Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery (The Baby-Sitters Club, #17)” as Want to Read:
Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery (The Baby-Sitters Club, #17)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery (The Baby-Sitters Club #17)

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,900 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening - to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne's even more worried - what kind of spooky thing will happen next?

Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne's
Paperback, 137 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Scholastic (first published January 1st 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery

Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. MartinBaby-Sitters on Board! by Ann M. MartinThe Ghost at Dawn's House by Ann M. MartinClaudia and the Phantom Phone Calls by Ann M. MartinKristy's Big Day by Ann M. Martin
Favorite Baby-sitters Club Books
8th out of 64 books — 9 voters
Matilda by Roald DahlCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteJames and the Giant Peach by Roald DahlFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsburgThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
90s Kids
147th out of 156 books — 49 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,969)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Once upon a time, I mentioned to my sister that this was one of my favorite Baby-Sitters Club books, and that it was a shame that the family copy had been lost. Very soon after--the next day, perhaps--she walked up to me and handed me a new copy, signed by Ann M. Martin herself, which she'd found in a second-hand bookshop. A startling example, perhaps, of whatever cognitive bias it is that makes us likely to find things we've been prompted to look for, which is the theme of the book.

I'm sure the
April Thompson
Nov 29, 2014 April Thompson rated it liked it
Cute installment in the series. Was bothered by the constant bad luck (thought it was overkill), but then it wrapped up nicely in the end.
Jan 29, 2016 Shira rated it it was ok
mary anne doesn't pass on an eeeevil chain letter and eeeevil starts happening around her. coincidental bad luck happens, especially to mary anne. when she receives a ransom-style note (individually cut letters) saying that she needs to wear a bad luck charm (really a mustard seed necklace OR ELSE, she does it. eventually mary anne realizes that cokie mason and grace blume are sending the eeeevil ransom notes (because grace has a crush on logan), and the bsc humiliates them before they can humil ...more
Julie Decker
Jul 08, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was ok
Mary Anne's a bit of a superstitious girl, so when she gets a chain letter and throws it out because her friends convince her to, she regrets it. Coincidentally, she then receives a sinister "bad luck charm" in the mail and is too chicken to defy the accompanying instructions that insist she must wear it. Various unlucky things keep happening to her and around her, and she's convinced she is the target of supernatural rage. How far will she go to appease the wickedness that's targeted her, and c ...more
i'm ashamed to say, i actually got a little bit freaked out reading this alone in my bedroom one night when jared was late coming to bed because he was finishing up a paper. this book definitely creeped me out when i was a kid (apparently i was something of a wuss). i think my adult creepy feelings were like muscle memories from childhood or something.

so. the highlight of mary anne's day is checking the mail. i can relate to this, i enjoy checking the mail--but that's because there's usually som
Jul 08, 2014 Swankivy rated it it was ok
I've always hated mysteries, so I wasn't very excited about reading this one. But then it was worse because the "bad luck" stuff was so contrived in this book. Mary Anne gets a chain letter, throws it out because her friends think it's stupid, and then whenever anything bad happens to her she thinks she's cursed. But then, ridiculously, a girl who apparently wants to steal her boyfriend decides to try to trick her and anonymously sends her a bad luck charm that she's too chicken not to wear. You ...more
Laura Hughes
Jul 11, 2014 Laura Hughes rated it did not like it
Shelves: babysitters-club
Mary Anne ignores a chain letter.

Then mysterious bad things start to happen. Mary Anne receives frightening notes, including a “bad luck charm” which the letter tells her she must wear. Scared, she does as she’s told, until her father tells her that her necklace is just a mustard seed, and she and the gang figure out that their school rival (because that is a thing people have), Cokie Mason, is behind everything. They booby-trap the graveyard to double-cross the double-crossers.

This is a pretty
Jan 19, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing
I think that Ann M. Martin is trying to teach us a lesson: don't be superstitious. In this book, Mary Anne receives a bad-luck chain letter in the mail. She breaks the chain, and all of a sudden she and her friends' luck levels are plunging. However, on page 49, it says that "'... this is all just a big coincidence'". Martin is telling us that even though it may seem like we have bad luck, it's not real. We shouldn't worry. And that's why I liked this book.
I just had to re-read this for Halloween!

I don't know how I never realized as a kid that this plot was recycled in Kristy's Mystery Admirer, though. It's pretty funny that Cokie outs herself in both books, because she would have gotten away with it otherwise.

My favorite part of this book is definitely still the girls reading the occult books. I smile now just thinking of it.
Annabelle Hillside
Oct 11, 2015 Annabelle Hillside rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I don't own it but have read this book. it has been on my wishlist for a long time and I was very happy to even get a chance to get my hands on the book and read it.
Kristine Hansen
Dec 04, 2014 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
A good story about how you can find bad luck if you're looking for it, and what happens when you let fear take over. Didn't expect all that from a Baby Sitters Club book, but hey, the author has always been one to tackle huge subjects. I especially liked the ending.
Apr 20, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Emma was impressed that I remembered what was in the bad luck charm necklace.
Mar 16, 2013 April rated it really liked it
Fantastic books for young girls getting into reading!! Great stories about friendship and life lessons. The characters deal with all sorts of situations and often find responsible solutions to problems.

