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Mary Anne in the Middle is the 125th book in The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin.

Back Cover Summary[]

Poor Mary Anne! Being a good listener has really put her in a bind. Mallory has shared her worries, hopes, and even her final decision about boarding school with Mary Anne, rather than Jessi. Now Jessi's furious with Mal, and Mal's angry that Jessi doesn't understand. Mary Anne is caught right in the middle. Can she help smooth things out...or is this the end of Mallory and Jessi's best friendship?

Main Plot[]

Mallory is seriously considering going away to school in Massachusetts, and she's started confiding in Mary Anne about her thoughts and feelings. She hasn't even been talking to Jessi about it, since Jessi (of course) doesn't want her to go.

Then, while Mallory and Mary Anne are on a sitting job at the Pikes, Mal gets a letter from Riverbend: she's been accepted, and they want to give her a full scholarship. Mary Anne encourages her to tell Jessi that she was accepted, which Mallory does.

Jessi doesn't take it well; she thinks Mal is crazy for wanting to go away, and that she'll just be running away from her problems. The next day at school, Jessi has also decided that Mary Anne is her new personal therapist, which puts Mary Anne in a tough position. It's especially difficult because Jessi is still under the impression that Mal isn't sure whether she'll be going or not, and she's already told Mary Anne that she is.

Jessi and Mal aren't getting along at all, so Jessi has no problem calling Mal out in the middle of a BSC meeting, asking her for her decision about Riverbend. Mallory finally admits that she's going....and Jessi totally picks up on the fact that Mary Anne already knew. Both Mallory and Jessi leave the meeting early.

The club tries to force them to talk to each other by scheduling them for a job together at the Barrett-DeWitt house, but it doesn't work. They also drag Mallory along to a slumber party that Jessi's having in honor of some of her visiting Dance NY friends (she was invited before they started fighting), but Mal and Jessi end up fighting again, and Mal leaves early. Of course, both of them have to vent to Mary Anne later. Finally, she gets sick of it and gets both of them to come to her house. Jessi admits that she's been so ridiculous because she doesn't want Mal to leave, and Mal admits that she hasn't been talking to Jessi about Riverbend because it's going to be hard for her to leave her best friend behind. They hug, and all is well.

Subplot[]

The Stoneybrook Manor Christmas decorations are ugly and broken, so the BSC and their charges make more. They also hold a holiday celebration for the residents.

Characters[]

Mary Anne's Family

BSC Members

Kids

Pre-Teens

Adults

Locations[]

Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • The Broadway Musical Cats
  • Ladybug Magazine
  • Ranger Rick Magazine

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]

Continuity

  • Boo-Boo dies sometime before the events of this book, during the events of Karen's Movie Star and Pumpkin is mentioned.
  • Mallory's problems at school are mentioned in the book which started in Kristy in Charge.
  • In chapter 7, both Stacey's move and her being temporarily gone, Dawn moving back to California, and Mallory leaving the BSC because she has mono has all been brought up.
  • On page 88 the events of Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter are recapped briefly.

Inconsistencies

  • The kids make holiday decorations for Stoneybrook Manor, however, Ms. Colman's class already made new holiday decorations in Karen's Angel.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

Being stuck in the middle is never much fun, especially when two best friends are fighting. If you do find yourself stuck in the middle, as Mary Anne was when Jessi and Mal were fighting, try to remain as impartial as possible and try not to take sides. If you do take sides, you’re bound to alienate one friend, and two against one never looks fair. When Mary Anne got stuck in the middle, she did take sides at first. Then she found a better approach. She listened to both of her fighting friends and encouraged them to talk to each other. Remember — the fight is really your friends’ problem, not yours, and ultimately it’s up to them to work things out.

Trivia[]

  • Claire subscribes to Ladybug and Nicky gets Ranger Rick, both of which are real magazines, both of which are still in print in 2021.
  • Mallory gets a full writing scholarship to Riverbend Hall Boarding School.
  • Margo thinks that Mallory has a chubby face.
  • Mary Anne thinks that Stacey is growing up a little faster then the rest of the BSC.
  • Jessi hosts a party at her house.
  • Mallory says that sometimes she feels like one of the kids at home, spaz girl at school, and has no real job in the BSC.
  • Mary Anne was the first to know that Mallory got into Riverbend.
  • Abby teaches the Hobart boys about Hanukkah.
  • Jessi and Mallory leave in the middle of a BSC meeting.
  • Mary Anne has a phone conversation with Dawn in this book.
  • Mallory celebrated Kwanzaa with the Ramseys before.
  • Maritza and Tanisha thought that Mallory leaving for Riverbend was cool.
  • Something about Erica Blumberg bugs Abby.
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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