Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: Karen's Worst Day

A Fair Trade Book


Title: Karen’s Worst Day (Baby-Sitters Little Sister #3)

Author: Ann M. Martin


Date: 1989

Publisher: Apple Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-44299-6

Length: 100 pages

Illustrations: pencil drawings by Susan Tang

Quote: “I was running out of pleasant thoughts. I had already thought of ice cream and cartoons and pets and new shoes and birthdays.”

Karen, the poor little rich girl, broke her wrist in volume two of this series. In volume three, her Very Bad Day starts with her finally falling asleep thinking a pleasant thought, only to fall out of bed when the pleasant dream turns into a nightmare. Her brother claims the prize from the box of cereal the children have been eating; she’s allowed to look for the prize in the new box—but there isn’t one. Clearly this Saturday can only get better for Karen…but it goes on and gets worse. Even on the Lost Planet of Nice, even millionnaires’ children have bad days, and Karen’s family agree (if only to cheer her up) that the number of things that go wrong on this day is a record.

The thing about other people’s “bad day” stories is that, since bereavements, earthquakes, and major medical crises don’t really count as “bad day” material, other people’s “bad day” stories are usually funny. The natural reaction is to try to top a “bad day” story, and some children may even want to see whether they can contrive to have as bad a day as Karen has in this book. If fifteen things go wrong…some perfect little fallen angels have even been known to try to give the Bad Day Record to a sibling.


In real life, all too soon most of us come to points in life compared to which our own “bad day” stories seem hilarious. The Baby-Sitters Club, however, live in a different world, much nicer than ours, where everyone can be glad to know that Karen will never have a day as bad as this one again.

And it's a Fair Trade Book: if you buy it here, for $5 per book + $5 per package + $1 per online payment, we send $1 to Ann Martin or a charity of her choice. If you buy ten Baby-Sitter's Little Sister books, you'd send $55 via postal order (the U.S. Post Office would collect its own surcharge) or $56 via Paypal to the appropriate address at the very bottom of the screen, and, assuming the Post Office is still offering the size of package with which I'm familiar at the time of writing, Martin or her charity would get $10.

I should perhaps mention (again) that the reason why so many BSC books are being reviewed here this year is that I've been dressing dolls to match children's books, and have made and sold a lot of hand-knitted incarnations of the Baby-Sitters Club. If you want a unique doll dressed to match a character in your BSC book (or in some other book), specify which character and add $20 per doll.