I’m making a declaration….

I’m sad to see the demise of the fantastic blog BSC Headquarters, and because of it I haven’t really ventured into rereading my BSC books. I don’t plan on rereading all of them (I’ve got my hands full with the twins and Caitlin) but I am going to occasionally reminisce about the memorable moment for me. Little known fact: I only really read up to #45 (For me, Kristy organizing the baby parade really jumped the shark). I wanted to share what I find to be the without a doubt, best BSC book ever, and should I DARE say one of the best YA series books ever.

Are you ready for it?


Omg this one was ten times of awesome. And the BSC really peaked early for me. This one had all the elements of a stellar book: Vacations, boys, great outfits, first kisses, first dates, fights, and mishaps with children.

I could probably recite it word for word for you right now. “Mom?” I asked. “How are you supposed to behave in a mansion?” were the first lines spoken.

Stace is kind of scared because she is going to be au pairs for the Pikes’ Sea City trip with Maryanne, who at this point she doesn’t know very well and quite frankly, she’s a little judgmental about her.

They take two cars up and there’s lots of shenanigans to be had by the Pike kids. They get to the house and Maryanne and Stacey get a big room on the third floor overlooking the ocean. Then there’s a pointless scene about how Mr. Pike has to make Stacey a different kind of breakfast because of her diabeetus (the Bret Michaels way of saying “diabetes”).

Stacey falls in the love with the hunky lifeguard Scott (who looks like Fabio on the cover) and acts like a moron around him and shirks her responsibilities, and Maryanne gets peeved. Oh, and they take the kids to a restaurant called The Magic Garden which seemed cool.

Satce eventually meets a guy named Tobey, and he wears cool shades and a shirt with cowboy boots on it, I think. And Maryanne hangs out with a guy au pair named Alex but it doesn’t go anywhere. Stace and Tobey take the Tunnel of Luv ride and kiss. But only on the cheek! Even when I read this as a kid I thought that was a letdown. Use some tongue! For the date there were some cool outfits involved, including some white sundresses and striped things.

Ah, the memories. They go back to Sea City in Maryanne and Too many Boys, but it was such a letdown. And Tobey dumps Stacey’s ass.

Posted in: bsc

70 thoughts on “I’m making a declaration….

  1. nichole says:

    Wasn’t it Burger Garden? I remember the Pike kids talking about the “orange sauce” which is really ketchup and mustard mixed together… OMG, don’t ask how I remember that. This one was one of my favorite BSC books of all time as well. For whatever reason, the Stacey books ended up being my favorites (like The Truth About Stacey, book #3), even though the character of Stacey was my least favorite.

    • Shawna says:

      Didn’t the Burger Garden also have some kind of special tree that you could pull money off of? Or maybe like gold tickets that could be worth certain amounts of money? I thought that was awesome. And, like many of you, this was my favorite BSC book and I think the first one I ever read.

  2. ihatewheat says:

    omg you are right! The magic garden was the show I watched when I was little about the two ladoes on the swings.

    AND THE SPECIAL SAUCE! I remember!

  3. jms says:

    Scott the lifeguard is supposed to be 16, but he looks 35. I guess that’s consistent with later covers, on which the girls appear to be 25-year-olds dressed as middle schoolers.

    That aside, this is one of the best BSC books. Last time I read it, I still cringed when Stacey introduces herself to Scott: “I’m Stacey McGill. Thirteen years old. Formerly of New York City.” SO DORKY.

  4. glittergirley says:

    its DEFINITELY burger garden bc claire et al call it gurber garden, and its supposed to be hilarious, you silly billy goo goo.

  5. glittergirley says:

    Yeah, it always felt so awkward to read. I dont think I knew any kids who would say that. Seems like such a long phrase to use as an insult, no?

  6. Merrie says:

    I’m glad to see more people tackling the BSC books! There’s always room for more — how many books were in this series anyway?

    Boy Crazy Stacey is one of the best BSC books. I wanted Stacey’s pink sundress with the white jacket — why do I remember that outfit?

