I remember thinking how much of a hypocrite Dawn was in this book. Because when she was a kid, she apparently hated Sunny (at least at first), and thought she was weird. And in the “present,” Dawn’s the one always so proud of how she’s an “individual.” It was one of the few times (as a kid) that I really disliked Dawn…most of her more annoying traits didn’t seem SO bad when I was younger. At least not usually.
Also, there’s a section where Dawn’s family’s in San Francisco and they walk over the Golden Gate Bridge. When I was in San Francisco a few years ago, I felt like I should walk over the bridge. I’m afraid it may have been influenced by this book.
This is right after Dawn has moved to California (for good), and it turns out she has to write her autobiography too.
So, Dawn was born in California. Her mother was past her due date, so her parents went for a walk on the beach, and then her mom went into labor. But they still had time to get to the hospital, so it’s not that interesting a story. When Dawn was little, her parents took her to the beach a lot and it was clear even then that she was a beach-loving-California-girl. But she supposedly did normal stuff too.
When Dawn was six, there were no kids her own age in her neighborhood, until Sunny Winslow’s family moved in down the street. At first, Dawn thought her new neighbors were weird, because the Winslows were hippies (hence naming their daughter Sunshine Daydream Winslow). They also planted flowers in the shape of a peace sign, didn’t have a TV, didn’t buy Barbie dolls for Sunny because the plastic they’re made from are bad for the environment, etc. They also tie-dye their own clothes in their lawn, which sounds totally fun to me. Dawn tries to avoid Sunny, but their mothers arrange to go on a shopping trip together. Because they’re awful parents, Dawn’s mom and Mrs. Winslow leave Sunny and Dawn (at age 6) in the toy section while they go look at other stuff. A power failure hits, and the adults get stuck in an elevator. But since Sunny and her mom know Morse code, they can communicate with each other by tapping on the doors, and Sunny translates to the crew working on getting them out. So, Dawn decides that she likes Sunny and doesn’t care if people think she’s weird.
When Dawn was ten, her grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary. The Schafers decide to take them on a weekend away in San Francisco. First, Mrs. Schafer tells the kids that they have to schedule “resting” time because her parents are “elderly” and not able to walk all over the city. But, “Pop-Pop” puts a stop to that and says he wants to do all the active stuff. But he and “Granny” don’t seem all lovey-dovey, which worries Dawn. But when Pop-Pop’s late for dinner (Jeff told him the wrong time), Granny’s all worried. So then Dawn realizes they do love each other, and thinks that her parents will follow their example. Which, of course doesn’t happen.
When Dawn was twelve (and still in California) she was obsessed with fire safety. She makes her family draw up an escape plan and then runs drills, where she blows a whistle in the middle of the night to see if her parents and Jeff actually get up and leave the house. Then, when she’s sitting for her neighbors, she smells smoke, so she takes the kids next-door to her house and calls 911. They fire department comes, puts out the fire, and Dawn gets the hero treatment. I think this story’s actually mentioned in Dawn’s first appearance in the series, but she leaves off the annoying obsession part.
When Dawn was thirteen (and in Stoneybrook), she totally disappoints a little kid. She’s the first BSC member to sit for a new client. While there, the parents get a phone call, but before they leave a message, they put her on hold. So, while she’s waiting, Dawn looks through a pile of mail on the counter and finds a note from the school saying that the girl needs to repeat second grade. At a second job, Dawn mentions this letter to the little girl, who had no idea that she was being held back. The parents yell at Dawn, because they weren’t planning to tell her until the end of summer. They vow to never use the BSC again, and the girls are so busy, no one else notices they lost a client.
- If Dawn’s birthday’s in February, how come she’s always 13? Shouldn’t she be 13 for the first half of her 8th grade career and then 14 for the second half? I understand why they couldn’t show that, but they really should have just made all their birthdays in the summer. Then they would be same age for an entire school year and the issue’s less obvious.
- Wasn’t Jeff’s comedian thing a new habit in one of the early books? So, why are we seeing it happen in all of Dawn’s flashbacks?
- Dawn says that in first grade, two of her closest friends were Jill and Maggie, who are in We (Heart) Kids later on. But, I seem to remember Dawn saying that she wasn’t that close with them when they’re introduced.
- Dawn also says that of her friends, Jill’s the one who’s best at surfing. But I seem to remember Dawn saying that she and Sunny were the surfers, and Maggie and Jill weren’t into it.
- Dawn thinks it’s weird that the Winslows have a waterbed. I would think Dawn would be into a waterbed, since she’s all about water. I remember in elementary school, this girl in my class had a waterbed, and everyone liked going to her house because of that.
- When Dawn was in preschool, she and a friend would build an Eiffel Tower out of blocks, and then get mad when other kids wanted to knock it down to build something else. So, she and this other girl glue the blocks together. I think that’s an early sign of Dawn’s ‘all about me attitude.’ Her teacher did make them clean up all the blocks.
- The guy in the store tells six-year-old Sunny he hopes he would have her with him if he ever got stuck on a desert island. Too bad Dawn didn’t have Sunny with her when she was stranded.
- Sure, Dawn. You and Sunny, Jill, and Maggie aren’t an obnoxious clique. Just like the BSC isn’t one.
- Dawn’s mother says, “my parents are having their golden anniversary next month.” And Dawn asks, “Granny and Pop-pop?” Like it is a question. I mean how many sets of parents does Mrs. Schafer have?
- Dawn’s so obnoxious about the fire stuff, it kind of reminds me of her attitude about the environment. When she brings the sitting charges into her house during the fire, her mom thinks they are just playing. There’s a reason to not want to be the girl/boy who cried wolf.
- Dawn gets some kind of medal for “saving” the kids in the fire. It’s some community award of the month…she gets one and a woman who had been a foster parent to twenty children (over a long period of time) gets one. Because those things are totally comparable.
- While I like the reference to the BSC actually making a mistake, and not impressing a parent, I find it hard to believe that no one realized it had happened. With the obsession the BSC has about keeping records, they just don’t notice that they lose a client? I guess it’s more realistic than thinking a parent would call and tell Kristy about the problem, but it doesn’t jive with the rest of the series.
- For those who care, Dawn’s grade was an A- for content and a B for presentation. I wonder how exactly those categories were made up…content seems like a weird term to use when they’re writing about themselves.
- Who writes stuff in their autobiography that they wouldn’t tell anyone else? I mean, their teachers are reading them. Again, I get that they need to make the stories interesting to work as a book, but I would think they could come up with a better framing device.