Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The house had a hold on us……BSC # 35: Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook

Memory Reaction

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.

Revisited Reaction

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.

High/Lowlights

  • 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.

6 comments:

Dawn said...

Everytime I re-read this one I get mad. I feel like I don't get closure!

Anonymous said...

Lol I actually liked this one . . . creeped me out when I was younger. Especially Stacey's hallucination. That was just weird. I have no idea what Ann was trying to do with that . . .

colleenn said...

I just re-read Mary Anne and the Great Romance (I think I mentioned that in the comment to your Dawn's Wicked Stepsister post), and the back of that book has #35 coming soon as Stacey and the New Kids on the Block. I've read the same website with the explanation of it as the one you found. What I didn't know before though is that on that "coming soon" page in Mary Anne and Great Romance, it also says that book #33 is called Claudia and the Mystery of Stoneybrook. It later became Claudia and the Great Search, where Claudia thinks she's adopted. So now I wonder if Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook is just the same book as the original Claudia one but rewritten to be from Stacey's perspective rather than Claudia's. That seems like way too much work (especially because all the Charlotte staying over stuff was probably added in since it wouldn't have made as much sense to have Charlotte staying with Claudia). But then "Mystery of Stoneybrook" seems like a really bad title for a book about Claudia thinking she's adopted. So I'm guessing they must've stuck in Claudia and the Great Search at #33 and then switched this book to a Stacey book so that they could pull the New Kids on the Block book? It just seems like it would be easier to skip a "Stacey rotation" rather than going through all that hassle.

Tara said...

Now that you mention it, I remember being totally confused by the switched titles too... hmm.

I also blame this book in particular for the fact that I was thoroughly convinced I was going to get diabetes for about a year when I was a kid. It's powerful stuff; even now, though I know better, I get a teensy bit nervous when I'm tired and thirsty...

BadKat said...

Maybe ANM got threatened with a law suit from NKOTB so she quick had the ghost pop out this wonder of all wonders. I certainly would have expected Joey Lawrence and Donny Wahlberg to show up in the book if they would have stuck with that title. And I would have demanded that they serenade Stacy with a bit of “Please Don’t Go Girl”. And it would have been a whole lot better than a stupid mystery that isn’t really a mystery and is more like paranoia.

Anonymous said...

As for continuity, Dr. Dellenkamp also is mentioned in "Claudia and the Great Search."