    Toby + Stacey = Luv

  7. amandahugnkiss says:

    THE SPECIAL SAUCE! I thought that was the ish when I was growing up. And I hated silly billy goo goo, but not as much as “Nofe air!” I still don’t get it.

    This was one of the greatest book in the series, but I still submit “Mallory and the Trouble with Twins” as #1, based solely on the earrings Claud makes and the sweatshirt with the stars and moon on it.

  8. tinypants says:

    OMG! I JUST RE-READ THIS BOOK! It was amazing. Actually some of my favorite parts were Stacey’s letters back to Kristy: “I found out what Byron is afraid of. We will have to talk about this at the next meeting.” Honestly, the way they micromanage these poor kids sometimes, I feel like Elizabeth Wakefield should have been club president!

    Also based on the events in the book, the girl Stacey is holding on the cover is Claire — who is supposed to be like two years old in the book! So as was pointed out, since the ages depicted on the cover are crazy different, just as Scott is 16/35 and Stacey is 13/25, apparently Claire also is 2/7.

    And yeah — my favorite outfit is the very first one, where Stacey pulls out some giant-ass ugly patterned shirt and says something like, “It was really huge so I knew it was going to look good.” Wow, that kind of fashion logic hasn’t been around for a long time — if they reissued the BSC the way they are doing SVH, Stacey would pull out the tiniest, skimpiest shirt ever and be like, “It was really small so I knew it was going to look good.”

    And as I think the Stoneybrookite site does a good job of pointing out, the Stacey books are ALWAYS the best cause she’s the only one who’s ever like “OMG, boys/clothes/almost-drinking is SO much cooler than babysitting,” which based on how tedious babysitting always seems in these books seems to me a much more reasonably reaction than these girls have to it (I mean, they charge $3/per kid/per day for their summer play group, so even in 1987 dollars I feel like that’s not that much economic incentive — certainly not enough to deal with shit like Karen “washing” Watson’s car with steel wool and taking all the paint off! Watson’s response to that should go into the “Stephanie from Sleepover Friends’ Brainwashed Parents Hall of Fame.”)

    Sorry this a really long comment but I’m excited — you’ve got to start recapping the BSC. Possibly in awesome dramatic form as with the last SVH.

  9. upstatestruggler says:

    for some reason, this recap conjures up sunglasses with slits…like kanyeezy’s…did someone wear that hipster bullshit in this book?
    and wasn’t the ‘gurber garden’ sauce just mustard and ketchup mixed together?
    this was one of my favorites, too. I re-read the part where they described the third floor room where S McG and MA stayed over. and over. and over. it sounded so bright and airy. and- I am not fucking kidding- I took this book to the beach on purpose one year so that I could put some sand in the fold. goin’ to my mom’s basement tonight to see if it is still there.

  10. upstatestruggler says:

    PS- “diabeetus- the Bret Michaels way of saying ‘diabetes'”

    wtf is he, wilford brimley now? that’s so funny- I had a wilfordoff with someone on a band forum the other day. there are several million youTube remixes of ‘liberty medical’ commercials.

  11. upstatestruggler says:

    I’m all worked up about this recap, too, so I am posting like mad as well. There were something like 130 actual books; all of the super specials, mysteries, and portrait collections; and some that I have only recently discovered: the california diaries, which are about dawn and her friends in cali (der)- like this slightly older guy, maybe gay, who is suicidal; and this batch of later books called ‘friends forever’, at the end of which the gals graduate from 8th grade. claudia hooks up with alan gray in one. ewwww.

  12. Anonymous says:

    amandahugnkiss (brilliant name, btw!), I also think that “Mallory and the Trouble with Twins” is my favourite. I remember the twins were called Marilyn and Carolyn – who gives their daughters rhyming names?! They had an awesome-sounding set of dollhouses, but they hated playing with them. And I was all, “I would’ve appreciated those, you ungrateful little brats!”. That’s also the one where Dawn and Claud get their ears pierced, and I was completely obsessed with that, because I wasn’t allowed to get mine done. Haha.

