Holy crap! Mallory is annoying! I had totally forgotten just how lame she is! This is the first Mallory book I’ve read since I started this project (except pre-blog Super Specials), and I wanted to smack her. HARD.
The premise of this book is as follows: Mallory gets crazy excited when her really cool, published author creative writing teacher, Mr. D., announces Young Authors Day, which includes a writing contest. Mallory decides to enter the competition for Best Overall Fiction for the Sixth Grade. But every time she sits down to write, her family interferes. Stops baby-sitting, gets up early, but her parents always ask her to do stuff. So, she starts being crazy bitchy to her sibs, to the point where Margo and Claire make up a ballet about Mean Old Mallory. Then, she goes on strike and tells her parents that she’s not doing any family stuff until she’s done with her story. Finally, she talks to her parents and they set up a system so that Mallory can have time to herself when she needs to work. (Well, duh. They’re parents: sure, they enjoy a built-in baby-sitter, but all she had to do was say it was schoolwork…like they’d say “No, you can’t do your homework. Now scrub the floor.”) She also gets a “special day” from her parents as a way of showing their appreciation. She takes Jessi shopping at the mall, they have a special lunch and see a movie. But she misses her family! Well, finally, she wins her contest, makes up with the BSC and gives her sibs a special day. She and Jessi set up a series of lame games and activities for the other Pike kids. Happy ending. Blah.
My favorite part? The little blurb on the front: “How could Mallory ever get tired of baby-sitting?” And the front cover painting shows Jessi, Mallory, Dawn/Stacey (I can’t always tell them apart in cover art. Sometimes trendy/sophisticated and California casual look EXACTLY THE SAME!) are playing in the leaves with some kids, possibly Pikes, Um, that’s not baby-sitting. Plus, she thinks she’s lost the baby-sitting skills when one of her charges gets bloody while she’s distracted by the other two…who lets and 11-year-old take care of three children, let alone an 8-, 5- and 2-year-old. Seriously.