I loved this series growing up and wanted to start my own babysitting business with friends. Great lessons in entrepreneurship for tweens.

The books may be dated with out references to modern technology but the story stands and lessons are still relevant.

Awesome books that girls will love! And the
Jun 07, 2007 jacky rated it liked it
I read about 20-25 of these books. I read them in fifth and sixth grade. I strongly remember wanting to read these because they seemed cool and my older sister read a few of them. I remember that our library had a little display of them and I also bought a lot of them through the book catalogs we got at school. I remember most strongly the set up of the books; each book started explaining the club and describing each of the members. I also strongly remember the covers.
Delicious Strawberry
Nov 14, 2012 Delicious Strawberry rated it really liked it
Shelves: ann-m-martin
Despite Mary Anne's sweet and shy personality, she has gained rivals because girls are jealous that she has a boyfriend (Logan) You know what they say, haters gonna hate. So they decide to screw around with Mary Anne by making her believe that she has been cursed with bad luck. In the end it proves to just be a prank, and the club learns to not take superstition so seriously.
Mar 10, 2013 Natalí rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, oldie, bsc
(Hey, another re-read, and this one I did remembered) I had forgotten chain letters actually existed physically long ago. Though, this book was a bit of let down, as the BSC members seemed quite superstitious about everything that happened around them and where pretty ready to blame it all on one of their own (MA). I did like payback, however ;)
Maria Elmvang
Aren't they a bit too old to be that superstitious? I knew there was no such thing as bad-luck chain letters and charms at a much younger age. I don't mind suspending my disbelief (which you basically have to do anyway with this series, as they usually act WAY older than their years), but this seemed a bit too far out.
Jun 11, 2010 GraceWastheAnswer rated it did not like it
I skimmed through this book, just to see what was happening to the BSC. I don't believe in bad luck, so it didn't interest me. Anne could have just as easily wrote a book about Mary Anne trying to be good, so that Santa would bring her presents. It would have been just as interesting to me.
Idea Smith
Nov 29, 2013 Idea Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: own-this-book
An okayish book signalling an upward trend in the Babysitters Club books. There's more love/boy stuff now onwards and newer kids. The bad luck charm, chain letters and Halloween Hop bits are fun. I'm finding it slightly abrupt though, Mary Anne's transition from wallflower to center of storm calm.
Sarah B
Aug 14, 2010 Sarah B rated it really liked it
So, if someone sent you a bad luck charm, would you wear it? No? Well, neither would i? Mary Anne Spier is an entirely different kettle of fish. This book introduced me to the concept of holding one's breath while passing a graveyard.
May 15, 2009 Sally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, bsc
Ahh, the one with the chain letter! And the weird necklace! I kind of enjoyed this one, even though I wasn't silly enough to believe that Mary Anne's "bad luck" was due to her ignoring the letter's instructions.
Tara Calaby
Sep 10, 2015 Tara Calaby rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
I was already a bit too old by the time the Babysitters Club books started appearing in our school book club options, but I enjoyed the early books in the series nonetheless.
Jun 10, 2012 Noora rated it liked it
Shelves: nuortenkirjat
Samaa tuttua linjaa, yhdessä ollaan ja kaikilla on kivaa. Kirjaan on vaikea suhtautua neutraalisti, kun tietää olevansa kohderyhmää vanhempi... Mutta nuortenkirjaksi silti hyvä.
Sep 29, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bsc
Sarah Smith
Apr 15, 2013 Sarah Smith rated it liked it
I loved the series as a kid. I never read them in order because the library didn't have all of them. I think my favs were the Super Specials.
Jun 19, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
Once again Martin has penned a misnomer. There's no "mystery" here, Mary Ann is simply going through a streak of bad luck.
Aug 06, 2008 Rhiannon1220 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-as-a-kid
This whole series is great for girls between 11-15 years old. I read every last one of them as I was growing up.
Oct 28, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
A good series that I enjoyed as a child.I would recommend this to children as I still remember the story to this day.
May 23, 2013 Grace rated it liked it
It was okay.
The only really-really good BSC books I've read so far were the super-specials and super mystery.
Amy Holcomb
Oct 14, 2013 Amy Holcomb rated it it was ok
I didn't like this one so much because it was about chain-letters (and who likes those???).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 98 99 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6)
Ann Matthews Martin was born on August 12, 1955. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with her parents and her younger sister, Jane. After graduating from Smith College, Ann became a teacher and then an editor of children's books. She's now a full-time writer.

Ann gets the ideas for her books from many different places. Some are based on personal experiences, while others are based on childhood me
More about Ann M. Martin...

Other Books in the Series

The Baby-Sitters Club (1 - 10 of 132 books)
  • Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1)
  • Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-sitters Club, #2)
  • The Truth About Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club, #3)
  • Mary Anne Saves the Day (The Baby-Sitters Club, #4)
  • Dawn and the Impossible Three (The Baby-Sitters Club, #5)
  • Kristy's Big Day (The Baby-Sitters Club, #6)
  • Claudia and Mean Janine (The Baby-Sitters Club, #7)
  • Boy-Crazy Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club, #8)
  • The Ghost at Dawn's House (The Baby-Sitters Club, #9)
  • Logan Likes Mary Anne! (The Baby-Sitters Club, #10)

Share This Book