This is the seventh installment in a series of Baby-Sitters Club character analyses/essays. Turns out, the gals aren’t as rad as we thought they were back in the ’90s.
Before we start, let me make clear that while Mallory herself isn’t my favorite BSC character, I would read a series based on her family, I would watch a movie or sitcom about the Pikes, and would definitely have watched that Christmas reality show they filmed in Mallory’s Christmas Wish.
There are eight Pike children, including triplets, and Mr. and Mrs. Pike ain’t no helicopter parents. They let their kids be creative, have fun outside, and generally enjoy their lives. But the kids are expected to help out too, and so the Pikes are just a general combination of fun and heartwarming goodness, with your occasional sibling brawl.
Mallory’s at the top of the Pike’s children staircase. At age eleven, she’s the oldest and so she had plenty of baby-sitting and care-taking experience even before she joined the BSC. She helped the BSC out on occasions, too, like at the summer camp they hosted in Claudia and Mean Janine. Even so, our dear overlord Kristy only allows her to be a junior member. Oh the indignity. But remember, Mallory’s eleven. She’s in sixth grade. It also takes until Book 14, Hello, Mallory, for her to be allowed a coveted spot on Claudia’s bedroom floor.
Mallory’s defining personality trait is that she enjoys reading and writing. Hey, nothing wrong with that! She and Jessi, her BFF, also love horses, so Mallory reads a lot of Marguerite Henry books (and that one time takes horse riding lessons in Mallory and the Dream Horse, but as we’ll discuss later on athletics really aren’t her thing). And Mallory’s not just one of those pie in the sky writer types, she actually proves herself as a writer, winning a writing competition in Mallory on Strike. Of course, in typical BSC fashion, we have to get to that point by watching Mallory lose her sh*t on her family and, as all baby-sitters must do at some point, consider quitting the BSC to make more time for you know, normal things teenagers and tweens like to do. But she wins, proves her writing chops, and makes up with her family and the BSC.
Now, with all that bookwormishness, one must ask themselves how was it that Mallory managed to contract mono? She sure as heck wasn’t kissing anyone, as we learn in Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) that she’s basically scared of boys, though all throughout Get Well Soon, Mallory, we hear jokes about mono being the kissing disease. Guess that’s just gonna happen when you have four brothers and three younger sisters. However, Mallory’s mono did manage to keep her away from the BSC for an extended period of time. It also scared the crap out of me about mono (anyone else?), as it made it sound like the absolute worse disease you could ever get. And of course, at that time, I had no way to WebMD it to find out there are, in fact, many worse diseases one can get.
Mallory, like Mary Anne, also gets defined by her hair. Hers is red and curly, and as we hear in every book, Mallory just can’t freaking stand it and she wants it straightened. But, again, she’s eleven. So her parents don’t let her. This seems to be the one rule the Pike parents have, and it’s insane given what they let their other kids get away with.
But Mallory’s on the archery team, so if she wants to defend herself, she can. And that’s more than most of the baby-sitters can say.
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Featured image via Social Sneaker