juvenile fictionBaby-sitting Is a Dangerous Job by Willo Davis Roberts
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Subjects: Kidnapping—Juvenile fiction; Babysitters—Juvenile fiction
Book Lists: Middle School, Reluctant Readers

Props: Lipstick, powder

Darcy knew the minute she saw the Foster kids that she wasn’t going to like being their baby-sitter. They were rich and had a huge, beautiful house, but they were spoiled brats and there were three of them. Darcy hadn’t baby-sat three children before. She was just ready to say that she couldn’t do it, when Mrs. Foster told her what she’d pay—twice Darcy’s usual rate. So, she said OK, that she’d be back tomorrow at 1. If she’d known what was going to happen, though, she would have stuck to her first thought—(Shake head no) NO!!

The first afternoon of baby-sitting started off just fine. She was reading to them, when she realized that Shana, the 2 ½ year old, wasn’t with them. She found her at her mother’s dressing table covered with lipstick, rouge, eye shadow, and powder. (Hold up lipstick and powder) While she was cleaning that up, Jeremy, 6, went into his father’s study and called his uncle in Hawaii. Melissa, 4, told her that the housekeeper kept most of the doors locked so the children couldn’t get into the other rooms.

The housekeeper had told her that there were tuna sandwiches for lunch, but nobody wanted them. They refused to eat them. They wanted bacon and tomato. Jeremy convinced Darcy that he knew how to cook bacon in the microwave. He took a plate, dropped a pound of bacon on it, stuck the whole thing in the oven and turned it on. They could hear it cooking, but then they began to smell it burning. Darcy opened the microwave and grease was pouring out and yellow globs of melted plastic was all that remained of the dish. The bacon was either burned or not cooked. Then a man from the gas company came by. He wanted to come in to fix something. He had on coveralls, but there was nothing that said gas company on his clothes. Her mother had told her not to let anybody in that she wasn’t sure about, so she didn’t. The gas company man was mad and said he’d be back with the police. But that afternoon was really good compared to what happened the second day.

The kids were all outside in the backyard when she got there. So they stayed out there and played. But then suddenly Jeremy was gone. Darcy was looking for him when the burglar alarm went off. She didn’t know if he had set it off or not. The police came and they couldn’t find a burglar but they said it looked like somebody had tried to get in by the garage door but hadn’t been able to. They said everything was OK. A while after they had left, Darcy suddenly heard the garage door go up. She thought the housekeeper was home early and walked down the hall to the garage to meet her. That’s when someone grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth so she couldn’t scream. She and the three kids were herded into a car—kidnapped. Three guys jumped into the front seat and were talking about the money they were going to get for the kids. Then one of the guys turned to look at them in the back seat and Darcy said the first thing that came into her mind—“I know you.”—not a good thing to say to a kidnapper if you want to live.

(Hold up book) Baby-Sitting Is a Dangerous Job by Willo Davis Roberts.

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