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This article is about the original novel. For the graphic novel, see Dawn and the Impossible Three (Graphic Novel). For the Netflix episode, see Dawn and the Impossible Three (episode).

Dawn and the Impossible Three is the fifth book in The Baby-Sitters Club series.

Back Cover

Dawn's the newest member of the Baby-sitter's Club and everybody's glad — except Kristy. Kristy thinks things were better without Dawn around. That's why Dawn's eager to take on a big baby-sitting job: It's her chance to show Kristy what she's made of.

What a mistake! Taking care of the three Barrett kids is too much for any baby-sitter. The house is in chaos, the kids are impossible, and Mrs. Barrett never does any of the things she promises. Dawn's got more trouble than she bargained for. But she's not going to give up until all four Barretts are under control and she's friends with Kristy.

Main Plot

Dawn starts sitting for the three Barrett children, but their mother, Mrs. Barrett, is a complete scatterbrain! She starts off by leaving Dawn the wrong phone number, which Dawn doesn't find out until Suzi Barrett needs her mother. The Barretts really like Dawn, and Dawn ends up missing club meetings. But what will she do when Buddy Barrett is missing? Dawn is afraid that Buddy has been kidnapped! Things go wrong when the parent comes home!

Subplot

Characters

Dawn's Family

Extended Family

BSC Members

Kids

Teenagers

Adults

Locations

Pop Culture and Real-Life References

  • Puff the magic dragon
  • Sesame street
  • Disney
  • Mary Poppins
  • The sound of music
  • Duncan Hines Brownie Mix
  • The Brady Bunch
  • The Phil Donahue Show

Continuity and Inconsistencies

Continuity

  • The beginning of chapter 4 recalls how Mary Anne and Dawn met.

Inconsistencies

  • Marnie found some M&M's and started eating them on page 49. Later on page 85, Mallory says she was allergic to chocolate.
  • Richard gets contacts in this book, but illustrations and covers from subsequent books always depict him wearing glasses.

Differences in the Reprints

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader letter

Dear Reader,

In Dawn and the Impossible Three, Dawn winds up in a sticky baby-sitting situation. Her client, Mrs. Barrett, is very nice but completely disorganized. Dawn finds herself doing more than just baby-sitting — and not getting paid for it. Plus, Mrs. Barrett doesn’t give Dawn helpful instructions or leave her important phone numbers.

If you’re a baby-sitter, here are some things you can do to avoid getting into a situation like Dawn’s. Before you take on any job, find out what will be involved. If you’re going to be doing the job of a mother’s helper, make sure you’ll be paid for it. Although leaving the number where the client can be reached and other important numbers might seem to be the client’s responsibility, it’s your responsibility to ask for the numbers if the client hasn’t supplied them. Numbers you might need in addition to emergency numbers are those of the family pediatrician, a neighbor, or a nearby relative.

Trivia

  • A Spanish edition of the book was released June 30, 2021. [1]
  • Dawn is telling Kristy how her mom doesn't like her and Jeff to go in the barn too much. Apparently Sharon's afraid it'll come crashing down sometime because it's so old. Eventually the barn becomes the locations of festivals, camps, and other events the BSC hosts.
  • This is the first mention of Sunny Winslow.
  • On the dedication page it says "For Aunt Dot."
  • Dawn says that she and Mary Anne are going to explore the house looking for a secret passage.
  • Dawn's maternal grandparents would take Sharon to the Bahamas at Christmastime.
  • Sharon and Richard go on a spur of the moment date. Mary Anne thinks this is a good sign, as Richard never used to do things like that.
  • Mary Anne now wears contacts instead of her reading glasses.
  • Mary Anne wears jeans for the first time in chapter 2.
  • Janine answers the door when Mary Anne and Dawn comes over. Later in the series, the girls just let themselves in.
  • Dawn plans on putting avocado paste on her hair. Stacey already uses lemon juice and Claudia uses an egg rinse. Dawn notes that if they put their heads together, they'd have a salad.
  • Weekly dues in this book is 50 cents.
  • There was a poster of London at night in the kitchen at Dawn's old house in California.
  • Dawn finds Jack's old astronomy chart. Mary Anne says she it's interesting but not "her".
  • Jobs lined up that we don't see: Kristy sitting for Jamie, Mary Anne sitting for Charlotte,
  • In this book Karen is said to have skipped kindergarten into first grade. In later books it says that Karen skipped first grade and into second.
  • Dawn officially becomes alternate officer in chapter 7.
  • Mallory gave Byron the bizzer sign.
  • In chapter 9, Claudia's handwriting is different then her later handwriting.
  • On page 87 Dawn says that she missed a BSC meeting.
  • Claudia has an aunt and uncle visiting Atlantic City that gave her salt water taffy.
  • Dawn has thought of Mallory joining the BSC, which she did eventually in Hello, Mallory.
  • Dawn eats taffy and gummy worms in this book.
  • Dawn just barely stops Sharon from leaving for her date with Richard with the price tag still on her skirt, a rubber band around her wrist, and wearing only one earring.

Alternative Covers

US Covers

International Covers

Baby-Sitters Club Books
The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House
Super Specials
#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
Portrait Collection
Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book
Other
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021) | The Official Coloring Book (2023)
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