Monday, April 26, 2010

“Here’s to the bachelor girls”….BSC # 86: Mary Anne and Camp BSC

Memory Reaction

I don’t think this was one of my favorites. In fact, I’m sure of it. I remember thinking that it seemed out of character for Mary Anne to be so out of sorts because her dad’s out of town. Although, maybe “out of character” is the wrong word. But it certainly felt like it wasn’t a big enough part of her character to center a book around. I mean, I should be ashamed to admit this, but I sort of wanted to be any and all of the BSCers. And that was because I thought it would be cool to wear crazy outfits, have boyfriends, and go on awesome vacations. Not because I wanted to be sad about missing family members. And I don’t mean that it’s bad for a girl to miss her parents, it just wasn’t something I wanted to read about it.

Other than that, I actually have no recollection of the plot details. Which, must mean I hardly ever reread it, or else I just really didn’t like it.

Revisited Reaction

There isn’t really a whole lot of plot in this one, but here goes. It’s the end of the school year and in BSC-land, summer camps don’t start until a couple weeks into July. This means there will be a lot of kids with nothing to do, and a lot of parents who need childcare. Of course, the BSC comes to the rescue by running a day camp in Mary Anne and Dawn’s backyard. They give it a circus theme, because planning activities for children is much more fun with a theme. They plan on having all the kids practice circus-type acts for a performance to their parents at the end of camp (such as dancing and pretending to be circus animals).

Unfortunately, the campers include Karen and a bunch of her friends – who previously attended a “real” circus camp. These kids also go to private school with Karen, so there’s a bit of a divide between them and the rest of the campers (the BSC’s regular clients, who go to public school). The “real” circus campers act like total brats and are constantly putting down the BSC’s attempt at doing circus activities. And the brats spend so much time doing this, that when the dress rehearsal for the performance comes around, they don’t know what they’re doing. But, the BSC gets them to apologize for their behavior and they manage to rework the show so that they don’t look like idiots.

Meanwhile, Mary Anne’s father’s away on a two-week business trip. Sharon gets excited about getting to be “bachelor girls” and plans to spend the time ordering a lot of take out, renting lots of movies, and not doing housework (as opposed to when she normally takes such pains to put her shoes in the refrigerator, cans of soup on the bookshelf, and mail in the medicine cabinet). However, Mary Anne’s surprised to find that she really misses her dad, and she realizes the two of them have gotten pretty close. Because of this, she doesn’t really feel like going along with Sharon and Dawn’s plans, and even gets annoyed at the dishes piling up. So, she sort of sulks around, until she sprains her ankle by falling off her bike. Then, she mopes and sulks around some more. Mary Anne eventually realizes she’s making herself miserable, and decides to try and have fun. Although by this point, her dad’s on his way home. Once he’s back, she talks to him about how she missed him and he says he’ll attempt to make future trips shorter. And Mary Anne resolves to not act so sulky when he’s away.


