The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki

Mary Anne and the Playground Fight is the 120th book in The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin.

Back Cover Summary[]

Summer's coming, and the BSC members should be excited...right? SMS is planning a big trip to Europe. A playground camp is opening in Stoneybrook — and it needs counselors with baby-sitting experience. Mary Anne can't think of anyone more qualified than her friends in the BSC.

There's only one problem: There are nine BSC members — and only six jobs at the playground camp. The competition is turning fierce, and Mary Anne's friends are arguing more and more every day.

Can the BSC survive the fighting?

Main Plot[]

The school year is just about over, and the BSC is buzzing over two big pieces of news. First, the school is going to be offering another trip for students, like they did with the Hawaii trip. This trip, though, is to London and Paris. Next, Mrs. Simon (one of the SMS teachers) calls during a BSC meeting to let the club know that SES is going to be running a playground camp during the summer, and she wants all of them to consider applying to be counselors. There are six slots open for SMS students, and all the BSC members (except Shannon) plan to apply. That's nine people applying for those six addition to all the non-BSC kids who are going to be throwing their hats in the ring. Mary Anne is really worried about all the competition.

Soon, Dawn arrives for the summer, and she has some big news of her own: she doesn't want to leave Stoneybrook at all, even for the nine days that the Europe trip would last. Mary Anne decides that she won't go, either. The others are busy trying to earn money for their trips, though...and preparing their applications for the playground jobs. Everyone except Jessi and Mallory end up making it past the first round of cuts and gets an interview, but not everyone in the BSC who's applied is being totally honest. Kristy, Stacey, and Abby are all planning to go to Europe, but they've really downplayed that on their applications. That just makes the sniping and fighting within the BSC even worse, and by the time the interviews are over, hardly anyone else getting along. Mary Anne starts to wish that the whole playground job thing had never happened.

As it turns out, Claudia, Mary Anne, Logan, and Dawn get offered jobs, and the others don't. The sitters apologize, and everything is good again.


Victoria Kent is getting ready to head back to England, and she doesn't want to go. She's still obsessed with all things American (because they don't have jelly doughnuts in England, apparently), but she's excited that some members of the BSC will be able to visit her on her turf later in the summer. When she finds out that Mary Anne won't be one of them, though....trouble. Mary Anne writes her a note explaining everything, and they're friends again.


Mary Anne's Family

BSC Members





Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • Beatrix Potter
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Marvel comic books
  • Gumby dolls
  • Star Trek
  • Curious George, The Runaway Bunny, Babar, Harriet the Spy, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (books)
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Wizard of Oz, Toy Story, King Kong, Home Alone (movies)

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]


  • The Hawaii trip from Aloha, Baby-sitters! is brought up in chapter 3.
  • Brad Simon being suspended for cheating is mentioned on page 96 which happened in Abby's Lucky Thirteen.
  • On page 102 Claudia being sent back to seventh grade was brought up.


  • Katie Shea is called Kate on page 29 when she was referenced as Katie on page 27.
  • Mary Anne says that when she was a baby, her father sent her to live with her grandparents in Nebraska for a while, when it should be Iowa.
  • In chapter 4, it's said that six playground camp counselor jobs are available for students who attend Stoneybrook Middle School. Despite the fact that Dawn doesn't attend SMS at this point (and she doesn't even live in Connecticut), she still gets a playground counselor job.
    • It might be an understood that Dawn is an SMS student when she is visiting Stoneybrook for any length of time. When SMS students and the BSC go to Hawaii, which is offered only to SMS students, it was written as a waiting list or holding list, that Dawn was put on and got to go. So perhaps since she was included in Hawaii, the same could be applied to this program.
  • Mary Anne says that she has pierced ears when her dad won't let her pierce them.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

In Mary Anne and the Playground Fight, the members of the Baby-sitters Club find themselves in an unusual situation. While they’re good about sharing the jobs they get at club meetings, they’re now fiercely competing for a limited number of jobs that they all want badly. Competition can be difficult, especially when friends are competing against one another.

You may find yourself competing against a friend in sports, in school, in contests, or, like the members of the BSC, for a job. An important thing to remember when you’re competing against a friend is that both your friendship and the competition are important, so it’s your responsibility to do your best, honestly. You’re not being fair to your friend if you don’t do your best in order to let her win.

And you’re not being fair to anyone if, like Kristy, you don’t play by the rules. Try keeping things out in the open. If you and a friend are competing against each other, talk about it. Tell each other what you’re afraid of, and what you hope for. Then go for it. Mary Anne and her friends might have had an easier time if they had been honest with themselves and with one another from the beginning.


  • This is the final appearance of Victoria Kent in the main series, she only returns for Baby-sitters' European Vacation.
    • This book leads up to the final super special as well.
  • A lot of the things Victoria loves about America is in England, however, it's likely that she's not allowed them at home for a particular reason. Such as jelly donuts are not on their grocery list back home but added them here.
  • Alan Gray has to do community service for shooting spitballs in class.
  • Mary Anne and Logan go on a date to the lighthouse.
  • Elizabeth Grace Schafer-Olson was born prior to this book.
  • Abby likes eating Dawn's healthy food.
  • Dawn didn't want to go London and Paris.
  • Dawn uses the manual lawnmower because it doesn't burn gas.
  • Mrs. Prezzioso bought Jenny a giant blue and white rabbit that was Victoria's.
  • Karen, Hannie, and Nancy bought out an entire collection of poodle stuffed animals.
  • All of the sixth graders were excluded from the playground jobs. A reason is never given.
  • Since Gracie has been born, this book takes place sometime after Dawn, Diary Two.
  • Kristy takes Mary Anne’s babysitting job in chapter 5 so Mary Anne can meet Dawn at the airport.
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
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)