Thursday, October 4, 2012

BSC bias

Now, I'm no Stacey, but I am a big math nerd. I was wondering the other day about which babysitter had the most books through out the series, and if this said anything about the author and ghostwriters. So I went to tabulating the results. There was no real clear cut winner, if you include just the original BSC books, 1 through 131. Claudia, Stacey and Mary Anne each have 21 books each, while Kristy has 20. Naturally, you'd expect there to be fewer Mallory and Jessi books, as they joined later in the series, and fewer Dawns, as she came in and out.

What was even more interesting to me, though, was the balance of the books. Take a random twenty titles from a period when there were 7 girls in the club. You'd expect that each girl would have 3 books in this set, except one, who would have 2. (3*6 + 2*1) = 20 books. But that's often not the case.

I just opened my latest book--#125 Mary Anne in the Middle--to the inside cover, where the book titles are listed. I pointed at a title at random, and here are that title and the next 19:

#56 Keep Out Claudia*

#57 Dawn Book I Hate and Will Not Speak the Title

#58 Stacey's Choice

#59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym)

#60 Mary Anne's Makeover

#61 Jessi and the Awful Secret*

#62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever*

#63 Claudia's Freind Friend

#64 Dawn's Family Feud

#65 Stacey's Big Crush

#66 Maid Mary Anne

#67 Dawn's Big Move

#68 Jessi and the Bad Babysitter

#69 Get Well Soon, Mallory

#70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders

#71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy

#72 Dawn and the We <3 Kids Club

#73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss

#74 Kristy and the Copycat*

#75 Jessi's Horrible Prank


Just for fun, I added an * after each title that I consider to deal with a Very Special Issue.

In this sample, we have:

Claudia: 56, 63, 71 = 3

Dawn: 57, 64, 67, 72 = 4

Stacey: 58, 65, 70 = 3

Mallory: 59, 69 = 2

Mary Anne: 60, 66, 73 = 3

Jessi: 61, 68, 75 = 3

Kristy: 62, 74 = 2

I'm glad this random sample included #69. I am convinced someone came up with the idea of giving Mallory mono so they wouldn't have to write books about her. She has book #69 and then doesn't reappear until #80. I thought was the worst for the first part of the series until I realized that Kristy doesn't have a book at all between #62 and #74. I think this is why she ended up with one fewer book than the other three "original" babysitters.

As the series goes on, Mallory and Jessi have even fewer books. Jessi and Mallory each have two books after #100. Jessi ends up with 13 titles, Mallory with 12. And don't even get me started on the mysteries. There are 36 and Mallory and Jessi have one each. Even Abby has three!

I've read in multiple sources that Mallory and Jessi were added to the club because the readers (who average around 10) wanted to read about babysitters their own age. Maybe it was harder for the writers to come up with stories for Mal and Jessi. I don't know. But I know that there was an easy out: how about just have them drop out? Jessi was always busy with ballet, so have that conflict with babysitting. (Anyone who has read the Forever Friends or Friends Forever or whatever books knows that this is why Jessi drops out of the club anyway.) I've always imagined that if Jessi dropped out of the club, Mallory would have, as well. I could see her becoming an associate member: call me if you need me, but I'm not coming to meetings any more.

If any words seem to be missing or out of place in this post, I apologize. My mouse and keyboard have gone crazy. The pointer keeps jumping around, highlighting and deleting entire rows of text. Also, I'll be typing and look up and my words are not where I intended them. The Ctrl key seems to be stuck and several of my vowels are not working right. I swear I didn't spill anything on this one, so I have no idea why it's doing this. Hopefully it's still readable!

1 comment:

  1. Man, I'm right there with you on #57. I also include #84. So stupid.