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Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery

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Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening - to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne's even more worried - what kind of spooky thing will happen next? Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne's Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening - to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne's even more worried - what kind of spooky thing will happen next? Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne's got to do what the note says. But who sent the charm? And why did this person send it to Mary Anne? If the Baby-sitters don't solve this mystery soon, their bad luck might never stop!


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Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening - to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne's even more worried - what kind of spooky thing will happen next? Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne's Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening - to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne's even more worried - what kind of spooky thing will happen next? Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne's got to do what the note says. But who sent the charm? And why did this person send it to Mary Anne? If the Baby-sitters don't solve this mystery soon, their bad luck might never stop!

30 review for Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I am re-reading the Baby-Sitters Club books. This a middle grade book I read as a kid, and this is book 17th of the Baby-Sitters Club series. I really loved this book. There is a mystery with a twist. I did guess the twist, but as a kid I would not have guess it. Mary Anne is my favorite of the characters. I will say this series was written in the 1990's so there is things that 2020's kids will not really get. An example of this is that a kid having their own house phone most not the normally in I am re-reading the Baby-Sitters Club books. This a middle grade book I read as a kid, and this is book 17th of the Baby-Sitters Club series. I really loved this book. There is a mystery with a twist. I did guess the twist, but as a kid I would not have guess it. Mary Anne is my favorite of the characters. I will say this series was written in the 1990's so there is things that 2020's kids will not really get. An example of this is that a kid having their own house phone most not the normally in 1990's, but now a lot of kids has their own cell phones and no one really has house phones now. (*)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Individualfrog

