What stands out for me about this one isn’t so much the book, as it is the cover
When I had my BSC birthday party, I used the cover of this book on the invitation. We changed the title to say “Super Special 11,” since it was my 11th birthday. And at the time, there hadn’t been an eleventh super special, so I thought it made sense or something.
As for the rest of it….I don’t think it was one of my favorites. I’m from New Jersey, so had been to New York City often enough that it didn’t excite me. I liked it better when they were going off to California or the Bahamas or other cool places I hadn’t been, but wanted to.
Claudia wants to take art classes at the Fine Arts League of New York (which doesn’t seem to actually exist). It is some school where anyone can take a class for any length of time, so she asks her parents if she can take classes during her next school vacation. Somehow, Mr. McGill invites her to stay with him while Stacey is visiting for a two week school vacation, and her parents say okay. Then, for some inexplicable reason, he invites the rest of the BSC. So, of course they all come (minus Logan and Shannon). Since, Mr. McGill has an apartment, half of them end of staying at Laine’s. I don’t know why her parents agreed to that, they just did. Anyway, Claudia decides to keep a journal of the book, and asks her friends to provide notes as well. Thus, a Super Special is born.
Mallory decides to take the classes too, since she wants to illustrate books someday. There is some famous artist, MacKenzie Clarke (who also doesn’t seem to exist) teaching the class so they are both nervous/excited. Surprisingly to both girls, Mr. Clark compliments Mal’s drawings and keeps critiquing Claudia. The girls fight about it, but eventually we find out that he was pushing Claudia to try harder because she had talent, but didn’t focus enough. And I guess he was complimenting Mal to be nice, but didn’t really expect great things from her (he sort of says this too). But Mal decides she does care because she doesn’t want to be a great artist, she just wants to make cute sketches to go in children’s books. And Claud, vows to concentrate and become great.
Because we need to involve kids, Stacey and Mary Anne get a sitting job for the children of some ambassador/diplomat types from England. They keep seeing a guy following them and think he wants to kidnap the kids, but find out from the parents he is just their bodyguard.
Kristy finds a stray dog, sneaks it into Laine’s apartment, then finds out she can’t bring it home (from a surprise denial by Watson). Laine’s parents find the dog and make her start looking for a new home for it. She eventually does, this little boy and his family. It is about is uninteresting as it sounds.
Jessi goes to the ballet and meets a guy, who is also a dancer. The guys he knows harass him for taking ballet lessons. Because of this, he doesn’t want to audition for Juliard, even though his teacher thinks he could get in. But, Jessi talks him into it. She is also totally into him and he gives her her first kiss. They promise to stay in touch.
Dawn turns into a little scardy-cat as soon as she sets foot in New York. She thinks she is going to get attacked every where she goes, so she refuses to leave the apartment. She just sits around cleaning Mr. McGill’s kitchen. Kristy hangs out with her for awhile, but then gets bored with it and goes sightseeing on her own. Then Dawn meets this guy who lives upstairs and they start to hang out. He convinces her to go outside and see the city He even gets her to eat a Godiva chocolate. So, by the end of the trip she is a little more relaxed and willing to go out with the rest of the BSC. Interestingly enough, we don’t hear about the guy in later books, even though we see them exchanging letters in the epilogue chapter.
- I know I missed this as a kid. In one of Claud’s “journal entries” she talks about how Mary Anne keeps singing “New York, New York! A Wonderful Town!” Then Stacey cut in saying “doesn’t it go, “New York, New York! A H--- “ That is probably the closest thing the books ever got to a curse.
- Claudia calls Kristy less mature then the rest of them, but I don’t really think that’s true. She is less interested in boys then them, but I think she is more mature in other ways.
- When the BSC gets on the train to New York, all their families accompany each of them. Does that seem realistic? Wouldn’t it be easier for say, Watson and Nannie to stay home with the kids while Kristy’s mom drives her to the train station?
- Mary Anne is totally going to be a travel agent when she grows up. Or maybe a travel writer.
