The only thing I really can remember about this book is the end. But I don’t think that is fair to say, because I only “remember” it because someone mentioned it in my post about the Shadow Lake Super Special.
I do know it was this book where the title changed. In some early book the “coming soon” list had #35 listed as “Stacey and the New Kids on the Block,” and then that book never showed up. So, I was always really confused because, not only did the title change, but there is no way the plot of this book could have been called “New Kids on the Block.” I once found this explanation,
(Scroll to #35), but I don’t know how accurate it is.
Let’s see. Charlotte Johanssen is staying with Stacey for a week while her parents are out of town. This somehow constitutes a sitting job, even though Mrs. McGill is clearly doing a lot of the “sitting.” But whatever.
There is some old house in town being torn down and Stacey and Charlotte walk by it. They see things that are “weird” to the BSC, but clearly have reasonable explanations in the context of a house that construction workers are preparing to tear down: some noises coming from inside, flies by the door, flames by a window, etc. But these girls are never reasonable, and they decide this is a “mystery.” Then Kristy finds an old map and thinks the house (and half of Stoneybrook) was built on a graveyard?!? You would think they would know if their town was built on a graveyard. Those stories tend to get around. Regardless, the discovery reminds everyone else in the BSC of weird things that happened to them by the house. Most of these weird things are dreams, but that does not seem to matter
Stacey and Charlotte start to have nightmares about the house too, and they end up tracking down the guy who used to own it in a nursing home. He tells them a bunch of ghost stories that even the BSC is smart enough not to believe. I mean, one of the ghosts is actually called “old rubbernose.” They are really lame, but the old guy likes telling them, so they are nice and listen.
Stacey keeps thinking things are weird until the day the house is supposed to get torn down. When it does, nothing happens. But Sam and Charlie Thomas talk to some construction workers and explain away all the not-at-all-weird stuff that happened. Oh, and the old guy dies, but not before writing a letter admitting to Stacey he made all the stories up, but that he had a lot of fun talking to her and her friends.
- Let’s start with a Stacey outfit: “A white jumpsuit, layered over a blue tank top. I had on white push down socks with blue hearts all over them, a wide blue patent leather belt, a wild necklace made of all kinds of sea creatures in a rainbow of colors.”
- Later in the book, Stacey actually wears the same jumpsuit with a pink shirt and red socks. She knows that the red and pink is a mistake. I do like when they wear repeat clothing though, because, it is pretty realistic. No 13-year-old has 365 unique outfits.
- When she is in New York, Stacey is tempted to ask her dad to buy her a “purple suede jacket cropped short at the waist and covered with fringe up the arms and back.” Um, why? Although, I guess I can actually see that being in style in the eighties.
- Stacey puts Raggedy Ann sheets on the bed when Charlotte comes to stay with her….I totally remember that part. And I kind of love how Ms. Sophistication still has her little kid sheets, even though she has moved three times since she turned eleven and would have several chances to clean out kiddie stuff like that if she wanted.
- Stacey teachers Charlotte to play War (the card game) and then gets bored every time she has to play it. Serves her right, it is like if you teach a five year old shadow, then get annoyed when they keep playing it with you.
- 13-year-olds seeing the Amityville Horror?
- After this book, they never really mention the thing about the town being built on a graveyard. Even if the house was on “the most sacred spot,” shouldn’t they be concerned about more than one house?
- Stacey talks about seeing Gary Rockman, some fictional movie star. What happened to Cam Geary?
- Dr. Dellenkamp. Oooh, continuity. I only remember that cause I JUST read about her in Dawn’s Wicked Step-sister. I am not THAT obsessed with remembering these details.
- Stacey is embarrassed because when she takes Charlotte to the doctor she picks up an issue of Highlights (remember, that magazine?) and some hot guy who is there with his little brother sees her). They always have to work in the boy crazy angle, don’t they?
- This is actually kind of awesome. Charlotte doesn’t want to take her medicine, so Stacey pulls out her diabetes needles and is all, “listen brat. This is what I have to do to myself every day. So, why don’t you stop wining about a little penicillin?” Okay, she says it nicer. But it is a good technique.
- I guarantee you if Laine became a detective she would not solve the case of “does Elvis’s ghost haunt the Hard Rock Café. I picture Laine more like Veronica Mars meets Gossip Girl.
- Claudia uses library books to find the name of the old owner of the house, but can’t think to look in the yellow pages to see if he still lives in town.
- More Stacey outfits: “I had worn a pink polka-dotted short skirt with suspender straps and had worn it with an oversized white T-shirt. I had on my pink high-top sneakers folded down to show their striped lining. I’d also worn these great earnings Claud had given me for my last birthday. They had these little pink plastic hearts dangling down from one bigger hear. ….I do like the color pink”
- The Pikes put on a Wizard of Oz play and make Dawn play the Wicked Witch. Maybe those kids do have brains.
- When the house is destroyed, Stacey hallucinates it is in flames and sees the old guy from the nursing home in there. Then she has a feeling that she has to go see him, and when he gets there, he has died in his sleep. I am not sure if they are trying to say she was having some kind of psychic vision or what. It is odd.
- When the Johanssen’s come home Char keeps talking about the mystery and Stacey is all…don’t worry all in good fun, even though Charlotte had been having nightmares the whole time. So the Johansens are yet another family added to the list of people whose children have horrible experiences with the BSC and still keep calling.