    Once upon a time, I mentioned to my sister that this was one of my favorite Baby-Sitters Club books, and that it was a shame that the family copy had been lost. Very soon after--the next day, perhaps--she walked up to me and handed me a new copy, signed by Ann M. Martin herself, which she'd found in a second-hand bookshop. A startling example, perhaps, of whatever cognitive bias it is that makes us likely to find things we've been prompted to look for, which is the theme of the book. I'm sure the Once upon a time, I mentioned to my sister that this was one of my favorite Baby-Sitters Club books, and that it was a shame that the family copy had been lost. Very soon after--the next day, perhaps--she walked up to me and handed me a new copy, signed by Ann M. Martin herself, which she'd found in a second-hand bookshop. A startling example, perhaps, of whatever cognitive bias it is that makes us likely to find things we've been prompted to look for, which is the theme of the book. I'm sure there are or have been thousands of quizzes on the theme of "What Baby-Sitters Club Member Are You?", and for that genre of quiz, they might be more insightful than usual. (Though I'm hard-pressed to imagine what questions might reveal that you are a "Dawn" or a "Jessi".) For me there is no question: I have always been a Mary Anne, overly sensitive, shy, and prone to self-doubt. Accordingly she is my favorite, along with Claudia, whose creativity I also identified with, though not the self-confidence it took to wear all those outfits. (You might say Mary Anne is who I am, Claudia is who I'd like to be, or at the very least, who I'd like to date.) The first BSC book I read was Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, where Claudia faces a Halloween mystery; this time Mary Anne gets one. For a couple of minutes no one spoke. We watched the storm and the flickering lights. Finally, Claudia said, "This reminds me of last Halloween." "What does?" I asked. "Almost everything." Like Claudia's mystery, the answer to the riddle lies in the affairs of the middle-school heart; unlike Claudia, Mary Anne lacks both the experience of being envied and the background of mystery novel reading that would arm her to solve it easily. Overall, I've always preferred the spookier episodes in the BSC annals. That's my experience of baby-sitting, myself, especially once the kids go to sleep: the eeriness of being in someone else's silent house, with no adults to protect you. My favorite sequence of the book is when they go to the library to try to find a magical antidote to the bad-luck curse that afflicts Mary Anne after throwing away a chain letter. Mary Anne, an avid reader, expects essentially to find the Necronomicon in some forbidden annex, and is disappointed: "The new library doesn't have any lost, dusty, spooky corners. The witchcraft books are just in a row of other books on metal shelves under a buzzing fluorescent light." They do have spells, but (as I myself found, when, under this book's influence, I tried to read a book called Ceremonial Magic that my dad owned) their instructions are impossible, calling for months of work or obtaining "scrapings from the underside of a sea snake". In the end I perhaps would prefer that Mary Anne's solution to the puzzle be better connected to her ongoing maturation and growing self-confidence. (Her dad, whose lightening-up from the terrifying, borderline abusive rigidity of the first few books parallels her growth, does contribute to the resolution, at least.) I guess her coming-of-age storyline was essentially finished and arrested when she got together with Logan, which is disappointing to realize: shy girl stands up to dad, comes out of her shell, gets the prince, The End. I think I liked her best in a book she's not even the protagonist of, Boy-Crazy Stacey, where pre-Logan she gets shit done and cleans up all of Stacey's messes while remaining sympathetic to the obvious train-wreck she's heading towards. Anyway, at least this is a relative high-point for Mary Anne before she's turned into an idiot hick in the next book, Stacey's Mistake, if you're reading them in order (which I never did). That book sucks anyway. This one has the non-spooky magic books, Mary Anne in a cat costume, Claudia shutting Kristy down and Mary Anne playing her like a fiddle, Jackie Rodowsky's robot, and Claire wondering if the bird knows Santa Claus. This is the one to get.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if I come across these at a yard sale, I will pick them up for a couple hour trip down memory lane, and I declare nearly nothing centers and relaxes me more!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    2020 Incarnate As many of you can probably relate and as I've commented on here before, 2020 saw an unprecedented dip in my reading habit. I didn't meet my "GoodReads Challenge Goal", not that a silly number like that is an indicator of anything. But what I did read consisted mostly of comic books, light novels, and other trivialities. There are a lot of reasons behind it, but honestly, this isn't the place. Let's just acknowledge it here to set the tone. But aside from the reading thing, the 2020 Incarnate As many of you can probably relate and as I've commented on here before, 2020 saw an unprecedented dip in my reading habit. I didn't meet my "GoodReads Challenge Goal", not that a silly number like that is an indicator of anything. But what I did read consisted mostly of comic books, light novels, and other trivialities. There are a lot of reasons behind it, but honestly, this isn't the place. Let's just acknowledge it here to set the tone. But aside from the reading thing, the year in which I've had the most free time since grade school also encompassed a great intellectual drought. When 2020 started, I was all primed to learn stuff (I had a whole lesson plan) and do projects. I was going to learn about science so I could know more about how space works. I was going to read some philosophical classics. And I was especially going to start making progress with the Babysitters Club saga. Well, my diehard fans (you) know how well that went. I think I read 3 of them in 2020? You can partially blame COVID and being cooped up, but there's something even more insidious than mass illness and isolation that sapped my motivation and turned me into a husk of my former self. Something that absolutely took the wind out of my sails and made me fail despite my best efforts to overcome it. That something was Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery and by extension, Mary Anne herself. This book was dumb. Like so dumb that I couldn't even approach it to do my little write-up. You know how I like to have an angle with these things, but this was fully uninspiring and only trod ground we've already trod. Basically, Mary Anne fails to properly respond to a chain letter so bad things start happening. There are also some mean kids that show up out of nowhere in this book. In the end, the bad stuff was all because of the mean kids and also maybe Logan because he's problematic. Yeah, duh, great. Essentially, this is Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls except worse because it's about Mary Anne. Honestly, I may have gotten some of the details wrong up there. I read this 7 months ago. I am only pushing out this review now in fulfillment of my one and only New Year's resolution: "Get past Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery. Put it behind you. Just address it, and then relegate it to the trash heap of your mind. The book is 2020 incarnate, and we are leaving that all behind. Also eat more vegetables." Bye. Happy 2021. Stacey comes back soon, so let's all look forward to a happier time. ************************************* Homework: It got to me. Shed the shackles of your past suffering. It may not be the New Year when you're reading this, but it makes no difference. Write a letter and burn it, cast pebbles into the river, beat the crap out of your inner child, whatever. Just push through something, even if it means shirking a responsibility forever. It's okay to cross something off your list that you haven't done and will never do. << #16: Jessi's Secret Language #18: Stacey's Mistake >>

