Recap #15 – Mother’s Helper by A. Bates


Title: Mother’s Helper

Author: A. Bates (Auline Bates)

Published: August 1991

Tagline: Rock-a-bye-bye-baby . . .

Description: Her dream job is about to turn into a nightmare.

Becky can hardly believe it. Spending the summer as a mother’s helper on a romantic island, earning money for college and working on her tan at the same time – what a lucky break!

Too bad . . . Becky’s luck is about to change.

Soon the accidents will start happening – and the phone calls. Suddenly Becky’s island paradise will seem more like a prison. Becky will be plenty scared then. Mother’s helper is going to need all the help she can get.

Nostalgia Time!

That description is bullshit. There are no accidents, and the phone calls are literally just the phone ringing over and over – Becky never answers the phone. Nothing fucking happens in this book until the end.

Wait, that’s not how I usually start these recaps, is it? K. Sorry. Let’s try this again.


This book was released the month I turned ten. I probably didn’t read it that early, I’d say it was probably a couple years after that, although I do seem to be able to picture myself reading this in the house I lived in when I was ten, so it’s anyone’s guess. I didn’t remember this one very well, or else I probably wouldn’t have bothered rereading it. I think I’ve been putting off writing this recap, not only because I’ve been sick (which I have – goddamn respiratory flu won’t let go of me) but also because I know I’m not going to have fun writing the recap of this damn book. It’s not even fun-bad; it’s just fucking boring.

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Recap #14 – The Evil Child by M.C. Sumner


Title: The Evil Child (Baby-sitter’s Nightmares #2)

Author: M.C. Sumner

Published: June 1995

Tagline: He’s watching you . . .

Description: A kid who likes games . . . deadly games.

William is different from the other kids Toni’s had to baby-sit for. He’s smart – too smart. And he can build things – deadly things. And if Toni isn’t careful, William may test his wicked inventions on her.

Nostalgia Time!

Full disclosure, guys – I’m a sucker for the evil child trope. I don’t know what it is, but if it’s an evil child story, sign me up! This one came out in June of 1995, meaning I would have been a couple months away from my 14th birthday, so that’s probably right around the time I would have read it. I usually grabbed all the new teen thrillers off the book shelves at Kmart and Target not too long after they were released. I didn’t remember too many specifics until I started rereading it, then it all came flooding back and I remembered the end – which is a kind of wild and ridiculous ending that I want so badly to tell y’all about right now, but I don’t want to spoil it yet. I hate spoilers. We’ll get there when we get there. Anyway, here we have a book I really enjoyed reading even now, as an adult, and it features a likable protagonist who actually makes smart decisions and doesn’t immediately jump to wild conclusions, panic, or be completely oblivious to weird things going on around her. And she’s written by a male author, too, so good on you, Mark Sumner! This is a book where not much of anything menacing happens for a good two thirds of it, then it goes 0-100 in the last 50 pages or so. The not-much-happening portion of the book lets us get to know Toni better, though, and since she’s so likable it doesn’t feel like pointless padding or wasted time.

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