Stacey McGill…Matchmaker? is the 124th book in the Baby-Sitters Club series.
Stacey's building a better parent trap… .
The Baby-Sitters Club gets a new client, John Brooke, a newly divorced writer of mystery novels. He has two children, Joni Brooke, 9, and Ewan Brooke, 5. Stacey is the first one to sit for them and notices that Mr. Brooke is attractive. When her mother comes to pick her up, the two of them begin talking and soon hit it off. Their first date is to a play based on one of Mr. Brooke's books. Stacey is thrilled when they begin dating, but Joni doesn't like it and begins acting out. She ignores Stacey, dislikes the other baby-sitters because they are her friends, and tries to prevent her father from working so he won't have time to go out with Mrs. McGill. Stacey, Abby, and Kristy, as well as Mr. Brooke, try to talk to her about it, but have little luck.
The McGills and the Brookes have Thanksgiving together. Joni acts out again, and Stacey is finally able to make her feel okay about the relationship. In the meantime, however, Mrs. McGill is becoming disillusioned with Mr. Brooke. She thinks his books reveal a selfish outlook, notices that he is not very considerate, and doesn't like his parenting. She decides to break up with him, although Stacey doesn't want her to. A conversation with Ethan makes Stacey realize she has to let her mom make her own decision about Mr. Brooke.
Joni blames herself for causing the break-up. Claudia tries to convince her this isn't the case. Later, Stacey visits the Brooke children and gives them presents from New York, agreeing with them to become "honorary" siblings.
This book does not seem to have a classic secondary plot. Baby-sitting chapters are all about the Brooke children. Secondary plot threads include the book groups (mother/daughter and BSC) and Mallory continuing to be a victim of bullying but do not comprise entire chapters.
Stacey and her mother's reading of Pride and Prejudice gives Stacey insight into the relationship between her mother and Mr. Brooke, and she at one point idealizes him as her mother's "Mr. Darcy."
The BSC decide to start a book group because Dawn and the We Heart Kids Club have started a movie club. Abby suggests Jacob Have I Loved as their first title. Mallory identifies with the book because she feels so out of place at SMS. She has developed a "negative attitude" towards school due to her bullying. After an incident where Alan Gray trips her, she confides in Stacey that she is thinking leaving SMS for Stoneybrook Day School. She later travels to Massachusetts to visit Riverbend. Jessi in particular is upset about the idea of her leaving.
Other plot information
Mrs. Pike met Mr. Brooke at a parent-teacher conference for Claire's kindergarten class and recommended the BSC to him.
John Brooke has lots of slightly long dark hair and "almost unnaturally green eyes." He is of medium height with a great build.
The Brookes' house is sparsely furnished, "more of a city apartment than a suburban home."
Mrs. Brooke is a former model who has moved to Atlanta to be on a TV talk show. She seems to have little interest in being a mother and contacts the kids rarely. She used to help keep Mr. Brooke on schedule, read his writing, and may have edited or helped write some of his books as well.
John Brooke's pen name is J.B. Angel
Mr. Brooke works on a typewriter when his writing isn't going well and on a computer when it is going well. At one point, Joni throws his mouse in a tree so he can't work on his computer. She also deletes a chapter and puts a password on his files so he can't access them.
Clients in this book
Places in this book
- New York City
- Pietro's (Italian restaurant on the way to Washington Mall)
- Museum of Modern Art
- Oak Room at the Plaza (where Mr. McGill and Samantha go for Thanksgiving)
- "long, shiny earrings" (gold) "dotted with small clay beads." Worn with a long beaded necklace and tie-dyed overalls. The beads are made of polymer clay "gorgeous—swirling colors mixed with little specks of shiny beads."
- Stacey and her mother have an ongoing mother-daughter book club
- Stacey's relatives live too far away to visit for Thanksgiving
- Mrs. McGill has drifted away from the couples she and her ex-husband used to be friends with
- Stacey has to "eat only healthy foods, no sweets or junk food."
- Abby refers to other kids on her soccer team as "real dweebs."
- The Brookes live "near the school" on Kimball Street
- Mallory is "not classically beautiful."
- Stacey's father was a public defender when he and her mother first got married. He later became a corporate lawyer, which Mrs. McGill found harder to respect.
- Kristy baby-sits for the Brookes until 12:30
- Mr. Brooke's name is the same as Meg's husband in Little Women
Pop culture references
- Pride and Prejudice
- Jacob Have I Loved
- Mallomars (offered by Claudia at a meeting)
- The Great Gilly Hopkins
- Bridge to Terabithia
- Indian in the Cupboard (movie)
- The Wrong-Way Rabbit (easy-reader)
- Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
- the Teletubbies
- Candy Land
- Hostess cupcakes (given by Claudia to the Brookes)
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