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shira

    mary anne doesn't pass on an eeeevil chain letter and eeeevil starts happening around her. coincidental bad luck happens, especially to mary anne. when she receives a ransom-style note (individually cut letters) saying that she needs to wear a bad luck charm (really a mustard seed necklace OR ELSE, she does it. eventually mary anne realizes that cokie mason and grace blume are sending the eeeevil ransom notes (because grace has a crush on logan), and the bsc humiliates them before they can humil mary anne doesn't pass on an eeeevil chain letter and eeeevil starts happening around her. coincidental bad luck happens, especially to mary anne. when she receives a ransom-style note (individually cut letters) saying that she needs to wear a bad luck charm (really a mustard seed necklace OR ELSE, she does it. eventually mary anne realizes that cokie mason and grace blume are sending the eeeevil ransom notes (because grace has a crush on logan), and the bsc humiliates them before they can humiliate the bsc. highlights: -when the note tells mary anne to wear the bad-luck charm "or else" the baby-sitters aren't sure about what "or else" means but claudia is afraid it could mean the end of junk food. oh, claudia. -the baby-sitters are convinced that they need to cast a counterspell (if only they were playing a blue deck! hyuk hyuk hyuk) so they go to the library to get magic books. there is a chapter where they just read the books and suggest hilariously elaborate spells from the book (one includes "scrapings from the underside of a sea snake") to one another. -when they go to the library for the magic books, mary anne is expecting the old library/old librarian stereotype: finding a white-haired librarian and asking her for books on witchcraft, at which point she takes them to "some musty old corner of the library (maybe even to the basement) and shows them these big, scary, dusty books that are older than she is. the books are weird, a little too helpful, and no one seems to know where they came from." I love this trope. what I love even more is that ann turns it around--mary anne can't find a white-haired librarian, and all the shelves are metal and well-lit. BOOM. that's what libraries are actually like, suckers. -mary anne and logan dress as cats, inspired by Cats (did I just accidentally make a kittens inspired by kittens reference?) when mary anne is wearing her full costume, tigger is terrified of her and hides. this is so cute and reminds me of the time I was wearing a furry hat with ears and my cat leroy was scared and spent the whole day hiding. -when grace says there are other girls at stonybrook middle school (trying to get him to date around), logan says he knows. "and when I see anyone I like as much as mary anne and her friends, maybe I'll do something." lowlights/nitpicks: -when describing the bsc offices, mary anne says, "I'm the secretary. I suspect that this is motly because of my neat handwriting." no, actually, it's because you said you wanted to be secretary, dumb dumb. -a "bunson" burner at school is destroyed and mary anne thinks it's part of her bad luck. it's actually bunsen burner, named after the dude who invented it. -claudia surprises me with the library visit. she doesn't want to go, which makes sense, but HER MOM IS THE HEAD LIBRARIAN THERE. she must be comfortable going there since she has been before. I don't remember when, but I swear in later books the bsc goes to the library and claudia is comfortable and knows exactly where they should go. in this book they don't mention that claudia's mom even works there at all. consistency, ann? -"the first time logan and I went to a dance was a disaster. now we've been to several together." really? in early september through late october, their school has had "several" dances? -how did mary anne not notice that cokie called the necklace a bad-luck charm? as if it wasn't already obvious that cokie and grace were the ones who orchestrated the whole thing, cokie totally blew up her own spot! -the bsc all lie to their parents in order to go to the graveyard. this seems weird and out of character, because they are all such goody two shoeses. -logan is a JERK at the end. he laughs at cokie and grace for being scared (when if the bsc hadn't figured out the mystery in time, they would have been the ones getting scared instead). honestly, it kind of reminded me of how at the end of scott tenorman must die radiohead actually come and actually laugh at scott for crying. it's sort of outlandishly manly and obnoxious. screw you, logan! one claudia outfit: -"it was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it--cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. wait, I'm not done. claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. the hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid." kristy's description of school lunch: -"if I took a bunch of these old wilted peas and put them in the mashed potatoes--evenly spread out--and then took my fork and smushed them all down, my lunch would look almost exactly like--" mary anne stops her and says, "I don't want to know what you think it would look like," to which kristy replies, "do you want to know what I think it would smell like?" jackie disasters (all things considered, this is fewer disasters than usual so I don't know why dawn thought this was bad luck) -knocks over a mountain of cartons -knocks over mrs. rodowsky's sewing chest, spilling all the organized contents -cuts himself while cutting armholes in boxes (while making a robot costume) -knocks over a jar of blue paint snack in claudia's room: -tootsie rolls (in her desk drawer)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Logan Hughes

    Mary Anne ignores a chain letter. Then mysterious bad things start to happen. Mary Anne receives frightening notes, including a “bad luck charm” which the letter tells her she must wear. Scared, she does as she’s told, until her father tells her that her necklace is just a mustard seed, and she and the gang figure out that their school rival (because that is a thing people have), Cokie Mason, is behind everything. They booby-trap the graveyard to double-cross the double-crossers. This is a pretty Mary Anne ignores a chain letter. Then mysterious bad things start to happen. Mary Anne receives frightening notes, including a “bad luck charm” which the letter tells her she must wear. Scared, she does as she’s told, until her father tells her that her necklace is just a mustard seed, and she and the gang figure out that their school rival (because that is a thing people have), Cokie Mason, is behind everything. They booby-trap the graveyard to double-cross the double-crossers. This is a pretty dumb book. I really can’t sympathize with Mary Anne at all. She gets worked up over precisely nothing; what’s worse is the rest of the club goes along with her freaking. Even practical Mal is talking about evil spirits almost immediately. There is, however, useful information about how to use the library. Well, in 1988. Timing: Another “spooky” Halloween book, featuring a Halloween dance with costumes. (Mary Anne and Logan go as cats in the style of the Broadway musical Cats! Logan is so whipped.) This is the first book in awhile with a specific temporal marker. It seems odd that Halloween is happening so many books after the start of the school year, but I suppose it’s only one POV cycle later--there are just more club members to get through now. Still, there’s a definite sense that time is slowing down; instead of one book per month, we have to assume that the last seven books only covered two months of universe time. At this rate, the older girls should be done with eighth grade (ha! ha!) by about book 35 (which interesting is--sort of--what happens).