  13. Suzanne Devlin says:

    You are SO RIGHT, this is one of the best BSC books of all time. I remember the pink/white and yellow/white outfits Stacey and Mary Anne wore on their dates. It was second only to Mary Anne’s pink and blue skirt with the city sketches on it that she wore to the dance with Logan.

  14. Suzanne Devlin says:

    Oh, and I have to agree on “Mallory and the Trouble With Twins” as another favorite — my favorite part was when she took the twins shopping for their new wardrobes so they wouldn’t have to dress alike anymore.

  15. Merrie says:

    I loved ‘Mallory and the Trouble With Twins’, too! Also because of the shopping! I had the most horrific collection of earrings in junior high, shaped like things I liked. I probably had a pair of book earrings. Lame.

  16. Kathryn says:

    There were never lifeguards as cute as Scott at my neighborhood pool. Who knew they were all at Sea City? Or, in the words of Vanessa Pike:

    For cute boys and more
    Go to the Jersey shore

  17. ihatewheat says:

    Let’s face it- we all like the trouble with twins book because of all the fabulous outfit descriptions!

    I’m totally going to dig that one out of my parents’ attic…

  18. Stacie says:

    As a Stacie, this one was my favorite ever. I LOVED Stacey, even though she’s really kind of heinous a lot of the time.

    Also — I must send you a quote from a book I reread a couple of days ago — it involves it being so hot the character wanted to “use her shoulderpads as underarm guards.”

    I immediately thought of you. The book is “Susanna Sieglebaum Gives Up Guys” and is ten kinds of awesome.

  19. Diane says:

    This was one of my fave BSC books, too! And I was also obsessed with “Mallory and the Trouble with Twins!”

    I think we just like 80s clothes and accessories a little tooooo much.

  20. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    ihatewheat, lest you think you are alone, I also watched that prigram with the two gals on the swings. šŸ˜‰ I think it came on right after “Today’s Special” . . .

  21. miss swartz says:

    This was THE SH!T of BSC – I read this at the beach on a family vacation to Australia – I also totally copied the pink/white//yellow/white outfits. Sadly, no Tobey-boy or Tobey-bear for me. Or a heart shaped box of choc. But I was probably like 8 or 9. Please do more BSC – now that BSC Headquarters is gone I’m dying here! ‘Kristy’s Big Day’ was my first.

  22. Rei Ant says:

    Oh, this was one of my favourites too. How glamorous I thought it was that hey went on “vacation” to the beach…and there were boys! I feel all let down because holidays down at the coast don’t seem as awesome. Especially if you have to work with small children and somehow get along with a girl you barely know. Talk about unrealistic ideals!

  23. nichole says:

    Jade Wu’s Toe Shoe – I totally remember “Today’s Special”, with the mannequin that came to life when you put the hat on his head.

    • MJ McStabby says:

      ZOMG Nichole, you have just put several months of thought to rest by giving up the title of that show. I’d been vaguely remembering some show with a curly-haired mannequin that came to life at a mall at night, and it was driving me nuts. Didn’t a mouse live in the walls or something? ALSO, did you ever see the Raffi special where the mannequin was a guest star (Raffi, Beluga and Frineds!!) I totes had all the songs memorized. One girl had a velour tracksuit that I still envy.

      And this is deffo one of the best BSC books ever. Although, when I was young, I didn’t know how to read the word “bikini” and kept phonetically saying it as “bih-kih-nee” in my head, and wondered what the hell they were, and how one filled them out.

      ihatewheat, I can’t believe you left out MA’s sunburn, and the resultant slathering of butter all over her skin that the Pikes inflict upon her!

  24. JordanBaker says:

    This book was awesome–in addition to the “special sauce,” wasn’t Burger Garden decorated like some sort of Alice in Wonderland acid trip? Didn’t the kids sit on giant toadstools?

