Friday, July 29, 2011

Karen's Little Sister by Ann M. Martin

In Karen's Little Sister, Karen's little sister (Emily Michelle) has been experiencing earaches. It's not fun for Emily Michelle and everyone at the "big house" (Karen's dad's house) is worried about her. But Karen's worry is mixed with annoyance and frustration, because everyone is paying attention to Emily and no one is paying attention to Karen. Meanwhile, Karen's mom and step-father agree that she can have a pet, and then she finds an injured baby bird. She cares for him, names him 'Magic Tastee' (after two of her favourite things, magic tricks and Mr. Tastee the ice cream man), and decides he's her pet. But why does everyone keep asking what she'll do when he flies away?

I describe my Murder, She Wrote books as comfort food, but The Baby-Sitters Club books are more like a Pizza Hut buffet lunch: deliciously cheesy, something you do every now and then, and it's not always as good as you remember it (but sometimes it's better) (although, I own a full set of BSC books and have a good deal of the Little Sister books, so I guess it's also like having a pizza buffet in my living room). Among Baby-Sitters Club fans, Karen doesn't always get a lot of love. I started out reading the Little Sister series before graduating to the regular series, though, so I'll always have a fondness for Karen and her Data-like resistance of contractions.


I think this might be the first appearance of Emily Michelle in the Little Sister books (she was adopted by Karen's father, Watson, and Kristy's mother, Elizabeth, in BSC #24). I'm not surprised that Karen has a hard time dealing with the appearance of a new sister. She's used to being her father's only daughter, and maybe even more than that, she's used to having a pretty large spotlight in which to be the centre of attention. At one point she says that she wants to go back to her other house (her mom's house) because she doesn't have a sister there, which is an interesting thing to say. She doesn't have a physical sister living there, of course, but how does she think of Emily when she's not around her? Has she really understood Emily to be her father's daughter? Am I officially thinking too much about the BSC universe?

On a different note, according to BSC #24, Emily's full name is Emily Michelle Thomas Brewer. Is that a little strange? I get that the 'Thomas' comes from Elizabeth's side, and it's her other kids' last name, and this child now shares a name with everyone on both sides of her family. BUT it was her previous married name (and as far as I know, she now goes by Brewer). So essentially, she's named her child with her second husband after her first husband. I'm not married, I've never been divorced and remarried, and I've never had and/or named a child. But is this common? I suppose it became her name as soon as she changed it...but still? And now I've definitely thought too much about this family.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Karen's Witch by Ann M. Martin
It's Not Fair by Anita Harper
Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin
Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise by Ann M. Martin
Bye-bye, Baby! by Richard T. Morris

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