  7. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    so first things first: this is by far the most boring of all the BSC books so far and that’s truly saying something. I expect more of a Mary Anne original. secondly: towards the end of the book we get some throwaway info about how Mary Anne has a: read “enough Stephen King books to know you shouldn’t mess with the supernatural” and b: seen Halloween, Halloween II, and Night of the Living Dead. I’m SORRY, Mr. Spier is such an overprotective weirdo that he made Mary Anne wear her hair in pigtails e so first things first: this is by far the most boring of all the BSC books so far and that’s truly saying something. I expect more of a Mary Anne original. secondly: towards the end of the book we get some throwaway info about how Mary Anne has a: read “enough Stephen King books to know you shouldn’t mess with the supernatural” and b: seen Halloween, Halloween II, and Night of the Living Dead. I’m SORRY, Mr. Spier is such an overprotective weirdo that he made Mary Anne wear her hair in pigtails every single day of her entire life like some sort of freak yet he’s letting his incredibly precocious 13 year old who ran away from her own surprise party because it was too much for her read stories that involve murderous homophobic clown spider monsters????? Methinks the ghost writer didn’t read the room on this one and the editor fell asleep at the wheel 👀

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I really hope I wasn't so gullible at 13 years old. This is definitely one of the weaker ones in the series, because it relies on these girls who are usually so reliable and responsible (I mean, that's certainly how they portray themselves as members of the BSC to their clients) acting like silly toddlers over a chain letter. I get that at 13 you might still be a little childish at times, but it was frustrating that all of them, even no-nonsense Kristy, ended buying the bad luck idea. Sure, after I really hope I wasn't so gullible at 13 years old. This is definitely one of the weaker ones in the series, because it relies on these girls who are usually so reliable and responsible (I mean, that's certainly how they portray themselves as members of the BSC to their clients) acting like silly toddlers over a chain letter. I get that at 13 you might still be a little childish at times, but it was frustrating that all of them, even no-nonsense Kristy, ended buying the bad luck idea. Sure, after Mary Anne throws away the letter, a bunch of "bad luck" things happen...but it's that sort of scenario where you only notice all those things because you're expecting them, you know? And some of the examples were just not "bad luck" at all. Jackie's robot costume they put together with glue falling apart is hardly some shocking bit of bad luck. And usually the girls are more level-headed than that, so it seems kind of messed up for younger readers to show them as so easily susceptible to BS. And it was all because of a boy. Eyeroll forever.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ✨Jordan✨

    Uh Oh! When Mary Anne receives a chain letter in the mail and doesn’t do as it requests bad luck starts hitting ALL the girls in the Baby-sitters club! To top it someone is also sending spooky messages to the girls and now they have to figure out who is out to get them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    Despite Mary Anne's sweet and shy personality, she has gained rivals because girls are jealous that she has a boyfriend (Logan) You know what they say, haters gonna hate. So they decide to screw around with Mary Anne by making her believe that she has been cursed with bad luck. In the end it proves to just be a prank, and the club learns to not take superstition so seriously. Despite Mary Anne's sweet and shy personality, she has gained rivals because girls are jealous that she has a boyfriend (Logan) You know what they say, haters gonna hate. So they decide to screw around with Mary Anne by making her believe that she has been cursed with bad luck. In the end it proves to just be a prank, and the club learns to not take superstition so seriously.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Kawaii Slartibartfast

    So, if someone sent you a bad luck charm, would you wear it? No? Well, neither would i? Mary Anne Spier is an entirely different kettle of fish. This book introduced me to the concept of holding one's breath while passing a graveyard. So, if someone sent you a bad luck charm, would you wear it? No? Well, neither would i? Mary Anne Spier is an entirely different kettle of fish. This book introduced me to the concept of holding one's breath while passing a graveyard.