  25. Danielle says:

    OMG, as a kid, I was obsessed with that show with the women on the swings! I wish I could remember what it was called. I totally broke my neighbor’s sunflowers trying to get them to “talk”.

    This was my first and all-time favorite BSC book. Tinypants, I think Stacey said that fugly huge shirt was guaranteed to be cool, in the not-clinging-to-her way, because she’s talking about how hot it is outside. I remember because (as a Florida resident) for *years* I thought I’d be more comfortable if all my clothes were hideously oversized. Not so much, and ugly to boot. Thanks, Stacey!

  26. Robyn says:

    I have to agree with everyone here, this one is by far my favorite BSC book, second only to the twins book with Mallory.

    But I do have to blame this book for my adventures with Sun In. Stacey used it in this book to make her blonde hair blonder and it sounded like a great idea to me. Except that I have very dark brown hair. So one year, I secretly bought the Sun-In and dumped pretty much the whole bottle in my hair when I spent a week in Florida. I thought I would be blonde and pretty like Stacey and maybe then I would meet a cute boy on the beach.

    Needless to say, there were no cute boys on the beach and I came home with orange hair and had to live with that for the rest of sixth grade. Thanks a lot Stacey!

  27. Ellen says:

    Remember when Maryanne got the wicked sunburn and all the kids brought her the sunburn treatments? Teabags for your eyes, solarcaine, etc. And Claire brings butter. “Butter’s for real burns, not sunburns!” Oh the hijinks!

    This book made me think being a mother’s helper for some family’s vacay would be The Greatest Thing Ever.

    Kristy’s Big Day was my first BSC too.

  28. Nichole says:

    Kristy’s Big Day was my first BSC book as well – I can’t remember where I got it. Maybe one of those book fairs at school?

  29. HK says:

    I remember Mary Anne’s sunburn and how when someone pressed a finger into it, it stayed white for a second then slowly filled in, and that’s how they knew it was bad (and not, you know, the bright red body). My favorite Stacey book was #3 (I think), where she goes back to NY and confronts her bff who’d totally ditched her once she had the diabetes. My favorite of all was the Mary Anne one where she takes care of the kid with the bad fever and her father realizes she’s mature enough to wear her hair out of braids.

  30. ihatewheat says:

    omg, and then one day Claire and Margo came into their room at like 4am to go to the beach and then they slept in Stace and maryanne’s beds until it was time to get up.

    Then another time Claire came in the room buck naked. Claire was so annoying.

    Wow! It’s all coming back to me now…[singing Celine Dion]

  31. Nathalie says:

    OMG I totally forgot about the program with swings. That show was cracked out, but I loved it. I always thought it was Canadian.

  32. Magpie says:

    I can’t believe how many people besides me were also obsessed with Mary Anne’s skirt that had the city sketches on it. It’s the BSC outfit that has stuck with me the most vividly, and I had no idea anyone else would remember it. This is like coming home, haha!

  33. tinypants says:

    upstatestruggler — yes, Toby, the boy Stacey meets at the end, totally wears that kind of sunglasses! As well as some other amazing stuff. So of course Stacey can’t get over how well he dresses — this is one of the prime reasons she’s so attracted to him! I remember as soon as I read the phrase describing the sunglasses, I was like, really Stacey? REALLY you think he’s an amazing dresser? No wonder STACEY + TOBY = LUV.

  34. Ellen K. says:

    One of my favorite books, partly due to the outfits and the Pike action. And another vote for “Mallory and the Trouble with Twins,” the best of the Mallory books (although why did it take Mallory so long to figure out the girls’ problem? She has identical triplet brothers).

    BTW, there are graphic novel versions of BSC #1-4, and they are AWESOME. Esp. #3 — really well done.

  35. Alicia E. says:

    This book was a little bit ruined for me by “Sea City, Here We Come!” because Tobey turned out to be a douchebag who hit on Mallory (Mallory of all people!).

  36. Jamie says:

    The phrase “special sauce” seems suspect to me…or maybe Im just a total perv…probably that lol.

