The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
This article is about the original novel. For the graphic novel, see Stacey's Mistake (Graphic Novel).

Stacey's Mistake is the 18th book in the original The Baby-Sitters Club series. Stacey invites the BSC to New York but they don't fit in with her NYC friends.

Back Cover Summary[]

Stacey's so excited! She's invited her friends from the Baby-sitters Club down to New York City for a long weekend. It's going to be perfect—a party and a sleepover Friday night, a big baby-sitting job on Saturday, and lots of sightseeing on Sunday.

But what a mistake! The Baby-sitters are way out of place in the big city. Mary Anne sounds like a walking guide book; Dawn's afraid of everything; Kristy can't keep her mouth shut, and Claudia's jealous of Stacey's friends.

Does this mean Stacey can't be the Baby-sitters' friend anymore? Will the Baby-sitters Club fall apart?


Stacey has lived in New York City almost all of her life with the exception of the one year she lived in Stoneybrook, CT. She loves everything from New York (except the vermin), but the one thing the misses is her friends from the Babysitters Club. She had been talking with Claudia about coming to Stoneybrook to visit, but circumstances have changed.

Namely, there is a homeless elderly woman that lives in Stacey's neighborhood, and her name is Judy. Some people call her the "bag lady". Stacey's father thinks that Judy is about forty-two years old, but Stacey thinks Judy is a hundred due to what she looks like. Stacey and Judy are good friends with each other, and Judy calls Stacey "Missy". When Judy is in a good mood and Stacey is going home from school, they smile and say hello. When Judy is angry, she will stand on the sidewalk, shouting stuff for hours, when she's done, she'll mumble stuff until she feels better.

So, the parents (even Stacey's) of ten children of the neighborhood decided to hold a fundraiser to help the homeless and Judy find homes, quite a few of them asks Stacey to take care of their children, and Stacey feels bad she has to turn most of them down.

Stacey gets home, greeting Isaac, the doorman of her apartment building, and the phone rings soon after--it's a neighbor, Mr. Reames, asking if she'll babysit his four year old daughter, Leslie. She turns him down saying she's already booked and that she's had to turn down three other parents. She hangs up, then gets an idea. She goes to her mother and reminds her of when the BSC baby sat fourteen children during the preparations for Watson and Elizabeth Brewer's wedding.

She points out there's ten children across five families that need babysitting during the fundraiser, and that if her friends came into town, they could have enough people to babysit them all--they all have the Friday off from school due to a teacher's conversation both in New York and Stoneybrook and could stay for the three day long weekend. Her mother Maureen is skeptical of having four guests instead of just Claudia, but agrees if Stacey gets her father's permission. When her father gets home she explains everything and he agrees, offering the suggestion that she also hold a party Friday night so her New York and Connecticut friends can meet.

Two weeks pass and the visiting weekend comes. The visit gets off to a rocky start, though; Stacey arrives at Grand Central Station and can't find them, because the others get lost in Grand Central Station, due to their train (New Haven) being late. it takes Stacey twenty minutes to find them.

When she does, they happily reunite and Kristy explains they got lost. Mary Anne pulls out a city map. Stacey yells at her about what she's doing and to put the map away, saying it makes her look like a tourist--to which Mary Anne says she is. Stacey snatches the map way and says she's not, and people shouldn't know where they're going because they will be easy targets. Dawn then asks what they would be targets for, and Stacey almost says before saying never mind. She then asks why Claudia has such a large suitcase to which Claudia says it's her clothes for the next two days. Stacey, more irritated, asked where they went anyways and Kristy says they just kept following people after they disembarked. Stacey is upset they would have walked right by the information booth, but drops the subject and asks what they should do first.

Mary Anne starts rattling off factoids about various places around the city, sounding just like a tourist's guide; Kristy says she talked like that during the entire train ride. As Mary Anne mentions Hard Rock Cafe, Dawn worries if it's in a safe neighborhood, to which Stacey asks if she's okay. Dawn says she is but she's never been to New York before and a lot of things could happen--she was listening to the news and heard about two murders and a building collapse. Kristy mocks her by yelling that someone fell down a sewer and was then eaten by rats and alligators--and then at Dawn's panic has to say she made that up.

Dawn is still fretful and lists various other problems such as vermin, pickpockets, and purse snatchers. Stacey nervously says they should go to Union square and hop on a bus to get there, but Claudia points out her suitcase. Stacey says they have to go back to the apartment and drop it off, and Claudia suggests putting in a locker to which Stacey says that can't be done; they'll have to take a cab to the apartment building--and pay the cab driver a huge tip for the luggage--and then take the bus to Hard Rock Cafe. Claudia exhaustively says she'll pay for the cab. While they're outside loading the suitcase Dawn sees a rat in the trash nearby and gasps, making everyone turn and everyone (but Stacey) scream at the sight. In the cab ride back Dawn looks ill, Mary Anne is staring out the window, and the others are exchanging nervous looks. Stacey starts to wonder if having the club visit is a big mistake.