  12. 5 out of 5

    April Thompson

    Cute installment in the series. Was bothered by the constant bad luck (thought it was overkill), but then it wrapped up nicely in the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    3.5 Stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    i'm ashamed to say, i actually got a little bit freaked out reading this alone in my bedroom one night when jared was late coming to bed because he was finishing up a paper. this book definitely creeped me out when i was a kid (apparently i was something of a wuss). i think my adult creepy feelings were like muscle memories from childhood or something. so. the highlight of mary anne's day is checking the mail. i can relate to this, i enjoy checking the mail--but that's because there's usually som i'm ashamed to say, i actually got a little bit freaked out reading this alone in my bedroom one night when jared was late coming to bed because he was finishing up a paper. this book definitely creeped me out when i was a kid (apparently i was something of a wuss). i think my adult creepy feelings were like muscle memories from childhood or something. so. the highlight of mary anne's day is checking the mail. i can relate to this, i enjoy checking the mail--but that's because there's usually something good for me in the mail, like a letter or a zine or something i've ordered. mary anne just looks forward to the occasional free sample. that's sad. but one day she receives a letter: a chain letter. it warns her that she needs to copy & send the letter to twenty people or she & her loved ones will be visited by bad luck. she opens the chain letter at a BSC meeting, so mallory & jessi are there to get sppoked & tell her she better not break the chain. the older girls mostly scoff, & mary anne throws the letter away. the next day, she has all kinds of "bad luck". like spilling juice on the outfit she planned to wear to school, forgetting that she had a sitting job, jamie newton skinning his knee under her care (hence the cover image), etc. pretty weak examples of "bad luck," if you ask me. anything can be considered "bad luck" if you're looking for it--i got a paper cut organizing the recycling today. oh no! i'm cursed! then i read a negative review of one of my zines! *cry cry cry* & then--wait for it--i brushed my hair & it got really staticky because the air was so dry! & then the broom fell over & startled me! seriously, this is the degree of mary anne's bad luck. though i may be misremembering...soon after mary anne throws away the chain letter, she gets a package in the mail. it's a necklace with a weird little glass charm on it, & inside the charm is a mysterious seed. the accompanying note, which was created using letters clipped from the newspaper (i used to spend hours as a child writing letters that way, usually insults directed at my younger siblings), informed mary anne that the necklace is a bad luck charm & she must wear it...or else. or else what? mary anne's not taking any chances though, & she wears the necklace. the bad luck things that happen to her may have started happening after she gets the necklace--i don't remember. in any case, the babysitters are freaked out now that "bad luck" is happening. mary anne & logan go together to the halloween hop, hilariously dressed as cats from the musical "cats". um...logan? can we talk? thankfully he doesn't wear skintight leggings like the male cats in the broadway musical wear. he makes himself some pants out of fun fur. that's little better in the masculinity department, but at least his contours are disguised. mary anne wears a leotard, tights, a headdress, & she paints her face. i have a hard time imagining shy, retiring mary anne wearing a leotard & tights in public in front of her classmates. i know the babysitters are automatons & not normal middle school girls, but i was once a middle school girl, & at that age, you have lumps & bumps where you didn't have them before & the last thing you want to do is show them off in a tight leotard in from of people you have to see everyday. maybe it's different if you're a dancer or something, but mary anne is the kind of dorky thirteen-year-old who dresses up as a cat for halloween. oh well, i guess we should just be thankful that she didn't dress up as a sexy cat. (logan, on the other hand...) at the dance, cokie mason compliments mary anne on her bad luck charm. mary anne doesn't think much of it, even though no one but the BSC knows that the necklace is supposedly bad luck. mary anne gets another creepy cut-out-letters letter instructing her & the rest of the club to come to old man hickory's gravestone at midnight on halloween. soon after, richard sees mary anne's necklace & says it's just a mustard seed & it's not bad luck. mary anne reports this to the BSC & the gears start turning...they realize that cokie & her friends must be behind the necklace & the graveyard plot! kristy does some fast thinking & hatches a plan so that the girls can go to the graveyard without telling their parents what's happening, & so they can scare cokie & her friends before cokie & her friends scare the club. this involves flashlights, special effects tapes, sheets draped to look like ghosts, & the element of surprise. oh, & charlie being ridiculously willing to drive all over stoneybrook, picking up the club members, dropping them off at the graveyard, & then waiting for them to finish their business. that guy needs a girlfriend. or some D&D buddies or something. the plan works, cokie & her friends scream & freak out, logan sees the whole thing, the snobby girls admit that they told logan to be there because they hoped he would see mary anne freaking out & not want to date her anymore, becaue supposedly grace blume has a crush on him (even though it's always cokie in later books). logan scoffs & declares his loyalty to mary anne & the BSC. the club heads to kristy's house for a halloween sleepover. there's also all this ridiculous shit where the club goes to the library to look up spells to reverse bad luck, but it was really boring so i didn't recap it. claudia displays an incredible antipathy & bewilderment toward the library, considering that her mom supposedly works there. she even claims to have a headache in the hopes that she'll be allowed to go home. you know, claudia, the library has nancy drew books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Rose Ribbons