  37. BartTempleton says:

    What are you trying to say, Alicia E.? That Mallory’s not the most attractive or cool Babysitter? Are you trying to say there’s no way a cool cowboy-shirt wearing guy like Toby would dig that frizzy red-brown mane and glasses? Just because she’s booky and brainy and has auburn hair?

    If you are, you’d have made a good SVH ghostwriter.

  38. BartTempleton says:

    Egads! Mallory looks like a male pony. And also like a bizarre cross between Woody Allen, Matthew Broderick, and that annoying guy who got promoted in The Office.

    Now that you mention it, eleven is pretty freaking young.

    Okay, question: were the Spiers supposed to be Jewish? And if not, who in the BSC was? Because don’t tell me Ann M. Martin, she of the token Black, token redhead, and not-so-token Japanese-American and diabetes-sufferer, would not have a Jewish babysitter in this multi-culti crew.

    Stoneybrook: Sweet Valley, it ain’t.

  39. upstatestruggler says:

    there wasn’t a Jewish babysitter until Abby came along, and funny story- I recently picked up a copy of Kristy & Mr. Mom. In the back there was a contest to name the new bbsttr and her twin sister. apparently, someone chose Abby & Anna Stevenson. Never knew Stevenson was a Jewish name, so I don’t know if the twins were Jewish as a result of the chosen name (hee-that was kinda funny- chosen people!) or if it was ANM’s intent all along to eventually integrate the club. hoping it was the latter…maybe putting too much faith in Ann & the G-dubs…

  40. SuperPana says:

    The first 10 BSC books are so perfect — they have these legitimately good YA book moments mixed with Claud’s clothes and other dumb shit (where in dumb shit=stuff I love).

    I think Stacey’s books in the series tended to be good because she often made these real mistakes — and not dumb mistakes like the time Mary Anne had Logan over at a babysitting job but of course it was totally not for making out, so easily tied up. Stacey made really shitty teenager mistakes, like how she treats Mary Anne in the beginning of this book, and how much she screws everyone over for a boy when she goes to Fire Island (and, like, they are mad at her for it! for real!), and how she leaves the BSC for awhile because OMG DUH they are SO FUCKING LAME. She’s embarrassed by them! Who wouldn’t be?? I mean, she’s originally from New York City!

  41. Magpie says:

    Eugh, I don’t understand why Tobey would hit on Mallory just because she always seemed like the most annoying babysitter to me. Nothing to do with her being a geeky brunette – I fit that description perfectly myself šŸ˜‰

  42. Anonymous says:

    Sea City! Tunnel of Luv ā¤ !! Boys!
    What a fab book. I remember thinking it was really weird when Stacey talks about her bikini, stressing that it’s “very skimpy” and how she fills out the top. I couldn’t believe the McGills would let Stacey get an itsy-bitsy bikini, but then I remembered they’re from NYC and totally sophisticated.
    …And then she goes on to say how Mary Anne totally doesn’t have the boobs to fill out her bikini. LOL.

  43. sar says:

    the above is me! also wanted to add that another great Stacey romance book is Stacey’s Big Crush. Hilarious, and with a good amount of moments that make you feel truly uncomfortable! (seriously, what type of substitute teacher was Wes?)

  44. Magpie says:

    Rita, I’ve just realized that dude on the cover looks a lot like Ken Matthews on the SVH covers. And they’re both 16. Could Ken have been leading a double life?

  45. Cara Walker says:

    Hehe… yeah, I have to admit that #45 of the BSC did it for me, too! Couldn’t face reading anymore after that whole baby parade shit. I have read a couple of others since, as my sis still occasionally reads them for a laugh. Recently she found a copy of one of the BSC Friends series at a second-hand book shop, which I scanned over – gave me a good laugh. I think Ann M. decided to go all ‘real-life’ drama around the same time as Kate W. and Jamie S. This one concerned Stacey’s falling out with Claudia over some new guy. Stacey is a real bitch in this book, by the way. “Oh, I’m from New York, so I’m sophisticated. I do well in Math, so I’m smarter than Claudia. OMG, Claudia got kept back a grade and doesn’t care about spelling!” Oh the dramas…

  46. Alicia E. says:

    Bart: It’s not Mallory’s frizz that I found objectionable, but the fact that she was 11 (what 13-year-old boy wants to date an 11-year-old?) and just kind of a drip. I think of books like “Mallory Hates Boys (And Gym)” and “Mallory and the Dream Horse” and the California Super Special that find her whining the whole time about her problems and never doing anything about them. I mean, she’s only 11, so I guess I should give her break, but she always annoyed me.

