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

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,355 Ratings  ·  46 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)
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Dec 17, 2015 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
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 23, 2014 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.
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
Logan Hughes
Apr 07, 2013 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
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The first mystery in the series (at least the first one that refers to itself as a mystery), this one finds Mary Anne and the entire BSC overacting to a meangirl prank. I borrowed this book from the library when I was about 10, and I loved it so much I didn't want to give it back. This book is probably the reason I became interested in witch culture, and why I studied to become a solitary practitioner.

Things I remember from reading this as a kid:
The spells the BSC reads about in the library. I d
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, bsc, own, reread
I don't know why I went a month without reading any BSC, but after reading Jessi's Secret Language yesterday and knowing that this gem came next, I couldn't resist.

This is classic BSC. I love the stupid shenanigans with the bad-luck charm, and the cool mature older BSC members being just as freaked out as junior members Jessi and Mal. (Maybe even moreso than them, Mal seemed to keep a pretty cool head.) The part in the graveyard is one of my favourite BSC moments.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay so Mary Anne has a run of "bad luck" after deleting a chain letter and gets a "bad luck" charm that she's told she has to wear...

I have no idea how MARY ANNE especially had no idea what a mustard seed necklace was since those were pretty ding dang prevalent back in the day. I could see maybe Claudia not knowing, but I would think Mary Anne would be the one to say, "Oh Claud.... That's a symbol of faith and not bad luck. Someone's just messing with you."

Anyway...just the latest installment o
I always loved this one when I was a kid! This was before the mystery books in the series really took off, and it was just super creepy and fun. I've always loved ghost stories and scary movies, so this book was right up my alley! Plus, you know, it was the 90s. Chain letters were a legitimate thing.

I especially enjoyed the ending, when they really stuck it to Cokie Mason and Grace Blume. That cemetery scene was so great as a kid, really justified and fun. I still like it today, I have no shame
Elaine Mullane
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I used to love the Babysitter's Club! My friends and I used to swap them between us when I was in primary school. They were so popular at the time, there was a waiting list at the library if you wanted to read them in chronological order! I used to be allowed to buy one book a week on a Friday when I was younger; this was usually an Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Point Horror or one of these! I would love to revisit them at some stage, just for nostalgia's sake!
rishika :)
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: liked-it, real-world
A classic.
Kristine (The Writer's Inkwell)
Posted originally on my blog:
The Writer's Inkwell

Out of the Baby-sitters Club books, I have to admit, this is probably one of my favorites from my childhood. I know it may seem weird, but as a child, I was fascinated with the weird, spooky and creepy things. I lived for horror movies, learning about witches (especially since I grew up in the area near the Belle witch legend) and of course, anything related to Halloween. Mary Anne may not have been a lot like I was when I was little, but this wa
Julie Decker
Jul 08, 2014 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
Apr 22, 2013 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
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bsc
Not my fave. When you portray these 13 year olds as responsible and smart, you'd think that they wouldn't jump to supernatural conclusions so quickly.
Mar 16, 2013 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 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.
Jan 19, 2016 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.
M.M. Strawberry Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Jan 28, 2013 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 ;)
Sarah B
Jun 04, 2009 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.
Kristine Hansen
Nov 15, 2014 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.
May 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bsc, childrens
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.
Ramya (Idea Smith)
Nov 29, 2013 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.
Jun 11, 2010 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.
Feb 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A good series that I enjoyed as a child.I would recommend this to children as I still remember the story to this day.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bsc
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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 131 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)

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“The best way to get this point across is to describe to you what Claudia was wearing at lunch that day. It was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it — cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. Under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. Wait, I’m not done. Claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. The hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. Attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid. Awesome.” 0 likes
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