    The BSC is always here to save the day, or at least my day. God, it felt so good to go back to this world right now. Mary-Anne receives a chain letter, doesn't forward it and ends up having incredibly bad luck for a few weeks until the Club finds a way to break the spell. Absolutely charming, I do love Mary-Anne a lot, and she's a bit different from the others what with having a steady boyfriend. I really like Logan. This book is set during Halloween so that was extra fun, and it's got a climax in The BSC is always here to save the day, or at least my day. God, it felt so good to go back to this world right now. Mary-Anne receives a chain letter, doesn't forward it and ends up having incredibly bad luck for a few weeks until the Club finds a way to break the spell. Absolutely charming, I do love Mary-Anne a lot, and she's a bit different from the others what with having a steady boyfriend. I really like Logan. This book is set during Halloween so that was extra fun, and it's got a climax in a cemetery as well as a lovely scene where the girls frantically look up a good luck charm at the library. I enjoyed this a lot, this series never disappoints.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lianna Kendig

    (LL) This book does a good job tackling: superstition, jealousy, and adding suspense! It’s a fun spooky time story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    One of the sillier BSC books but I love Hallowe'en stories so I won't complain. One of the sillier BSC books but I love Hallowe'en stories so I won't complain.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books

    I used to love the Babysitter's Club! My friends and I used to swap them between us when I was in primary school. They were so popular at the time, there was a waiting list at the library if you wanted to read them in chronological order! I used to be allowed to buy one book a week on a Friday when I was younger; this was usually an Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Point Horror or one of these! I would love to revisit them at some stage, just for nostalgia's sake! I used to love the Babysitter's Club! My friends and I used to swap them between us when I was in primary school. They were so popular at the time, there was a waiting list at the library if you wanted to read them in chronological order! I used to be allowed to buy one book a week on a Friday when I was younger; this was usually an Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Point Horror or one of these! I would love to revisit them at some stage, just for nostalgia's sake!

