Episode 020: Kristy and the Walking Disaster!

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Despite being the eponymous Walking Disaster, Jackie Rodowsky plays less of a central role in this book than you’d otherwise expect. He’s there, of course, but so are the 19 or so other babysitting charges who make up Kristy’s Krushers – a rag-tag softball team that is the product of another of Kristy’s “Great Ideas” when she realizes the kids in the neighborhood want to play softball, but maybe can’t otherwise do so for various reasons (most of which relate to being embarrassed about their skills). It’s a light book where we get to spend time with characters we love without any significant deep dive into any character or topic, which is sometimes a nice break in the BSC series. This is the book that introduces Bart Taylor, a very, very, very cute boy (according to Kristy) who has another rag-tag softball team in the neighborhood (although their so-called rag-tag-ness is called into question in our discussion here). We get a nice look into Kristy and Watson’s growing relationship, albeit without much build-up in the prior books to indicate that they are getting closer and more familial. We discuss some of the problematic positions taken in this book (in particular, the condemning of the use of the word fatso, but not of the underlying opinions that being fat is bad, and Bart’s complete failure to apologize for the Bashers’ bullying of Matt Braddock for being deaf), while positing an alternate telling with more focus on Kristy and Bart’s interactions along with brainstorming fanfic as to how Charlie is spending his time from 5:30 to 6 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Random side topics discussed also include thoughts on Ann’s writing process, vocabulary lessons, fourth wall-breaking, our personal feelings on loose teeth, purposeful misspellings, and twins in pop culture.

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