Star

 

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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