  19. 5 out of 5

    lisa

    The first mystery in the series (at least the first one that refers to itself as a mystery), this one finds Mary Anne and the entire BSC overacting to a meangirl prank. I borrowed this book from the library when I was about 10, and I loved it so much I didn't want to give it back. This book is probably the reason I became interested in witch culture, and why I studied to become a solitary practitioner. Things I remember from reading this as a kid: The spells the BSC reads about in the library. I d The first mystery in the series (at least the first one that refers to itself as a mystery), this one finds Mary Anne and the entire BSC overacting to a meangirl prank. I borrowed this book from the library when I was about 10, and I loved it so much I didn't want to give it back. This book is probably the reason I became interested in witch culture, and why I studied to become a solitary practitioner. Things I remember from reading this as a kid: The spells the BSC reads about in the library. I desperately wanted to go to a library and look up spells to counteract bad luck. Unfortunately, the little library in the town I lived in at the time refused to carry any books that had even a hint of witchcraft about them. I suspect if they knew the plot of this book they wouldn't have carried it either. The girls sneaking into the graveyard to scare Cokie, Grace, and their friends. I wanted to scare a pack of meangirls at midnight on Halloween! Actually that sounds like fun, even now. I remember being really, really confused about the chain letter Mary Anne receives. I think in my mind, they were connected in some sinister way. I didn't know much about chain letters (having never received one) and I thought (based on Mallory and Jessi's reactions) that getting one was terrible, and doomed one to death or something. I couldn't understand why it was sort of forgotten about as the plot got more complicated. Even as an adult. . . Things I've considered since reading this as an adult: How did shy, mousy Mary Anne receive an anonymous chain letter? These days, with companies buying email lists and scammers phishing all over, it seems like something that would happen pretty easily. But in the days of snail mail did people who got chain letters just go through the phone book and randomly send a chain letter off to strangers? That seems creepy, almost like Mary Anne has a stalker. She never finds out who sent her the chain letter. As a kid I was just confused by the relation of the chain letter to Cokie's letter with the bad luck charm. As an adult I'm bothered that a thirteen year old girl is receiving creepy chain letters in her mailbox. This book has some interesting points about cliques in middle school. In the first chapter Mary Anne says that she feels bad because she knows that the BSC spends all their time together instead of with the friends they had last year. She mentions something about feelings being hurt, and people thinking they're stuck up because they always sit together, but she doesn't know what to do about it. "I guess the twins and Rick and Dorianne and everyone will have to be their own groups" she decides. As an adult I can see an easy solution to this: SIT WITH OTHER PEOPLE ONCE IN AWHILE, OR INVITE THEM TO SIT WITH YOU! So obvious. However, I completely understand that the dynamics of middle school doesn't allow for that type of thinking. If you're lucky you have a group of friends that you spend every free moment with, and you force yourselves to all think the same, and act the same. To deviate from your decided group is to invite the possibility that you will be removed from this group, leaving you with no group at all. "It's better to be in the plastics, hating life, than not in at all. . ." Later in the book, the pack mentality comes out when all the BSC members decide as a group that the bad luck charm is more than just an stupid prank. Mary Anne is almost ready to write the whole thing off, until all the other girls are like, "You better wear it if you don't want bad luck, you should do what the letter says, your luck will be worse if you don't." Teen girls banding together is a frightening thing. I found it very funny that it costs 15 cents to make a copy at Stoneybrook Library in 1988 (when this book was published). That is exactly how much is costs to make a copy at my library today. Also, Mallory says, "Librarians are always suspicious of kids in the adult section." Maybe some libraries are different than mine, but I don't really notice if kids come over to the adult side of the library. I think in this day and age, it is much more suspicious to have a lone adult hanging out in the children's section. As a kid I completely understood why Mary Anne wears the "bad luck charm" without question, but as an adult I couldn't believe it. Because some anonymous, creepy note, written in cut out letters tells her to wear it she does? This is why teens shouldn't be tried in court as adults -- they're nothing but stupid sheep. Logan not only agrees to sit through the musical Cats, the most boring, pointless musical ever, he also agrees to dress up like a cat with Mary Anne. This is stupid on levels I can't even get into. This is partially why I am constantly creeped out by Logan. Throughout the book he makes a fuss about having to sit with girls all the time, running off to sit with his guy friends whenever the girls get too girly. And then he agrees to dress in fur for a middle school dance, and there is no mention in the book of Mary Anne having to cajole him to do it. But he refuses to wear tights and a leotard, and then he won't go to a sewing store by himself. I can't figure this guy out. The girls hold a meeting to figure out how to sneak out of their houses, which is dorky, but is a believable thing for young teens to do. I wish more of this typical teen sneakiness would have come across in later books. Even though they eventually decide not to bother sneaking out, they are still lying to their parents about where they are going and what they are doing, and asking Charlie to lie for them. I'm surprised they didn't pester Charlie to try to buy them beer also.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Okay so Mary Anne has a run of "bad luck" after deleting a chain letter and gets a "bad luck" charm that she's told she has to wear... I have no idea how MARY ANNE especially had no idea what a mustard seed necklace was since those were pretty ding dang prevalent back in the day. I could see maybe Claudia not knowing, but I would think Mary Anne would be the one to say, "Oh Claud.... That's a symbol of faith and not bad luck. Someone's just messing with you." Anyway...just the latest installment o Okay so Mary Anne has a run of "bad luck" after deleting a chain letter and gets a "bad luck" charm that she's told she has to wear... I have no idea how MARY ANNE especially had no idea what a mustard seed necklace was since those were pretty ding dang prevalent back in the day. I could see maybe Claudia not knowing, but I would think Mary Anne would be the one to say, "Oh Claud.... That's a symbol of faith and not bad luck. Someone's just messing with you." Anyway...just the latest installment of re-reading BSC books in whatever order I can get them from the three digital library collections I have access to.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I don't know why I went a month without reading any BSC, but after reading Jessi's Secret Language yesterday and knowing that this gem came next, I couldn't resist. This is classic BSC. I love the stupid shenanigans with the bad-luck charm, and the cool mature older BSC members being just as freaked out as junior members Jessi and Mal. (Maybe even moreso than them, Mal seemed to keep a pretty cool head.) The part in the graveyard is one of my favourite BSC moments. I don't know why I went a month without reading any BSC, but after reading Jessi's Secret Language yesterday and knowing that this gem came next, I couldn't resist. This is classic BSC. I love the stupid shenanigans with the bad-luck charm, and the cool mature older BSC members being just as freaked out as junior members Jessi and Mal. (Maybe even moreso than them, Mal seemed to keep a pretty cool head.) The part in the graveyard is one of my favourite BSC moments.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ryceejo

