Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Review: Karen's Big Joke

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Karen’s Big Joke (Baby-Sitters Little Sister #27)

Author: Ann M. Martin

Date: 1992

Publisher: Apple / Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-44829-3

Length: 102 pages

Illustrations: black-and-white drawings by Susan Tang

Quote: “There is a fake ice cube with a fly in it. If you put it in someone’s drink, he will think a fly got in the ice cube tray! He will say, ‘Ew, ew!’”

Once again Karen, the poor little rich girl with two pairs of divorced-and-remarried parents, shows that there’s no such thing as enough attention to appease her insecurity. She’s already fascinated by mail-order “joke” toys when, enrolled in gymnastics class, she tries to commandeer other children as “friends”:

“‘Hey, Polly,’ I whispered.

‘Yeah?’ Polly did not look at me. Miss Donovan was showing us how to do a handstand. Polly was watching closely.

‘At my school we are going to play April Fools’ tricks on Friday,’ I told Polly. ‘…I thought of a way cool trick to play on—’

Polly raised her hand. ‘Miss Donovan…Can you please show us the handstand again? I need to see something.’

Well. What nerve.”

If Karen can’t force people to pay attention to her rather than to what they’re all supposed to be doing, she goes into a sulk. And next, since her family don’t confine her to her room until she can act like a potential human being, she thinks of a nasty prank to play on her family. Judging them to be “piggy,” she enters them in a “beautiful homes” contest. (Karen’s Daddy is a millionnaire; they live in a mansion.) And then…her family turn the joke back on her.

No worries, though. In the world of the Baby-Sitters Club, even spiteful pranks always work out in very nice, family-friendly ways. A book written for older readers would use a lot less words to tell the jokes that constitute this story, but they are funny jokes. You'll chuckle.

All Baby-Sitters Club books are Fair Trade Books. Buy them here, $5 per book + $5 per package, and we'll send Ann Martin or a charity of her choice $1 per book. Payment may be sent to either address at the very bottom of the screen--scroll past the blog feed. (Then scroll back up, if I've not been online enough to post a Link Log and you want to see what I've missed.)