- These kids Mary Anne and Stacey sit for are always dressed in matching fancy outfits like sailor suits or something. If people really may try to kidnap them, perhaps their parents should try putting them in something that will blend in.
- Dawn claims she doesn’t sleep at all because she is scared of the fire escape outside the window, but Stacey catches her sound asleep.
- Does anyone have any idea what “Boontsie” refers to? It is Stacey’s dad’s “baby nickname” for her.
- When looking at the dog Kristy found, Laine says it is going to have to “go piddle.” I thought my grandmother was the only one in the world who used that term.
- I am actually surprised Watson wouldn’t let Kristy keep the dog. Doesn’t he let Karen get a rat at some point? And a fish? And anything else she wants?
- In one of Claud’s journal entries she tells us how she knows she spells the name of famous places/artists “wright” because she looked them up.
- In this class Claud and Mal take, they have a “field trip” to Rockefeller Center to sketch the plaza. So, they all meet at the school and take the subway as a group. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have everyone meet there?
- This books talks about “Late Night With David Lettermen” being filmed at NBC studies in New York, and I totally thought it was an error. Then I realize in 1991, that was accurate.
- After Jessi meets Quint, the male ballerina, she wants to go to his house and Laine gets all nervous about it being a bad idea to go alone. First she says that her mother would say the same about her, but then she decides she is old enough to act as chaperone for Jessi.
- For some reason, I always think of the guy’s name as “Quaint Walker” and not “Quint “Walter.”
- So, Laine tells Kristy a dog isn’t allowed, because her parents have always said “no pets.” But Kristy thinks this means the building doesn’t allow animals, and whenever they take the dog out, she makes Jessi ask the door man for directions to distract him, which makes Jessi look like an idiot.
- This guy Dawn meets is apparently so punctual you can set your watch by him. Literally. Dawn counts down to the second he will ring the door bell. It is kind of creepy.
- I hate when Dawn complains about people forcing her to eat chocolate. At least she admits the Godiva was good though (although, not out loud). Usually, she just talks about ruining her teeth.
- The back cover talks about how “Dawn eats her way through the city.” I think I am only now realizing that is literally referring to how she tries a bunch of food. When I was little I thought it was some metaphoric way of describing how she got over her fears.
- Kristy puts a flier up looking for someone to adopt the dog she found. This kid calls, and she just goes over to his apartment. This bothers me at two levels. One, she didn’t talk to an adult? How does she know his parents are okay with it? Two, a few chapters earlier, we got the speech for Laine about how her parents still check out her friends before letting her go there alone. But Kristy just walks off by herself to a random apartment?
- Stacey and Mary Anne had a few days off from sitting. When they go back to work, Stacey talks about how they plan to go to FAO Schwartz, since Rowena (the little girl) hadn’t been there yet. But how do they know her parents didn’t take her in the days they were off?
- I think it sucks that these diplomat people didn’t tell Mary Anne and Stacey they had a bodyguard following them. They claim they didn’t want to make them nervous, but what do you call seeing a creepy guy following you?
- Laine’s father is really nice. Not only does he let four friends of Stacey’s (not his own daughter’s) stay at his house for two weeks, but he gets them free tickets to a Broadway show, dinner at some fancy restaurant, and a limo for the night. Granted, he is supposed to be a rich Broadway producer and likely did not have to pay very much out of pocket for these.
- Claudia thinks the divider in the limo is to give the driver privacy. I think it is the other way around, Claud.
- I totally want these awesome mirrors they find. One laughs when you look into it and one screams.
- At the show, Claud drops M&Ms on the floor and one lands on a lady’s show. This somehow makes everyone hysterical and so they keep laughing during the show. It is actually typical 13-year-old behavior.
- When they come home, the Pike kids use their fancy computer that “does graphics” to make a sign welcoming everyone home, complete with a statue of liberty and an outline of Connecticut.
- Meanwhile Kristy’s family shows up in shirts with “Thomas” printed on the front and “Brewer” written on the back. They got Charlie and Sam to wear those? In public?
- Oh, I remember this too. Jessi’s dad uses the phrase “OINY…Only in New York.”