  • These girls are so formal at their meetings. Mary Anne and Mallory realize that the kids will have free time at the start of summer and say they’ll “make it club business” for their next meeting. Why not just say, “let’s talk about it at a meeting”?
  • Three-cheese macaroni sounds good, but not exactly something that would be classified as a “health food.” So, why does Dawn want to make it?
  • They keep referring to Karen and her friends going to circus camp, so you know that means it was a Little Sister book. I probably would have liked that, since I was a fan of crossovers, but it was WAY after I outgrew Little Sister books.
  • Karen’s such a brat. She keeps saying how the BSC camp isn’t “real” circus camp. Which, is true. And part of me likes the fact that some kids actually dislike something done by the BSC. But it’s Karen, so I have a hard time enjoying the scenes. Also, it’s just supposed to be fun.
  • You know, as a kid I don’t think I hated Karen as much as some people did. But reading them now? I understand the hate, and this book’s a great example….Karen makes sure none of her friends enjoy themselves with the circus activities. Because it’s not enough to simply dislike something, she has to take the fun away from everyone else.
  • One of the other subplots’s about a little girl named Alicia at the camp (her older brother goes to school with Karen). Alicia’s afraid to leave Mary Anne and Dawn’s yard to walk to the park, because she thinks her mom won’t be able to find her. So, Mary Anne stays at the house with her every day. By the end of camp, Alicia’s fine, so I guess it’s supposed to be some kind of parallel with Mary Anne missing her dad.
  • When the “bachelor girls” decide to rent bad movies, Mary Anne picks Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From her description, I’m guessing this was before the TV series started, which makes me feel so old (since that seems like a long time ago).
  • Dawn gets all excited about ordering pizza twice in one week. But isn’t she normally not a big pizza person? Even when they just get it with vegetables, it doesn’t seem like one of her top picks.
  • Mary Anne uses the name “Gossip” to describe a game where a person whispers into the ear of the person next to them, who then whispers to the next person, etc., until you have the last person say (what is normally) a mixed up version of that sentence out loud. But, I always heard that called “telephone.” And I’m fairly sure the BSC refers to it that way in an earlier book. I think it’s Mary Anne Saves the Day, when she and Kristy are sitting for the Pikes and make them play telephone so they don’t have to talk directly to each other. Does that sound familiar?
  • Everybody’s shocked (but impressed) that when telling ghost stories to the kids, Mallory tells a scary story with a lot of references to blood and an ending where everyone dies. But, they’re always saying she’s a great writer, so why the shock?
  • Mr. Braddock’s driving by when Mary Anne falls off her bike, and he ends up driving her to the hospital. It’s only when they get there, that Dawn (who was with them) calls Sharon at home. Shouldn’t Mr. Braddock have swung by the house on the way to the hospital? I mean, it isn’t like she was bleeding to death and needed to be rushed anywhere.
  • It’s kind of funny that Mary Anne makes a point of noticing how close Dawn and her mom are…when it’s only a couple books later that Dawn takes off for California permanently.
  • Karen makes up a circus act where she pretends to saw her friend Nancy in half. And she actually takes a real saw from the barn and tries to use it in the dress rehearsal. These girls do a great job supervising large groups of children, huh?
  • At one point, Mary Anne refers to the division between the SES (Stoneybrook Elementary School) kids and the SMS kids. But Karen’s school’s called Stoneybrook Academy. SMS would be the middle school, right?
  • Alicia dresses up like a camel for the circus performance, because it’s her favorite circus animal. But are camel’s really in circuses? I’ve never been to one, so I really have no idea.
  • While Karen’s performing her act, one of the plastic legs she’s using (to give the look of her friend being sawed in half) falls on the ground (calling attention to the fact that it’s a trick). So, she’s pissed, but then realizes the audience is laughing and hams it up. Because there couldn’t possibly be something that doesn’t work out well for Karen, could there?

Monday, April 19, 2010

“Today’s the day we’re going to find out if Trout-Man is wearing a rug”…….BSC # 75: Jessi’s Horrible Prank

Memory Reaction

I don’t remember if I liked this one or not (I think I probably did, although it wasn’t a favorite). However, my real memory’s about how out of place some parts seemed. I remember thinking it was strange that they had Jessi being, like, the star of this comedy show the school’s putting on. She’s cracking jokes right and left, and is a bit of a ham. I know she was always the dancer, but it seemed like all the other talents came out of nowhere. Looking back, I do remember her talking about wanting to be a comedian, so I guess it really wasn’t out of character. But I must not have remembered that detail back then. I also remember thinking that the title was a fake-out, because Jessi doesn't really do anything wrong.

Also, they talk about Klingons, and I had no idea what they meant (other than that they’re from Star Trek, which they say in the book). So, I think later, when I heard Klingons mentioned in other contexts, I thought of this book.

Revisited Reaction

Jessi has a new teacher, Mr. Trout, for her computer programming class. He’s kind of a “dweeb” as Jessi puts it. He’s also a horrible teacher – not just because he doesn’t explain things well, but because he’s a bit of a wimp. And since 11-year-olds can smell fear, they totally take advantage of this. No one pays attention, and they act up in class – passing notes, dropping their books on the floor, stealing a grade book from the desk, etc. They also laugh at him all the time, because he dresses weird, wears a bad toupe, is a bit of a klutz, and always says his Ls as Ws. Jessi feels bad for him, but she laughs along with everyone else, because she can’t help it. The kids even use a fishing hook to remove his toupee in front of the whole class.

