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Mary Anne's Book is the fourth of the six Portrait Collection books published by Scholastic from 1994-1997.

Premise[]

Mary Anne, along with the rest of the 8th grade Baby-Sitters Club members, are assigned to write their own autobiography. They may include photos and other memorabilia, but the majority of the project must be written. Mary Anne chooses to write about a variety of events in her life, but the overarching theme is how her mother's death shaped her as a person.

Back Cover Summary[]

Well, we all had to do it. Write our autobiographies, that is. And this is mine. I dug way back in my memory and came up with lots of stories. There was the fateful time in kindergarten when I didn't know whom to invite to our Mother's Day tea party. There was the time I desperately wanted glasses, and of course there were the adventures with my friends Kristy and Claudia. But mostly, I remember my father, because he's always been there for me. Always and forever.

Chapter 1[]

Mary Anne wakes up on a Saturday morning to a quiet house because her father and step-mother had gone grocery shopping. She enjoys the quiet as she makes breakfast and begins to pour over the contents of a box her grandmother Verna Baker sent her from Maynard, Iowa. The most precious piece from the box is Mary Anne's baby book, which her mother started and her grandmother finished. Sharon and Richard come home to find her in tears as she pours through memories she wishes she could remember. After drying her eyes, Mary Anne goes upstairs and begins to work on her autobiography.

Locations

  • Schafer/Spier House

Characters

Part I : From Birth to Six Years[]

Mary Anne reveals that her first memory is from when she was three and she remembers greeting her father when he came home from work. She recounts small memories of her and her father together. When she is around three or four, she starts nursery school where she is in the same class as Kristy and Claudia. She later attends Stoneybrook Elementary School where Mary Anne, Kristy, and Claudia are all in the same kindergarten.

Locations

Characters

Part II: The Tea Party[]

Mary Anne, Claudia, and Kristy are together again (along with Alan Gray) in first grade with a teacher named Mrs. Frederickson, who yells a lot. Mary Anne likes school but is scared when Mrs. Frederickson yells. In May, the class throws a Mother's Day Tea Party, which brings the issue of not having a mother to the forefront. Mary Anne at first invites her dad, but when Alan Gray laughs at her for wantindg to bring a boy to a girl's party, Mary Anne decides to invite Mimi instead. She doesn't tell her father when the party is, but he finds out anyway through a school newsletter. Mary Anne gets very nervous, wondering what everyone will say when she has TWO people show up. Both Richard and Mimi show up and things go smoothly after talking with Mrs. Frederickson. She would have been fine inviting her father because her father has to take on the job of both father and mother.

Locations

Characters

Part III: Stage Fright[]

Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne are all enrolled in a summer ballet program through the local YMCA. Mary Anne does not like dancing in front of people and gets very nervous during class. The morning of the recital, she gets sick and admits to her dad that she hates ballet, hates crowds, and does not want to perform. Her father says that she doesn't have to go on stage and so they go home and have a barbecue.

Locations

  • YMCA
  • Dancer's World

Characters

Part IV: E is for Eyeglasses[]

The three girls are split up for fourth grade, with Claudia and Kristy in one room and Mary Anne in Ms. Elison's class. Mary Anne really likes Ms. Elison and the way she teaches. In class, she meets a girl named April, who quickly becomes one of the most popular girls in class. April wears glasses and looks so cool so Mary Anne decides she wants glasses too. When vision test day comes around at school, Mary Anne fails the test on purpose so she can get glasses. However, she didn't realize that she would have to go to another eye doctor for further tests. At the new eye doctor, she finds that she needs glasses only for reading.

Locations

Characters

  • Ms. Elison - Mary Anne's fourth grade teacher
  • April Livingston - New student in Mary Anne's class
  • Alan Gray, Jack Luke, Jeanette Thompson, and Maria Gonzalez - students in Mary Anne's class this year
  • Dr. Crews - optometrist

Part V: Exploring My Secret Past[]

Locations

  • Maynard, Iowa

Characters

Chapter 15[]

Locations

Characters

Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • Seseame Street and Big Bird
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Beauty and the Beast (Disney film)
  • Horton Hears a Who
  • The Nutcracker (ballet)
  • The Beatles, Rolling Stones (bands)

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]

Continuity

Inconsistencies

  • In chapter 9, Mary Anne said that Kristy and Claudia had Mr. Adams for a teacher in the fourth grade, but in Claudia's Book, their fourth-grade teacher was Ms. Jameson.
  • In chapter 9, Kristy says that fourth-grade is the first year that she, Mary Anne, and Claudia aren’t in the same class. But in Claudia's Book, Claudia is excited about the fourth-grade because she and Kristy haven’t been in the same class since the first-grade.
  • Kristy complains about having to wear pink tutus for a ballet class. However, Kristy in earlier books doesn't complain about skirts and doesn't mind the color pink.
  • Mary Anne hates the color pink, yet is shown to like wearing it in this book.

Trivia[]

  • Mary Anne's earliest memory is playing on the living room rug with a pile of plastic cones that fit into one another and her dad coming home.
  • Claudia gave Mary Anne one of Mimi's silk scarves to remember her, Mary Anne says that it still smells like her.
  • This is one of the few books where a year is even vaguely referenced - Mary Anne recalls that Disney's Beauty and the Beast hadn't come out yet when she was the first grade.
  • Mary Anne tried to read and walk at the same time.
  • Alan did not know that Mary Anne's mom had died until Kristy confronted him on the playground.
  • Throughout the years Mary Anne's baby-sitters are: Mrs. Cuddy, Mrs. Manson, Patricia Pennybrook
  • A girl named Jennifer Searles lived down the block from Mary Anne, she's one grade behind Mary Anne.
  • Mary Anne turned her autobiography in early.
  • Jobs arranged but never seen: Mary Anne for the Rodowskys.
  • Mary Anne gets an "A+" on her autobiography assignment.

Gallery[]

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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