I've always been relatively disinterested in Mary Anne, one of the more boring members of The BSC... or so I thought. I don't recall reading any of her books when I was younger. I didn't realize Mary Anne had such an attitude. I guess this is the first book where she really comes around and gains a mind of her own. I also didn't expect the introduction of Dawn in this book, though it makes perfect sense since her book is the 5th in the series.
In this book all the babysitters are in a row over all sorts of things... Kristy being bossy and a know-it-all, Mary Anne being a baby, Stacey being snobby, and Claudia being a "job-hog". All the girls stop speaking to each other and the club nearly breaks up. Mary Anne and Claudia also get into it over favor shown towards Mary Anne from Claudia's grandmother, Mimi. Kristy, Mary Anne's best friend, is not showing any signs of forgiving Mary Anne. While eating lunch alone at school, Mary Anne meets a new girl from California, Dawn. Dawn and Mary Anne soon become fast friends and watch movies on Dawn's VCR together.
One day, while sitting for a little girl with an uptight family, Mary Anne is involved in her first babysitting emergency. The little girl, who the parents comically call "angel" to the point where people aren't sure if they're actually talking about a real angel or not, gets a high fever of 104 while Mary Anne is babysitting her and her parents are about an hour away at a basketball game which the mother oddly wears a cocktail dress to (seriously, this is one of the weirder Stoneybrook families). Mary Anne goes down the list of numbers trying to reach all of the family's emergency contacts, but cannot get a hold of anyone. Remember, this was before cell phones. Mary Anne ends up leaving a message at the gym where the basketball game is being held so the parents can be paged when they arrive.
Mary Anne then calls Dawn who comes over and helps with "the little angel" and the girls end up resorting to calling 911 where the girl is whisked away in an ambulance. The little girl's parents are so impressed with Dawn and Mary Anne that they pay them each TEN DOLLARS and that was after a little extra cash was thrown in by the father for looking after the girl so well. Dawn is eventually invited to become a member of The BSC after all the girls have eventually made up and have a pizza party at Mary Anne's. To go along with the BSC feud and ill children, there's the side story that Dawn's mom and Mary Anne's dad used to date in high school. If you're familiar with the series you'll recall that this ends up resulting in marriage.
As I said earlier, I was surprised at how catty Mary Anne actually is. I also found this storyline especially interesting since twice this week my own son had to be taken to the ER for fevers over 104. I sort of felt like Mary Anne understand, lol. I'm giving Mary Anne Saves The Day 4 out of 5 stars.