Meanwhile, Jessi’s participating in SMS’s “Sixth Grade Follies” – a show that the sixth graders put on every year, spoofing their teachers. I think it’s supposed to be a bit of a junior SNL show. She’s involved with writing it, and ends up as one of the leads. Someone decides to add a joke about Mr. Trout to the show and convinces Jessi to play him. She’s worried about hurting his feelings, but decides to go along with it, since all the other teachers laugh at the show. And of course, Jessi’s a huge hit. But, the Monday after the show, Mr. Trout’s absent. The rumors around school are that he just didn’t show up and skipped town. His replacement’s a pretty decent teacher, but Jessi’s still eaten up with guilt about it. Everyone keeps telling her not to worry, but she can’t help herself. She finally writes a letter to Mr. Trout, who responds that she didn’t do anything wrong, she was always a good student, and that he decided he wasn’t meant for teaching and was applying to grad school.

Becca loves watching Jessi prepare for the follies, and she decides to put on one of her own. She gets together with the Barretts, the Arnolds, Charlotte Johanson, and some of the Pikes, and puts on the “BSC Follies.” The kids all play one of the BSC members, and put on a skit about a BSC meeting. Jessi and the others love it, of course.

  • I can’t believe that a guy like Mr. Trout could make it through a day by himself, let alone get a job teaching. He drops everything he touches, gets his tie stuck in a drawer, and loses chalk on a daily basis.
  • So, the “prank” that’s supposedly so horrible: The premise of the Follies is that all the teachers are some celebrity type (such as Elvis, Dolly Parton, Pig Pen from Peanuts, etc). When Elvis enters, someone points out that he’s supposed to be dead, and Elvis responds, “No, I was kidnapped by the Klingons.” Then Jessi (as Mr. Trout) walks in with a bald “wig” and says, “Kwingons. Pwease.” I have to admit, I don’t really get the joke, unless it’s just funny to see Jessi in a bald wig? I’ve never been a big Star Trek person, so maybe I’m missing something.
  • When talking about the Klingons, Jessi refers to them as “those ugly bald guys” from Star Trek (which, I guess, explains the joke a little). But since I’m still not totally sure what Klingons are, I checked, and it doesn’t seem they are really bald. At least not all of them.
  • Jessi claims (to the reader) that she was the “comedy-highlight” of SMS’s production of Peter Pan. If that’s what she needs to believe to get through the day, then I guess she should keep telling herself that.
  • Jessi’s nervous about singing in the Follies audition, because she thinks her singing hurt her when auditioning for Peter Pan. I actually like this, because it shows some continuity and character depth. We never really got to hear Jessi’s final reaction to the play in that Super Special.
  • Claudia outfit: “She was wearing ‘50s-style cat’s eye glasses frames, a plastic barrette in the shape of an alligator, a tie-dyed T-shirt, and bell bottoms.”
  • One of the planning meetings for the Follies is at Jessi’s house. And at 10:00 am, she serves multiple kinds of chips and candy. I know kids that age eat a lot, but at 10:00? My parents wouldn’t have let me eat/serve food like that early in the morning.
  • There’s also a Wayne’s World skit….that’s a bit of a flashback.
  • Jessi, for all her talk about feeling bad for Mr. Trout, sure laughs hard at all the pranks. Someone being revealed as bald may sound funny, but I would think it would be pretty awkward to actually be in the room. But maybe I’m just getting old.
  • Jessi’s kind of a snob about the audition for the Follies, because the dance routine is just too easy for someone of her great talents. She kind of rolls her eyes at all the bad dancers trying out.
  • Sixty people show up for auditions, and I’m not sure if that includes the planning teams of twenty people. How many people are in each grade at SMS? It’s never really clear how big the town/school really is.
  • The tagline on the cover of the book is, “Some joke AREN’T funny.” But the whole plot of the book suggests that the jokes ARE funny, at least to everyone in the story. Even Jessi, who feels bad for Mr. Trout cracks up at everything that happens to him. And her skit in the Follies pretty much brought down the house.
  • The teachers organizing the show tell the cast they’re going to serve ice cream in the cafeteria after the show. Which makes me think it’s a cast party. But Jessi invites her whole family and the BSC to go along. Maybe it’s no big deal and lots of kids brought guests, but it seemed odd.
  • Jessi starts a petition for the students to ask Mr. Trout back. If she really feels bad, why bother? Doesn’t she realize that him coming back would just add to the pain?
  • Isn’t it kind of strange that while taking computer programming, Jessi’s class never actually uses computers? I know it was the early nineties so schools may not have had as many machines, but still. We had computer labs in my middle school, which was around the same time.
  • The BSC really must be pretty loyal, because they all sign Jessi’s petition, when it’s hanging on the school bulletin board.
  • Jessi actually goes and tells the principal about all the pranks after Mr. Trout leaves, because she’s feeling guilty. I think it seems a bit pointless for her to do that, since there’s nothing that can be done about it at that point. She’s just being a “tattletale.” AND, the stories shouldn’t really be a surprise for the principal….if stories about the toupee removal stunt (and others) were all over school, he teachers had to have started picking up on them.
  • While creating the show, Jessi gets friendly with all these other kids working on it. Yet, we never hear about them again.
  • Jessi does acknowledge that Mr. Trout brought the trouble on himself by never using any discipline on the kids. Which is true. I want to know how he ended up teaching in the first place.
  • The “BSC Follies” that the kids put on are pretty silly, but accurate. They have “Kristy” screaming everything she says, “Mary Anne” crying all the time, “Claudia” eating a ton of candy and contemplating wearing a clock as a hat. I’m kind of wondering how the kids know the BSC so well. They are never at meetings to see Kristy call them to order. And if Claudia’s junk food is such common knowledge, why haven’t her parents heard?
  • The actual message in this book is a bit mixed. They have Jessi feel all guilty because she participated in the skit knowing it would hurt Mr. Trout’s feelings. But, they also have everyone else rightfully pointing out that no other teacher had a problem with the Follies and that Mr. Trout was just not meant for the job.

