Goodreads Review: “The Baby-Sitters Club #103: Happy Holidays, Jessi”

My third of three Baby-Sitters Club Christmas-themed novels in my mini reading challenge (and 15th of 20 novels in my 2017 reading challenge) is finished!

Happy Holidays, Jessi (The Baby-Sitters Club, #103)Happy Holidays, Jessi by Ann M. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My third of three “Baby-Sitters Club” Christmas-themed novels is now read!

When I was younger, I preferred the Mallory, Dawn, Kristy, and Mary Anne stories over the ones featuring Jessi and Claudia. I’m not sure why, but with the exception of “Jessi’s Secret Language,” she was not my favorite. As an adult, I’ve come realize how I have dance in common with Jessi. Maybe it was because I was not a Ballet dancer at 11 years old, but I have since taken several years of Ballet lessons in my post-BSC reading years.

All of that said, this was my third BSC Christmas novel read since last week. While I came up short by five books in my reading challenge (I’ve got a few more days to go, maybe I can fit in a few before then?), I finished my Christmas reading challenge, so…accomplishment?


“Happy Holidays, Jessi” begins at the beginning of December. The Ramsey family is looking forward to the month ahead, filled with preparing for Christmas and Kwanzaa. The festive mood in the house is brought to an abrupt halt when Aunt Cecilia (Jessi’s dad’s sister) is in a car accident with all three Ramsey children. While Jessi and Becca are unhurt, their brother John Phillip (“Squirt”) is not so lucky. Also on Jessi’s (and the Baby-Sitters Club’s) plate: preparing for Stoneybrook’s first Kwanzaa festival.

Will things begin to look up and revive the holiday spirit for Jessi and her family?

I can’t tell you that, you’re just going to have to read the book!

During the course of the series, the sitters have dealt with tough personal obstacles and sadness, and this was no exception. Jessi’s guilt over her lapse in judgement, her aunt continually making things difficult for the family in the wake of the accident, and the pressures of organizing the Kwanzaa Festival are enough to implode Jessi’s spirit. But like the other members of the club, events like this are merely setbacks for the members to rise above, and strengthen from.

My take: I enjoyed this novel. We all experience some amount of stress during the holidays, which always feels more heightened than it would during a non-holiday time of the year. Throw in a major incident or, worse, tragedy, and watch that normal stress reach epic levels. My dad had emergency surgery the day after Thanksgiving in 2007, and spent six weeks in the hospital and rehab. He had a 30% chance of walking again (he started walking four weeks after his surgery, a few days after Christmas!), and ten years later walks with a cane. It was the saddest and most stressful holiday I’ve ever had in 35 years. I never want to experience another like it. To know Jessi’s story about that one Christmas that she endured that kind of stress (and at a much younger age too – no one should every have to know that kind of tragedy and stress at such a young age!).

As for Aunt Cecilia…man, lighten up!

I love and highly recommend this novel, and not just at Christmastime. It also teaches about Kwanzaa, a holiday I know about, but am not familiar with. so, it educates too.

Happy Holidays, Jessi, and everyone, everywhere!

View all my reviews


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