Ciara's Reviews > Kristy and the Walking Disaster

Kristy and the Walking Disaster by Ann M. Martin
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Mar 01, 10

bookshelves: kids-books, read-in-2010
Read in February, 2010

hated this book as a kid, hate it as an adult. this is the one where kristy starts her ragtag softball team, kristy's krushers (although obnoxious brat karen brewer insists on spelling it, "kristy's crushers," because she is all about proper spelling). her team consists of kids too young or uncoordinated or otherwise unfit for little league, including jamie newton (afraid of the ball), calire pike (prone to baseball-related tantrums), david michael thomas (a klutz), jake kuhn (chubby), matt braddock (deaf...& this prevents him from joining little league how, exactly, in a way that wouldn't result in a lawsuit?), gabbie perkins (two & a half years old), etc. & let's not forget poor jackie rodowsky, the titular "walking disaster". kristy spends a lot of time observing that jackie's sneakers are untied, his jeans ore muddy, his hair is mussed, there's a hole in his t-shirt, etc. uh...he's a seven-year-old boy. lay off! poor jackie. the sitters are so mean to him. he does "disastrous" things like hit a home run into the woods so the ball is lost (dude, at least he hit a home run!), fouling the ball so it breaks a window at the school (which, if it were that easy for a seven-year-old to do that, the ball field is probably too close to the school & it's not really jackie's fault), tossing the bat & knocking the legs out from under the refreshment table at the big game (the refreshment people should have set up further away--i mean, how far can a little kid really throw a bat?), etc. they just never cut him any slack.

the other part of the plot involves the krushers' rivalry with another ragtag softball team, bart's bashers. the bashers are generally older, better players, & all boys. they are just a smidgen too young for little league, i guess. it seems unsporting for the bashers to even play against the krushers, but true to the formula of all underdog sports fables everywhere, the bashers underestimate the krushers' tenacity & determination, & krushers fight to win & nearly succeed. & it's the nearly-winning that really matters to the krushers, who are delighted to not have been defeated & ground into the dirt.

the bashers are coached by bart taylor, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives in kristy's neighborhood. kristy gets a big crush on him. but she is not impressed when bart & some of his bashers check out a krushers practice session & make fun of some of her players. they call jake a "fatso" (that's sad! leave the fat kids alone!) & matt a "dummy" (that is beyond the pale--i would have smacked the ugly right off those bashers). kristy is disturbed by the fact that bart doesn't seem to notice his players fucking with her team & her crush fades. good for kristy! but it comes back later when he offers to walk her home.

& thus begins the sad fact that we have to deal with at least a little boring softball crap in every single kristy book for the rest of the series. horrifying. but perhaps this is why i joined a softball team myself when i was eight. in our first big game, the pitcher hit me in the knuckles with the ball & broke one of my fingers. i never lifted a bat again.
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