Dawn and the Impossible Three

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Dawn and the Impossible Three
Author Ann M. Martin
Series Regular
Tagline Dawn thought she'd be baby-sitting, not monster-sitting
Number of Pages 155
Date Published May 1987
Number in Series 5

Dawn and the Impossible Three is the fifth book in the Baby-sitters Club series.


Plot synopsis

Main plot

Dawn Schafer, as the newest member of the Baby-sitters Club, struggles with adjusting to her new life in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Kristy Thomas is jealous of Dawn's new friendship with Mary Anne Spier, so Dawn tries to impress Kristy and the other girls in the club with her baby-sitting skills.

Secondary plot

The BSC has new clients, the Barretts. The parents are recently divorced, and Mrs. Barrett's house is always a mess. The family comes to depend on Dawn, who is using this as an opportunity to prove that she is a super sitter. Eventually she realizes that she is doing too much for this family and tells Mrs. Barrett to start taking care of her kids and house herself or Dawn is going to quit. This ultimatum comes after Dawn thinks that one of the Barrett children have been kidnapped, but in reality it was just Mrs. Barrett mixing up the days that her ex-husband exercises his visitation rights with the children.

Other plot information

Dawn and Mary Anne redecorate Mary Anne's bedroom. Kristy sees them through the window and joins in. Kristy makes Dawn the official Alternate Officer, after they take turns swinging from a rope in Dawn's barn. Kristy worries about moving into Watson Brewer's house. Mary Anne's father, Richard Spier, gets contacts.

Clients in this book

Other characters

Places in this book

Notable Fashion

  • Margo Pike wears a "big floppy straw hat and a long filmy dress with some beads and scarfs" on her talent show.
  • Mrs. Barrett was wearing a silk blouse, sleek linen suit, brown heels, and some gold jewelry when Dawn came to baby sit for the first time.
  • While playing "Let's All Come In" Andrew wore "a red cap and a blue jacket decorated with gold braid", Hannie wore "a skirt that reached to the floor; large, sparkly high heels with out no toes; a fur stole; and a hat with a veil", and Karen as Mrs. Mysterious all in black.
  • Stacey wears a simple pink T-shirt under a baggy jumpsuit with a big pink and red flowers all over it at the picnic lunch.
  • Jenny Prezzioso wears a pink pinafore over a spotless white dress, white tights and pink Mary Janes.
  • Dawn wears blue jeans shorts and a white T-shirt that says Genius Inside.

Things in this Book


  • Dawn listens to the weather on 1313, WSTO.
  • Karen Brewer is six, and skipped into first grade where she meets Hannie Papadakis.
  • Claudia's handwriting looks different then later in the series.
  • Dawn's mother Sharon doesn't know what to serve at a picnic, even though she grew up in Stoneybrook.
  • Claudia and Stacey use an egg rinse on their hair once a week. On Wednesdays and Sundays they squeeze lemon juice on it, from real lemons. Dawn plans to try an avocado paste on her hair.
  • Mallory makes Byron cry by giving him the bizzer sign.
  • This book was translated into "Diane et Le Trio Terrible" in French by Héritages Jeunesse
  • Was rereleased in December 2010 with a new cover and some minor changes to the text.

Back cover

Dawn's the newest member of the Baby-sitter's Club and everybody's glad -- except Kristy. Kristy thinks things were better without Dawn around. That's why Dawn's eager to take on a big baby-sitting job: It's her chance to show Kristy what she's made of.

What a mistake! Taking care of the three Barrett kids is too much for any baby-sitter. The house is in chaos, the kids are impossible, and Mrs. Barrett never does any of the things she promises. Dawn's got more trouble than she bargained for. But she's not going to give up until all four Barretts are under control and she's friends with Kristy. Or whichever comes first.

The Baby-sitters Club
Preceded by
Mary Anne Saves the Day

Dawn and the Impossible Three Followed by
Kristy's Big Day
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