Monday, April 12, 2010

“If I were going to a concert to drink, you’d be the perfect person to take with me past security”…..BSC # 87: Stacey and the Bad Girls

Memory Reaction

I actually have a few strong memories to this one. I think this is because it was a later book, so I was older when I first read it. For instance, I remember how Stacey wears some sweatshirt/sweatpants outfit in the middle of summer, and thinking how strange it was. The other scene I remember specifically, is how when the “bad girls” get caught drinking, Mrs. McGill says that if Stacey had one sip of wine, she’d be having a diabetic reaction. Which, I didn’t believe then and don’t believe now. It may have an affect, but one sip would not create a visible reaction.

I was a little disappointed after reading this book, because the plot has one of Stacey’s new friends going on vacation before all the drama happens. She doesn’t show up at the end, and I was annoyed because I wanted resolution on whether she would stay Stacey’s friend or side with the “bad girls.” I think the next time we see her is when she’s hooking up with Robert behind Stacey’s back, so I guess she’s with the bad girls. But that was like 10 books later, so I didn’t know after reading this one. And I hate dangling plot lines.

Revisited Reaction

It’s summer vacation, and without the BSC, Stacey’s bored. She starts spending a lot of time with some new friends she’s met via Robert. The only ones we’ve met are Sheila, a cheerleader, and Andi, one of the girls featured in the book where Stacey splits from the BSC. In this one, we meet a bunch of friends of Andi – Mia, Jacqui, and Heather. Andi leaves for vacation pretty early in the book, so we’re down to a group of five (including Stacey) who are hanging out, mostly at Stacey’s house.

Mrs. McGill decides that Stacey should get a job, and she ends up working at a “kid center” in Bellairs (the local department store), a place where parents can dump their kids while they shop. Stacey’s friends like to shop, so they start meeting her there after work to hang out. Stacey starts to notice some disturbing things about the girls….they get her to buy them things with her employee discount, then return them at full price, they abandon her on line for concert tickets, and she suspects they are shoplifters. She wonders if they are using her as a cover, so that while she’s chatting sweetly with employees, her “friends” can shoplift. But, Stacey keeps convincing herself that they must be okay people, after all, “Andi’s friends with them.”

Then, at a big concert, Sheila and co. pull out some flasks of wine, and Stacey’s shocked. She, of course, doesn’t drink any, but is dragged off with the other girls when a security guard catches them and calls their parents. None of the girls back Stacey up when she says she wasn’t drinking. Mrs. McGill’s pissed, but believes Stacey, however, she still gets grounded for three days. Which is one of the few times we actually see these girls get in trouble. Robert of course, takes Stacey’s side.

