Monday, July 1, 2013

"What's under my scarf? Not much!" BSC #48: Jessi's Wish (1991)

For such a well-meaning book, this story is surprisingly boring. It's another one of AMM's PSAs. Jessi helps take over the Kids Can Do Anything Club (Kids Club) when one of the advisors goes on a trip. The club is a service club at the elementary school, and members include Becca, Charlotte, Vanessa, Nicky and a new character named Danielle, who has leukemia. Jessi sees how hard life is for Danielle and her family, so she tries to help Danielle's dreams come true by contacting a Make a Wish-style organization and arranging for them to take a trip to Disney.

In the subplot, all of the other BSC members decide to do volunteer work for a month and we get to hear about what a few of them are doing.

Interesting Tidbits

This book is dedicated to the "real" Danielle.

When Jessi lists her family members, she mentions her mom, her dad, Becca, Squirt, Misty the hamster and Aunt Cecelia. In that order.

Did you know that best friends have some things, but not all things in common? I didn't. Thank you, chapter 2.

Real books: Aside from all the horse books that always get mentioned in Jessi and Mallory books, there's Green Knowe books by L.M. Boston and Tom's Midnight Garden. (Incidentally, I was telling my mom about how I'd never heard of The Secret Language as mentioned in last week's post. Yet, there at one of my favorite thrift stores was a copy...sitting right next to a copy of #92, Mallory's Christmas Wish, or whatever. I bought Mallory and left the other book behind.)

Heh. Mallory has decided to get a nose job after she makes her first million.

When everyone signs up to volunteer for a month, Kristy worries that they'll be so busy that the club will go out of business. I know plenty of people who work full time and volunteer, so the members should be able to babysit, go to school, and volunteer a couple hours a week.

You know it's bad when I've gotten to chapter 6 and I've barely even snarked.

Apparently, the BSC members are writing up their volunteer work in the BSC notebook.

A boy asks Kristy to help him spell Leonardo and Donatello, and she thinks he's writing about artists instead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Danielle has been in chemo since summer and has lost her hair, yet she still has eyelashes. Is that normal? I read a LOT of Lurlene McDaniel back in the day and usually when chemo patients lost their hair, they lost all of it, or just had patches here and there.

The BSC members gather together in Dawn's barn to talk about their volunteer work. Kristy points out that it's not a real meeting, and Mallory says, "Right. No phone, no alarm clock, no visor." Because they couldn't have a meeting if Kristy wasn't wearing a visor. (Incredulous Kristy, anyone?)

The Make a Wish organization in the book is called Your Wish is My Command. I had been thinking it was called One Last Wish, but I've realized that I've always just thought of this book as a poor man's Lurlene McDaniel book....I was one of those girls who loved to read until I sobbed. I've considered blogging all of my "death" books after I finish with the BSC.

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are named Ray and Faye.

Claudia spelling: hart atack, afternon, scluptures, glased (glazed), profeshional projeck, leting, prety, before. She also used grate for great, there for their, cold for could and ether for either.

Damn Karen. She's in the art class where Claudia is volunteering, along with Margo P and Jackie R. She manages to convince the other kids in her class that the elephant she's sculpting is starting to move. Claudia convinces her to shut the hell up by telling her that if it's alive, she can't glaze and fire it.

How is Charlotte in third grade? She's the same age as Becca and she skipped a grade. I'm pretty sure that one of the last two books I read had Charlotte in fourth grade.

Heh. Charlotte's Barbie collection consists of three Barbies, some clothes, a spool of thread, yo-yo, and flashlight. Charlotte refuses to explain to Jessi what the last three items have to do with Barbie.

Poor Greg. He's only six, and the whole recent past of his life has focused around his sister's illness. The Robertses have a barbecue for Danielle's friends (Charlotte, Becca and Jessi) and interrupt a treasure hunt so Danielle can take her pills, and then say the guests have to go home. Greg gets all upset because a) Danielle gets candy with her pills, and he doesn't get any and b) he's not tired yet and the guests are all leaving. I totally get that; my sister was sick some when I was even younger than he is (nothing too serious, but it was recurring and she eventually had to have surgery) and I remember being so jealous of the attention she got when she had to take medicine and especially of the helium balloon she got when she was hospitalized. Seems stupid now, but the other, healthy kid kind of becomes an afterthought sometimes.

Apparently, Jessi doesn't just hang her posters on the wall; she frames them all behind glass.

This whole book makes me want to gag. It's too sweet and goody-goody. First there's the whole lesson on how hard it is to have cancer; then we get to hear about a brain damaged little boy, and a bunch of kids with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, and they even throw cystic fibrosis in there but don't explain what it is. The whole thing is just designed to tug at your heart strings, but it's so poorly done and you don't really get enough details about most of these conditions/diseases to actually learn anything or feel any hope/sadness about the kids.

There are literally nine postcards in the book that Danielle wrote on her three day vacation.

Ooh, a book reference that was actually current at the time the book was published: Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (one of my favorites.)

The book ends sort of sadly but realistically: Danielle is back in the hospital.


Danielle: oversized jeans, oversized t-shirt reading BALD IS BEAUTIFUL, red head scarf

New characters

Danielle and Greg Roberts (9 and 6)--31 and 28

No comments:

Post a Comment