    If Tobey (no catch, it’s true) had hit on Jessi, I probably wouldn’t have minded as much. (Actually, I think he DID hit on Jessi after Mallory turned him down. 11-year-olds were his thing, I guess).

  47. BartTempleton says:

    Alicia E., now that you mention it, “drip” is the word for Mal Pike.

    Eleven is just ridiculous. Of course, they didn’t seem that young back when I was a middle-schooler.

  48. Cara Walker says:

    I feel so sad, but I made a burger today and mixed the ketchup and mustard together to make ‘orange sauce’. Oh, the awful things that have been seared into my brain due to years of reading this YA tripe…

  49. Julianne says:

    Also based on the events in the book, the girl Stacey is holding on the cover is Claire ā€” who is supposed to be like two years old in the book!

    Actually, Claire is five years old. šŸ™‚

  50. paige says:

    That special sauce has stuck in my memory since I read this book when I was like 10…and I think about it almost every time I’m at a restaurant that has those ketchup and mustard “pump” thingies. I’m like, “Maybe I should mix those into that special sauce from the BSC book!”

  51. Mehreen says:

    My favorite book happens to be a Stacey book even though Mary Anne was my favorite. I’m ashamed that I can’t remember the title, but it was #22 and the book was yellow and stacey is standing at a punch bowl at the Spring Dance in a horrible green off-the-shoulder dress gazing adoringly at at 22-year old Wes in a white tux who is pouring punch into his glass. Because of that book I started dotting my eyes w/hearts. I am about to take the NY Bar Exam and I still can’t stop!

  52. Heidi says:

    What always struck me as odd about the beach/summer-related BSC covers (especially this one) was the heavy clothes… Margo in a sweatshirt, Stacey in a sophisticated, bright-ass red windbreaker (probably purchased at Bloomies), and Scott the Lifeuard in black slacks and a buttondown (albeit unbuttoned and showcasing his magnificent chest, but a button-down all the same)? I’m sure it does get a bit chilly on the Atlantic coast now and then, but still… growing up in Colorado, I always imagined that any place with a beach had to be warm enough to shed a few layers, at least in the summer… why were these damn girls always so bundled up?? (I’m also thinking of Dawn in her white sweater on the cover of the Super Special where they go on the cruise…)

    Anyway… I just discovered your site, and I’m LUVin it! Thanks for the memories and laughs!

  53. Anne says:

    I *just* finished reading this book again. I think I’d only read it once before, ’cause it definitely wasn’t one I owned (I love the library, btw!).

    My impressions:

    I love how Stacey doesn’t clue in the Scott is just using her as his slave (not in a I condone Scott’s behaviour, but in a I love seeing ‘mature, sophisticated’ Stacey realize she doesn’t know everything… I really don’t like Stacey). Scott’s treatment of Stacey reminds me of how Jessica treats Robyn pre-weight loss.

    I love when Claire insults the kids who were teasing her by calling them “Stupey Silly Billy Goo Goos”. Not stupid, mind you, but stupey. But calling her dad Daggles really got on my nerves. ESPECIALLY when we got treated to Daggles Silly Billy Goo Goo!

    I loved the early books the best… especially Logan Likes Mary Anne. I love when she tries to tell them she got her first bra (I um… I um…. I got a bra yesterday). LOL.

    Also Claudia wasn’t as bad a speller in the first books. Especially in #5. Only a couple of errors in her club entries.

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