Meanwhile, Dawn and Mary Anne have been taking care of Dawn’s six-year-old cousin Amy, who’s staying with the Schafers for a few weeks while her parents are in London. Amy’s miserable, misses her family, and refuses to have any fun. Finally, she runs away to try and find her parents. Somehow, she makes it downtown and into Bellairs’ Kid Center. Stacey has been talking to Claudia, so she knows all about Amy. When she realizes there’s an extra kid at the center, she figures out it’s Amy and calls Dawn and Mary Anne. Soon after, she thinks about her friends and decides that the BSC isn’t always perfect, but together they balance out to some great friends. Then Stacey tells Claud she wants to rejoin the BSC, she gets invited to a meeting, and they let her rejoin, etc.

  • When Stacey’s mom was younger, she called herself “Paula” to honor Paul McCartney.
  • When Stacey interviews at the Kid Center, the director says that the regular staff is trained in primary education….but the whole time Stacey’s working, it’s her and a couple high school students.
  • During her interview, Stacey just walks off and starts playing with this little girl at the center. And she totally forgets to go back to the director and finish the conversation. But, it apparently makes her look “devoted,” so she gets the job. The fact that her mother works at the store probably didn’t hurt either.
  • Dawn’s cousin’s actually her second cousin, because her mom’s cousin is Amy’s mother. But Amy’s last name’s Porter, which I think is Sharon’s maiden name. So, this means Amy has her mother’s last name. Right?
  • The totally inappropriate for summer outfit: “Midnight-blue-and-white striped hooded sweatshirt with a laced placket, and matching spandex leggings.” And Stacey puts it on after hearing a weather report that says it will be in the eighties, so it isn’t like we can pretend it was an unusually cold day.
  • The thing with Amy’s pretty ridiculous. Sharon and her cousin hadn’t been in touch for awhile, but started talking again when Sharon sent a wedding announcement. Then the mother just calls and asks to dump Amy there for THREE WEEKS while she goes to London on a business trip with her husband (his business trip, she is tagging along for fun).
  • That’s a lot to ask of someone you haven’t seen in years. And it’s sort of mean to abandon a six-year-old who has never been away from her parents with people she’s never met.
  • This band Stacey’s into, U4Me, is on a concert tour, and since they were “having a great time on the West Coast,” they decided to cancel their Midwest concerts. And the girls are like, “their manager must have been annoyed.” Which, I’m sure is true, but the people who paid for tickets were probably even more annoyed. Do contracts not exist in BSC-land?
  • Then, the band just randomly adds a concert in Stamford less than a week in advance. That seems unlikely, especially considering they weren’t even supposed to be in the area.
  • Of course, all the 13-year-old boys hate U4Me. As do I, because what the hell kind of name is U4Me?
  • Stacey and her friends go to wait on line for concert tickets several hours before they go on sale. But an hour after they got on line, they have gotten half-way to the front of the line.
  • When Mary Anne’s looking for Amy, she looks in the secret passage, even though she “can’t imagine a six-year-old going in it herself.” But doesn’t Nicky Pike go in alone all the time? He’s only two years older.
  • Shouldn’t you call the cops if a six-year-old disappears? It took Mary Anne and Dawn twenty minutes to get to Bellairs (after Stacey called them), so it probably took Amy longer than that. How much longer would you wait to call the police?
  • I guess this is yet another child Dawn “loses” while baby-sitting.
  • Mrs. McGill says she’s disappointed that Stacey couldn’t tell her friends were using her. After all, she was raised in New York City and as a little girl “could size up a suspicious person from half a block away.”
  • It’s kind of weird that Sheila, who was always friends with all the clean cut cheerleaders, is now hanging out with a bunch of grunge kids with nose piercings, green hair, and black lipstick. In my school those were two groups of kids.
  • The cover of the book made me laugh, because the girls on the front are actually dressed in clothes that would have been in style back in the early nineties. Except for Stacey, who’s all preppy. Now, they don’t look like they were described in the book, but I’ll still give them some points.
  • Robert shows up at the house to visit while Stacey and her friends are hanging out (and her mom isn’t home). I’m a little surprised they don’t make an issue out of this. I remember other books where Mary Anne and Dawn have to hang out outside when a guy visits because their parents aren’t home. Obviously, Mrs. McGill could have different rules, but it did stick out to me.
  • So, Stacey’s mother nicknamed Stacey’s wardrobe selection as SDT, or Stacey’s Daily Trauma. However, whenever SDT is mentioned in the book (which is a lot), I keep reading it as STD. Which would be a whole different problem for Stacey.
  • When Amy runs away she’s trying to find a train station to go to London where her parents are (she’s six). I can’t figure out how she manages this trip without someone wondering about the child roaming the streets alone.
  • Even though this book constantly references Stacey trying on multiple outfits, very few are really described in detail. All we get are things like, drawstring pants, flowered minidress, khaki pants, etc.
  • One of the employees at Bellairs is Mrs. Ballmar, who I’m pretty saw we met in the counterfeiter mystery. Only she doesn’t know Stacey here, and I think this book came out after that one. But I could be mixing up names.
  • Stacey tells the BSC that she quit her job at Bellairs so that it wouldn’t interfere with baby-sitting. Which, is supposed to be all responsible of her. But, isn’t quitting a job with no notice actually irresponsible?
  • I like that they don’t have Stacey suddenly realize that the BSC were always the better friends. Instead, she still acknowledges their flaws, but decides that their pluses outweigh the minuses, and that they can go through a rough patch and still be friends.

