sweet jeebus. the tyranny of painfully dull jessi books continues. & to top it off, this one gives away the ending right in the title.
so, it’s once again summertime in stoneybrook. for like the sixth time, at least. & it’s time for the summer olympics. & stoneybrook middle school has organized a sports spectacular at some point. so basically this book takes everything that is boring about jessi & combines it with everything that is boring about kristy (but with less karen, thank goodness). shoot me now.
the sixth grade gym class is switching gears now that the stoneybrook pool complex is open for the season. the students will now be swimming. mallory is horrified & humilated because her bathing suit is a babyish one-piece with a frilly skirt. i am embarrassed to admit how old i was before i realize that one-piece swimsuits with skirts are actually not cool or flattering on me. hint: approximately 28 years old. so good on mallory for catching on at the tender age of 11.
jessi, on the other hand, is excited about swimming. she’s not a very good swimmer, but she really wants to learn. she is pulled aside after her individual swim test though, & she worries that she’s being condemned to remedial swim classes. instead, she is introduced to the pool complex’s synchronized swim coach. the coach has been looking for another girl to round out the team, & she likes jessi’s ballet-honed form. jessi agrees to substitute her regular gym classes for synchronized swim classes, & is paired with a strong but graceless swimmer named elise.
meanwhile, the babysitters are all deciding what contests to enter in the sports spectacular. dawn decides to try the javelin throw. kristy is interested in a track event, & challenges alan gray to a one-on-one obstacle course race, with a week of “personal service” (gross) hanging in the balance. mary anne & mallory are both uninterested in entering the contest at all–but mallory in particular is very defensive about it. jessi wonders what’s going on with her, but between ballet, school, & synchronized swim practice, she doesn’t feel she has time to investigate. jessi will be choreographing a routine for the spectacular with elise, & competing against the other pairs from their class for a medal. read the title again & guess how jessi does.
jessi also notices that becca is riveted by the olympic trials on TV. this gives jessi an idea…what if the babysitters club hosted a mini-olympics for their charges? the kids could compete in potato sack races, three-legged races, such forth & so on. the babysitters think it’s a great idea, & as word spreads to the kids around town, there’s a lot of enthusiasm. everyone wants to enter…but andrew is sad because he can’t seem to do anything, & what little he can do, older kids do better. & charlotte completely melts down after stacey encourages her to enter an event. she thinks stacey is angry with her for not wanting to participate. i seriously hate charlotte. she’s exactly the kind of person i’d hate to be friends with as an adult. no one is mad at you because you don’t want to join a potato sack race, okay? just get over yourself.
while the pike kids are practicing for the mini-olympics, mallory tries the potato sack race…& promptly sprains her ankle. she’s even on crutches. she makes a big fuss about how bad the timing is because now she definitely will not be able to participate in the sports spectacular. jessi finds mallory’s dismay very questionable…but she doesn’t really have time to look into it because she is preparing for her synchronized swimming routine every spare moment…& dreading it, because she & elise seem to be the worst in the class.
finally, the day of the spectacular rolls around. kristy does well in her track event, winning a silver medal. dawn throws the javelin well but doesn’t win. claudia gets all dolled up & runs a backwards race. mary anne surprises everyone by showing up to man the refreshments table. jessi considers running away before her synchronized swim event…but she grits her teeth & does her program. & i am sure that you will be SHOCKED to learn that she & elise take the gold. kristy bests alan gray in the obstacle course, & kristy forces alan to work the next day at the mini-olympics.
the mini-olympics is basically just a bunch of boring stories about how adorable the children of stoneybrook are. charlotte contributes by making signs for the event, & andrew surprises everyone by making an attempt at like every single event. in the end, every child wins a prize. charlotte wins “most creative” & andrew wins “most dedicated”.
jessi & elise decide not to continue with synchronized swimming because it takes too much time & energy away from their real passions (ballet for jessi obviously, & swim races for elise). & despite the fact that jessi & elise got along swimmingly (you see what i did there?), we never hear of her again. because we all know that in the babysitters club, outside friendships are frowned upon.
oh yeah, & mallory admits that she was trying to fake-sprain her ankle to get out of the sports spectacular (which was in no way mandatory or anything), but she sprained it for real & then she regretted her negative attitude. isn’t it great how we’re all better people now?