Jessi's new teacher Mr. Trout is...different. All the kids at SMS laugh at him because he's shy and wears odd clothes. Jessi knows it isn't right. But the jokes the kids play on Mr. Trout are funny.
So when Jessi is asked to play a prank — a big one — on Mr. Trout, she goes along with it. After all, no one else thinks it's mean.
Except Mr. Trout. And now Jessi has to live with the horrible thing she's done.
Mr. Trout leaves SMS.
Several of the BSC sitting charges put on the BSC Follies.
Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter
The pranks that Jessi and her classmates pull on Mr. Trout are truly mean and horrible. However, practical jokes can be funny — as long as nobody gets hurt or embarrassed. Sometimes I like to play practical jokes myself, a trait I got from my father. My father loves to play jokes and to give people funny presents. One of the best practical jokes he ever played was when he was an adult, but before he had married my mother, and he went to his parents’ house for Christmas. On Christmas Eve after the stockings had been hung, Dad snuck downstairs late at night and replaced his stocking with an enormous one that he had made himself — the size of a bed sheet. However, the joke was on him when he woke up the next morning and found that Santa had managed to fill the entire stocking. It was full of furniture, large presents, and anything else that Santa could find quickly.
A number of years later, when I was about five years old, my parents woke my sister and me up late one night so that we could drive to the house of friends who lived in the country, and set a tacky pink flamingo on the front lawn for them to find in the morning. Maybe this is why my sister Jane and I loved April Fools’ Day when we were growing up. We always tried to find ways to trick our parents. I remember waiting until nighttime one April Fools’ Day and rearranging the living room furniture while our parents were at a party. It was a lot of fun, and boy, were our parents surprised when they returned.
Practical jokes should never be cruel. They should always be fun and funny. Just ask my dad!