Monday, April 5, 2010

“Mary Anne is just too uptight to wear pajamas to school”……BSC # 84: Dawn and the School Spirit War

Memory Reaction

I have one very strong memory from this book, and unfortunately, it’s that I didn’t buy the premise, AT ALL. The whole plot centers on SMS having a spirit month, where the kids who are “pro-spirit” ostracize the kids who don’t want to participate in it. In my middle school, you had to force people to dress in school colors (or whatever), and that was when we did it for a week. So, the whole fight that starts in this book seemed so ridiculous to me. Especially, considering how nasty it got.

I hate when I remember thinking a book was unbelievable…it usually means re-reading it will not be enjoyable.

Revisited Reaction

The Stoneybrook Middle School baseball team is having an undefeated season. And they are about a month away from playing the team from a nearby town that’s a big rival (even though we’ve never heard of them before). So, the school has a “School Spirit Month” where every day has some theme or activity designed to generate support for the team. Some of the BSC members are more into this than others. Dawn’s undecided at first…she thinks some events, like “clean up your school” day could be fun, but she thinks things like “pajama day” sound sort of lame. Mary Anne’s okay with it, but is terrified of having to wear her pajamas to school. Mallory isn’t into it, because she really doesn’t care about school spirit. Kristy, Claudia, and Jessi are super-into it. Stacey’s currently not in the club, but she isn’t a fan either. So this causes lots of fights and drama.

On class color day, all the 8th graders are supposed to wear yellow, but Dawn forgets. When Mary Anne reminds her, she realizes she doesn’t own yellow clothing, except for a pair of socks. She puts them on and goes to school, but no one can see them and give her a hard time. A REALLY hard time. Plus, the reporter who’s covering spirit week singles her out in an interview. Because, yes, spirit month is generating press coverage. Mary Anne freaks out, because this means she HAS to wear her pajamas to school.

Dawn and Mary Anne start a petition to end spirit week. It ends up causing a huge stir, with the school dividing between pro-spirit and anti-spirit. There are pep-rallies, anti-rallies, town meetings, reporters, etc. Supposedly the same thing happens at the rival school. Eventually, spirit month is cancelled. But then everyone’s still upset, and friends are not talking to each other, etc. Dawn comes up with a proposal to reinstate it as an optional thing, which ends up happening and the conflict is resolved.

The annoying subplot’s about the Barretts and DeWitts (the guy Mrs. Barrett married). They’re living in a house that’s too small for nine people, because most houses are. But the kids don’t want to move, because it would probably mean leaving Stoneybrook. There’s all this boring drama, and then Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt decide to add an addition to the house.