After a quick stop at the McGills' apartment to drop off Claudia's over sized luggage, the girls take a bus to Hard Rock Cafe. They make a big fuss over how cool the place is, which embarrasses Stacey and she asks them to be quiet. Mary Anne talks them into buying matching Hard Rock Cafe shirts for each of them and one for Mary Anne's boyfriend, Logan Bruno, at a stand.

But then Kristy babbles rudely to the manager to buy a fill-it-in-mug to more of Stacey's embarrassment. Mary Anne starts talking tourist facts and all the places they can go, by using her guidebook, and Stacey says they can only go one more place before tonight's party with Stacey's classmates from school. Claudia wants to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the others want to go shopping at Bloomingdale's. They then go Bloomingdale's where Claudia gushes over fancy clothes, Kristy makes a scene about the prices, and where Mary Anne accidentally pockets a free sample of makeup, and tries to put it back before she's caught by a security guard and sheepishly asks if she can pay for it.

The girls head back to Stacey's, where they make their way through her apartment building, meeting the ten children they'll be taking care of the next day, starting with four-year old Leslie Reames, who lives in the penthouse of Stacey's apartment, and hates dogs, the Walkers, whose parents are famous (Mrs. Walker illustrates books and Mr. Walker has his own art show), the Upchurchs, which the girls, (Natalie and Peggie) are both into Broadway, the Barreras, whose youngest child, Cissy, hates Leslie, to the Delucas, who just moved into New York, and Stacey made a mental note for the Deluca boys (Dennis and Sean) to stay away from Dawn since they never been to New York before.

Then, it's time to get ready for the party. Mary Anne insists that everyone wear what Stacey tells them (so they can blend in with all of Stacey's sophisticated New York classmates), but in the end, she herself is the only one who doesn't. Laine Cummings, Stacey's New York best friend, arrives early to help set up for the party, and she and Claudia get off to a bad start when Claudia points out Laine was nasty about Stacey's type one diabetes and Laine says Claudia had a fight with Stacey when their "little club" almost broke up. Before Stacey can intervene Mary Anne starts gushing tourist facts at Laine, asking if she's ever met anyone famous living in the Dakota (Laine's apartment). She mentions the late Beatles Member, John Lennon, and Claudia says Stoneybrook has a famous person, also. Stacey, stressed, assigns everyone to start prepping for the party.

The party itself doesn't go well. The Connecticut and New York teenagers aren't mixing, except for Mary Anne. She first bugs the snot out of everyone by reciting her New York facts and then entertains them by describing how terrified Dawn is of everything, shaming Dawn. Kristy manages to make a love connection with Stacey's friend Coby Resse, the best basketball player in Stacey's school, but Claudia cuts in on them when they're just about to enjoy a nice slow dance. By the end of the evening, Dawn is mad at Mary Anne, Kristy is mad at Claudia, Claudia hates Laine, and Laine feels unwanted. There is a large fight, and Laine decides to go home rather than spend the night as she had planned. Stacey angrily assigns everyone to their sleeping spaces, then calls a truce for the next day, to get them through the sitting job.

The next morning dawns bright and sunny. They collect the ten children mid-morning, and head to the Natural History Museum, by walking in two lines like the book Madeline, where twelve children line up in two lines. They lose five-year old Henry Walker, but soon find him pretty quickly; he'd just gone back to see the titanosaur after the rest of the group had moved on.

After lunch in the museum restaurant, they all head to Central Park, where Leslie Reames and Cissy Barrera have a fight in front of old men playing checkers, and Leslie vomiting by an ice cream and Dawn helps her. Then, the children run to the boats to have fun, and then Dennis Deluca mentions Stuart Little, and Stacey is willing to talk about how Stuart Little had came to this very place in New York, then, the children go on the merry-go-round, and then look at the Alice in Wonderland Statue, after that, the children sing a song to thank the babysitters for having the time of their life they had. The parents come and pick up the children, where Henry and Leslie talk about their crazy adventures getting lost and vomiting.

Later that afternoon, after the babysitting job ends, Laine calls. She wants to try again with the BSC (especially Claudia), and invites them out to dinner in a restaurant called Le Restaurant, where Claudia and Laine make up, and a Broadway show of Starlight Express, where it's about a train race and every actor is in roller skates. The babysitters, Laine, and Stacey dress up in their fancy outfits, and the night ends up a success, and Laine and Claudia become friends. They exchange addresses as the limo is dropping the sitters off at the end of the night.

