A Fair Trade Book
Title: Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery
Author: Ann M. Martin
Author's official web site: https://www.scholastic.com/annmartin/
Length: 140 pages
Quote: "With this letter, you don't get anything for not breaking the chain--except good luck. But if you do break the chain, the letter says, 'Bad luck will be visited upon you, the recipient of this letter, and your friends and loved ones. Harm will come your way.'"
In this seventeenth of over a hundred Baby-Sitters Club books, Mary Anne, the nice, sweet, conscientious Baby-Sitter, breaks the chain. And Halloween is coming up, too. And bad things do begin to happen! (And could they have anything to do with the classmates who muttered that the Baby-Sitters were "stuck-up" in the cafeteria at school?)
There never was a great deal of suspense about the Baby-Sitters Club books. The more Martin tries to build suspense, the easier it is to laugh. However, there's no harm in laughing, and along the way the Baby-Sitters always pick up some useful baby-sitting experience and tips. These are nice, wholesome stories with just a sprinkling of age-appropriate (middle school) romance; Mary Anne, the Baby-Sitter who doesn't try to be a teenager, has a real live boyfriend who admits he's interested in her by--this is bold, when you're all twelve or thirteen--sitting with the Baby-Sitters in the cafeteria. (And real live official school enemies who just haaate that about Mary Anne, of course.) And family, and pets, and children's parties...
If there's a criticism to be made of these very very nice books, it's that some of them might appeal to readers younger than the Baby-Sitters themselves. Mary Anne and her best friend Kristy may be "the shortest, youngest-looking girls in the entire eighth grade," but when I read this book and think back, I think...fifth grade? This particular adventure might have appealed to me more in the third grade. The characters may be old enough to sneak out to the spooky scene before midnight, but "Most 'hauntings' are set up by pranksters or by nastier people" is the kind of thing kids learn from the Saturday morning cartoons that appeal to the preschool crowd.
Anyway, Mary Anne and her friends overcome their superstitious fears and, since (very lucky for them) the people enticing them out late at night are their school enemies rather than, say, kidnappers, and since they run in a good-sized pack anyway, the story has a nice happy ending.
Ann M. Martin is alive and active in cyberspace, so this is a Fair Trade Book. You can get better prices from other sites than our minimum of $5 per book + $5 per package, but when you buy it here, Martin or a charity of her choice will receive $1 per book. (Yes, if you send $45 to either address in the lower left-hand corner of your screen for eight separate Baby-Sitters Club chronicles, Martin or her charity will receive $8.)
(And the long-tailed tags were: Baby-Sitters Club, chain letter, children’s story,gentle fiction, Halloween,middle school mysteries .)