  • Claudia even wears “stylish” rain gear, if such a thing exists. “Her long black hair was tucked in a wide-brimmed purple rain hat with colorful Native American designs painted on the brim. She wore a matching purple slicker with identical designs on the hem. Even her umbrella matched!”
  • Mallory and Jessi are fighting in this book because they are on different sides of the spirit war. I have to say, I am surprised Jessi would be so passionate about school spirit. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought of her as not really loving SMS.
  • I could say the same thing about Claudia. I guess they wanted the BSC to be equally split, and they figured Dawn, Mary Anne, and Mallory were the MOST likely to be against something like spirit month.
  • So, Kristy wants to wear a pair of pajamas that Nannie gave her that are covered in pink bunnies. She’s never worn them, but thinks it would be funny to wear them to school. But, why would Nannie have given her something like that?
  • Dawn says that she doesn’t own pajamas, she usually sleeps in nightshirts or sweats. Aren’t nightshirts basically pajamas? If not technically, I think it would still fit the description for the purposes of spirit month.
  • When you think about, the whole conflict really happens because Mary Anne was too embarrassed about pajamas. Which is sort of funny.
  • Claudia wants to make a pair of pajamas to wear to school, and Mary Anne’s all, “but aren’t you supposed to wear what you really sleep in?” As if anyone would know? Just put on a pair of sweats and don’t worry about it. When I was in college, half the students did that every day.
  • Mrs. Barrett/DeWitt says that she’s frazzled because she isn’t used to having seven kids in one house. Mallory jokes that her family has NEVER gotten used to eight kids, and Mrs. Barrett almost passes out.
  • Mary Anne’s outfit for class color day, “A yellow sweat shirt dress, yellow stockings, and black flats.”
  • I remember this scene…Dawn leaves for school late and as she walks/runs, she comments on how all the people she usually sees (like a neighbor walking his dog) aren’t there, and she’s seeing different people. I remember thinking about that when I’ve been running late.
  • Dawn sees Mary Anne crying and says, “oh, it’s so nice that you feel bad for me, but today wasn’t so bad.” And Mary Anne’s all, “I’m not upset for you, I’m thinking about what will happen to me for not wearing pajamas.” It totally cracked me up.
  • Would any middle schooler really be into, “Make a New Friend Day?” I feel like it’s the kind of thing teenagers would ridicule.
  • Logan and Robert (both athletes) don’t really seem to care that Mary Anne and Stacey are against spirit month. Which makes Kristy, Claudia, and Jessi look like bitches for not standing by their friends when they simply have a different opinion.
  • This SMS student Julie, who I don’t remember seeing before says she resents having class time taken away by spirit month. Who is she Hermione Granger?
  • Were the Dewitt kids from Stoneybrook? Cause they keep talking about how they don’t want to leave the town, but I didn’t think they were from there. We never heard of them before Mrs. Barrett hooked up with Franklin and the kids didn’t know each other, so they weren’t at the same school.
  • The “anti-spirit” group has a little rally in the school cafeteria (as a protest to whatever the spirit week of the month was). And some teacher/principal looks in to see what they were doing, rolls his eyes, and walks away. The image of that made me laugh.
  • I have to give Dawn some credit because she realizes that their anti-spirit rally’s really the same thing as what the pro-spirit kids are doing, just for a different reason. And she doesn’t like that some of the anti-spirit kids mess up a mural painted by the pro kids.
  • Logan keeps whining that baseball team not getting enough attention. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to come across, but I think it’s really annoying. First he’s upset that the murals painted on “mural day” were not about baseball, and then he says at some school meeting that everyone’s forgetting the reason for spirit month. Then his father says the same thing at a town meeting. And yeah, I guess technically the baseball team was the original point of the whole thing, but complaining that you aren’t getting enough attention for being an undefeated team’s kind of obnoxious.
  • I have a hard time believing the school would devote an entire month to something like spirit month.
  • How come Robert’s jock friends are so different from Logan’s jock friends? I know Logan plays football and baseball and Robert plays basketball, but I would think there would be some overlap.
  • Awe, Sharon refers to Mary Anne and Dawn as her “daughters.”
  • How big a paper is Stoneybrook News? Because it’s a daily paper, which makes it seem like it’s pretty big. But Stoneybrook isn’t that big a town, which makes it seem like it would be more of a community paper. And honestly, who else would give that much coverage to something at a middle school?
  • On a related note, what TV station do they watch? Wouldn’t they still be in range to get news from NYC? So, a network with community news would be a pretty small station, and yet, it’s all anyone seems to watch. It’s the same with the radio station they listen to.
  • Jessi and Kristy have a sitting job at the Barretts/DeWitts during a groundbreaking party (because of the addition to the house). As neighbors show up, they send they send their kids over to play/have free childcare. Nice parenting. Jessi and Kristy actually complain (to each other) about not getting paid extra for the extra work.
  • The newspaper prints all sorts of letters to the editor/editorials, and they are all completely ridiculous. There’s one talking about how kids should do things just because they’re told, and if they let Dawn and friends not participate in spirit month the future is doomed. The opposing side talks about how forcing kids to participate is taking away their civil liberties. Even Dawn thinks it’s over the top.