The kids on the cover of this book are really frightening. I even thought so as a kid…They’re all blond and mean looking, and I guess they’re supposed to be all Aryan and doll-like, but I swear they’re in the original Village of the Damned.
So, in this book, the BSC meets the Lowells. Mary Anne has the first job, and she thinks the three kids are angelic and doll-like. But when Claudia gets the next job, Mrs. Lowell makes her feel uncomfortable, and the kids are nightmares. The next time she calls the BSC, she specifically asks for anyone BUT Claudia. Well, of course Claudia starts to doubt her sitting abilities (as they all do whenever any little thing doesn’t go as expected). But when Jessi shows up to sit, Mrs. Lowell quickly says that she forgot to call, but there have been a change of plans…Well, it’s official: something’s wrong. Kristy decides to get to the bottom of things. Finally, they all figure out that the Lowells are racist. Then, when Mrs. Lowell calls again, asking for the “blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby-sitter she’s heard about.” So, Kristy goes into this elaborate (and immature) thing in which she gives Mrs. Lowell a list of things to hate about the BSC, which convinces Mrs. Lowelll that she doesn’t actually need a sitter. Note: I totally didn’t get the way this was handled. Why not just say that the BSC doesn’t work that way; all sitters have an equal chance at getting all the jobs.
Subplot: The BSC helps a bunch of kids form a band to do showtunes. Yes, I said showtunes. At first, they’re going to do songs from Annie. But then THE CHILDREN decide to do songs from Fiddler on the Roof. I don’t get it. The music in that particular show isn’t very interesting for kids, I would imagine. Annie, I get. I would even understand, like, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. But Fiddler on the Roof? That’s like My Fair Lady or Phantom of the Opera for kid-appeal. Good songs and shows, but I sincerely doubt some fifteen under-10s would dig.
Oh, and at the beginning, Claudia and Janine get along really well-ish. When did that happen?