Sunday, 25 November 2012

1990s Nostalgia: Jessi Ramsey

As regular followers will know, I did a short piece on BSC character Mallory Pike recently. I've decided to follow that one up with a piece on her best friend, Jessi Ramsey.

Jessica "Jessi" Ramsey was the seventh person to join the Babysitters Club (not counting associate members Logan Bruno and Shannon Kilbourne,) and first appeared in Hello Mallory as the new girl in Stoneybrook. Her family had bought Stacey McGill's old house and at first had some difficulty settling in as they were the first black family to settle in the predominantly white, middle-class Stoneybrook. (I say predominantly as the Kishi family are one notable exception.) This would later lead Jessi to falsely believe that anyone who did not like her was doing so out of racial prejudice, such as when she encounters a standoffish girl at the school winter camp. Jessi was said to be a talented ballerina who practiced in the family basement daily and took weekly lessons in Stamford.

The first novel to by told through Jessi's eyes (and arguably her best,) was number sixteen Jessi's Secret Language, where she babysits a deaf child and commits herself to learning sign language. Most of her novels thereafter proved her to be a responsible, compassionate person. For example she helps to raise money for a child who has cancer, teaches a child television star some valuable life lessons and helps a friend and fellow ballerina who has an eating disorder. Other adventures include taking up synchronized swimming and feeling betrayed when her best friend Mallory left for boarding school.

Jessi eventually left the Babysitters Club to concentrate on ballet. She appeared in the Friends Forever series as a minor character.