That night, an "emergency" meeting of the club is held, which is a catch up on all the members. Kristy confesses she feels like it's no longer "Watson's house" anymore, and it's now the joint family home, and Dawn says she no longer worries about fitting in because of the "Jeff thing"--Jeff, her ten-year old brother, decided to move back to California to live with his father, after feeling homesick. The club prank calls him, since California is only three hours away. Shortly after that, the babysitters then all confess their parts in their first night and the party not being a success.

The next day, Stacey serves the club members a breakfast of bagels with lox and cream cheese. Her parents return home from church and then they are visited by the Walker children, who have brought their own drawings from yesterday. There's enough time for the BSC to go say goodbye to the other children in the apartment. They then go to the Grand Central Station and Stacey says goodbye to the BSC warning them like her mother to "have fun and be careful", and decides maybe the weekend wasn't so bad after all.


McGill Family Members

BSC Members


  • Leslie Reames - Stacey's New York sitting charge
  • Henry and Grace Walker
  • Natalie, and Peggie Upchurch - Stacey's New York sitting charges
  • Carlos, Blair and Cissy Barrera - Stacey's New York sitting charges
  • Dennis, and Sean Deluca - Stacey's New York sitting charges



  • Judy - Homeless woman who lives on the block near Stacey
  • Mr. and Mrs. Reames - clients of Stacey's
  • Martha - the Reames' maid
  • Mr. and Mrs. Walker
  • Mr. and Mrs. Upchurch - clients of Stacey's
  • Mr. and Mrs. Deluca - clients of Stacey's
  • Mr. and Mrs. Barrera- clients of Stacey's
  • Isaac - Doorman of Stacey's building


  • Stacey's Apartment
  • Central Park
  • Upchurch Apartment
  • Deluca Apartment
  • Reames Penthouse
  • Walker Apartment
  • Barrera Apartment
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Bloomingdale's
  • Natural History Museum
  • Le Restaurant
  • Broadway theater

Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • The book and film Rosemary's Baby
  • The musical Starlight Express
  • Talking Heads
  • David Byrne
  • Chubby Checker, John Lennon, Elvis Presley (singers)
  • Yoko Ono
  • The Doors
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Madeline, Stuart Little, Alice in Wonderland (books)
  • Sesame Street
  • Mary Poppins
  • The New York Times
  • John Lennon
  • Various musicals including The Lion King, Wicked, Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Hadestown, Into the Woods, and West Side Story

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]


  • The pageant from Little Miss Stoneybrook ...and Dawn is mentioned and the BSC tells Stacey about the events.
  • Stacey mentions that she doesn't like seeing people get sick which is first mentioned in Boy-Crazy Stacey.
  • Stacey mentions Watson and Elizabeth's wedding to her parents.


  • In chapter 2, Stacey says Dawn's brother Jeff has gone back to California. But in chapter 14, she seems surprised when Dawn says getting used to Jeff's not being in Stoneybrook is hard for her.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

I loved writing Stacey’s Mistake, the first book in the series that takes place in New York City. Since I’ve lived in New York for a long time, it was lots of fun creating Stacey’s life there—her neighborhood, her friends, her apartment. I love living in New York. It’s so exciting, and there’s so much to do. Like Stacey, I enjoy going to the theater and museums, and I love trying different kinds of food. When I was a kid, I liked reading books that were set in New York City. Some of my favorites were Stuart Little, The Cricket in Times Square, and Eloise. (By the way, Eloise was one of Stacey’s favorite books when she was little). So if you’ve just finished Stacey’s Mistake and you’re ready for another New York adventure, how about trying one of these? From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, or Slake's Limbo.


  • A 2021 reprint was released on November 2.[1]
  • This is one of the few main series books that start with a letter.
  • This is the first book where the BSC goes to New York.
  • Stacey has gotten lost at Bloomingdale's before.
  • Everyone in the BSC gets a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Reames live in the penthouse of Stacey's building. Mr. Reames is the only other person to call Stacey by her full name, Anastasia, and the babysitters are surprised by this.
  • Stacey thinks the Upchurch girls were like her when she was younger.
  • Stacey has been friends with Coby Reese since they were a year old and their mothers are friends.
  • There is not an alarm system in Stacey's building.
  • Mary Anne mentions going to the American Museum of Natural History before.
  • Mary Anne lead the search looking for Henry.
  • Stacey has never lost a kid before.
  • Kristy no longer things of Watson's house as his but theirs.
  • Stacey fantasizes about having a brother or sister.
  • Tigger knows how to take the phone off of the line.
  • Mr. and Mrs. McGill go to church.


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)