    When I was reading BSC books as a kid, I was also into Nancy Drew books (like Claudia), and I got really good at guessing the bad guy. I’m pretty sure I would have cracked this one right away; everyone knows what a crock chain letters are. Maybe the plot was more believable back in the early nineties before email was a thing. Anyway, Martin is impressive to have written an entire plot around those annoying chain letters. I wish the girls had just concluded that you find what you are looking for. When I was reading BSC books as a kid, I was also into Nancy Drew books (like Claudia), and I got really good at guessing the bad guy. I’m pretty sure I would have cracked this one right away; everyone knows what a crock chain letters are. Maybe the plot was more believable back in the early nineties before email was a thing. Anyway, Martin is impressive to have written an entire plot around those annoying chain letters. I wish the girls had just concluded that you find what you are looking for. Since those aren’t real, yet bad things seemed to happen once Mary Anne threw it away. If you are expecting bad things to happen, they will. Missed opportunity.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I love re-reading these books! Some I’ve never read or missed when I collected them when I was younger but I love them. I don’t have to put much thought into them if that makes sense. I just have to go with the flow. In this book Mary Anne is sent a chain letter in the mail, she doesn’t believe in them nor do her friends in the babysitters club. Anyways she throws the letter out but the next day all these bad things seem to happen and not just to her, everyone else is having bad days also. They I love re-reading these books! Some I’ve never read or missed when I collected them when I was younger but I love them. I don’t have to put much thought into them if that makes sense. I just have to go with the flow. In this book Mary Anne is sent a chain letter in the mail, she doesn’t believe in them nor do her friends in the babysitters club. Anyways she throws the letter out but the next day all these bad things seem to happen and not just to her, everyone else is having bad days also. They try to reverse all this bad luck but things get worse before they get better. Just a funny and interesting book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I always loved this one when I was a kid! This was before the mystery books in the series really took off, and it was just super creepy and fun. I've always loved ghost stories and scary movies, so this book was right up my alley! Plus, you know, it was the 90s. Chain letters were a legitimate thing. I especially enjoyed the ending, when they really stuck it to Cokie Mason and Grace Blume. That cemetery scene was so great as a kid, really justified and fun. I still like it today, I have no shame I always loved this one when I was a kid! This was before the mystery books in the series really took off, and it was just super creepy and fun. I've always loved ghost stories and scary movies, so this book was right up my alley! Plus, you know, it was the 90s. Chain letters were a legitimate thing. I especially enjoyed the ending, when they really stuck it to Cokie Mason and Grace Blume. That cemetery scene was so great as a kid, really justified and fun. I still like it today, I have no shame about that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Devon

    Not half as creepy to me as the Phantom Caller mystery, but fun and Halloween-y. Mary Anne continues to be a little much, but it's OK. Someone has to be sensitive, and her relationship with her dad is the best. I can't believe I thought he was super strict as a kid because he gives in so easily to her every request. Not half as creepy to me as the Phantom Caller mystery, but fun and Halloween-y. Mary Anne continues to be a little much, but it's OK. Someone has to be sensitive, and her relationship with her dad is the best. I can't believe I thought he was super strict as a kid because he gives in so easily to her every request.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia H

    i loved marry Anne's bad luck mystery because it was interesting and really surprising when you find out what the cause of the bad luck is and i also like how they leave one question unanswered, who sent the chain letter! :) i loved marry Anne's bad luck mystery because it was interesting and really surprising when you find out what the cause of the bad luck is and i also like how they leave one question unanswered, who sent the chain letter! :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Abecca

    While I adore all the babysitters club books, I do feel this ‘mystery’ was a little too easy to figure out. I knew what was going on before I left Ben reached the halfway point. I do still love the way the book ended though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    4 stars. A Halloween adventure and it was so much fun. I loved this one a lot and it makes me want to read the Mysteries series because those were always some of my favorites as a kid. Mary-Anne and the girls are having bad luck that started with a chain letter and it's just a riot. 4 stars. A Halloween adventure and it was so much fun. I loved this one a lot and it makes me want to read the Mysteries series because those were always some of my favorites as a kid. Mary-Anne and the girls are having bad luck that started with a chain letter and it's just a riot.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zazie

    I'm not into books that talk about superstitions and witchcraft like this. I was disappointed in this one. I'm still hoping to find at least one or two 5 star books in this series, but so far I see nothing. I'm not into books that talk about superstitions and witchcraft like this. I was disappointed in this one. I'm still hoping to find at least one or two 5 star books in this series, but so far I see nothing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mckernan

    i enjoy this series

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