Tuesday, February 3, 2009

“I wish there was something we could do”…..BSC #44: Dawn and the Big Sleepover

Memory Reaction

I never understood this book. I don’t mean I had trouble reading it; I just never bought the premise and would get annoyed with it. The set up has something to do with Dawn and the BSC organizing a fundraiser with the elementary school. But it doesn’t make sense that a group of 13-year-old girls would tell some schoolteachers an idea for a fundraiser, and then essentially be in charge of the project. I can see the school being happy to have someone volunteer to help out, but not just letting the girls run things.

Revisited Reaction

Right at the beginning of this book, we hear about how the elementary school kids are in a pen-pal program with a Zuni school in New Mexico. They are all pretty excited about this, and when Dawns hears she starts to wish she were involved. Fairly soon after that, the news breaks that there was a fire on the Zuni reservation and the school, plus some houses, were destroyed.

Dawn decides she has to get involved and comes up with an idea for a food/clothing drive and fundraiser. Then the BSC works up a whole plan to implement it, including having a sleepover in the school gym as a reward for the kids. Now, I am not saying it is bad to try and help people, I just think Dawn tries to make it all about her. Anyway, she calls her brother’s old teacher (at home) and tells her the idea. That teacher tells the school and the idea gets approved. Then, Dawn and the rest of the BSC get to be the ones to give an assembly announcing the plan. But again, why would they do this? If the school is approving the idea, why not have the teachers all announce it? The BSC doesn’t need to be there. They also help out at some of the fundraiser events, and hold onto the donations. The drop off center is even in Dawn’s barn. I would think that the school would be location to drop off stuff, since all the kids have to go there anyway. THEN, the BSC basically runs this reward sleepover. Again, I don’t buy it.

But in the end, all goes well. They have some issues with kids donating things their parents want to keep (to get prizes for the most donations), but that gets sorted out. They send the money to the pen pals, who are touched by their effort. Then we don’t hear about these pen pals again….until a later Super Special (I think).


  • Byron Pike is upset because Adam told his pen-pal how to speak Pig Latin. Does anyone really believe Pig Latin is a secret language?
  • Dawn claims she is turned off by cliques…Just because the girls in the BSC don’t dress alike doesn’t mean they are not a clique.
  • Is it really fair to say Mary Anne is the only one to ever have a steady boyfriend? Maybe I am mixing up time lines, but I know Stacey went out with Sam Thomas for a long time, then a couple other people.
  • Claud clothes: “She walked into school wearing a bright yellow, oversize man’s jacket with rolled-up sleeves; a wide paisley tie right out of the nineteen sixties; orange stirrup pants; ankle boots; and huge hoop earrings – and you know what? It looked cool.” I will never believe someone can look cool in orange stirrup pants.
  • Another Claud outfit: “Her hair [was] in a ponytail on top of her head, held up by a huge barrette in the shape of a bone, like Pebbles in The Flintstones…..She was even wearing a Pebbles-type outfit – a pink, off the shoulder blouse with huge polka dots and a ragged bottom over black tights.” Because dressing like a cartoon baby is the cutting edge of coolness.
  • Mary Anne is too busy reading to listen to Dawn’s big idea, so Dawn starts to tell her the end of the book to force her to stop. That is really obnoxious.
  • Dawn just calls up this woman who used to teach Jeff. At home. On a Saturday. Then she gets insulted because the woman’s husband answers, and he thinks she is a fifth grader.
  • Why would SMS let the girls out of class to give the assembly at the elementary school? Seriously, it is not no one else could do it.
  • Awe, the BSC gets applause at the assembly. Because, you know they are awesome baby-sitters and their “charges” love them.
  • The triplets set up a free throw contest as part of a carnival the Pikes are having. Dawn asks why it is called a free throw when people have to pay, and they totally make fun of her. I want to laugh, but I am sure I could end up in that situation for other sports…I just happen to know basketball best.
  • Why would Maria Kilbourne and Max Delany be working as part of the fundraiser? Both of them go to private school and wouldn’t have pen pals.
  • Only four teachers go to the sleepover that one hundred kids are attending.
  • They don’t tell us how much money the kids made, just that it was a lot. Lame.
  • The guy donating pizza to the sleepover almost has to cancel because he didn’t get a flour deliver. Dawn makes him feel guilty enough to track down whole-wheat flour.
  • Awe, they get a sweet letter from the principal of the school that burned down.


Kait W. said...

Did Stacey and Sam actually go out? I always thought she just fancied him from afar, and that he thought she was too young.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

They are dating during the Super Special about the play, because Sam gets all worried about what his friends will think of him dating a "younger woman."

Cari said...

I think Stacey and Sam only started dating after this. I think they got together in the Super Special about going to Shadow Lake. Sorry that I know this. :)

Anonymous said...

The Zuni school in New Mexico actually is mentioned again in BCS Special # 14, BSC in the USA, where some of the BSC members visit the Zuni school.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Sam is the one who fancied Stacey from afar, in Shadow Lake at least. She thinks he's a horrible pest in that book; such a difference from #1!

nikki said...

Yes, yes YES!!! The Pebbles outfit. I love that thing.

And you're right...completely ridiculous premise in this book.

zanne said...

I remember the Pebbles outfit! I think it's hilarious how they always say Claudia's outfits somehow look good on her, because I can't see how they could possibly look good. Even when I was younger I thought they were hideous.

I agree, the premise of this book is a little unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I never liked this book. I think I first read it when I was starting to outgrow the series so that might be part of it. The whole thing is just so forced. It's great that Dawn wants to help out, but it goes a little too far. This book would make more sense if it were Mallory narrating, since she has somewhat more of personal attachment to the Zuni kids because of her siblings.

Anyway. For some reason I keep thinking this book is called "Dawn's Big Sleepover," which is far more amusing than the actual title!

SJSiff said...

Veronica, you might be combining it with "Dawn's Big Date." And, yeah...kinda boring/ridiculous plot. What was up with the crazy-orange cover?

SJSiff said...

FYI, if people who live in the Seattle area are looking to add to their collections, I spotted maybe a dozen or so BSC books for sale at both the Kingsgate Library (sort of between Bothell, Woodinville, and Kirkland) and at the Half Price Books at the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. I can't remember which ones...mid-range numbers, mostly, I think.

Lauren said...

Dawn, I blame you for my insistence on having an unlisted phone number ever since I began teaching! (In all fairness, I don't think it would occur to my students to look me up and call me. They don't hesitate to send random homework questions via Facebook though...)

I can totally see only four teachers going to the "big sleepover." It's like pulling teeth to get my coworkers to volunteer for anything outside school.

Sada said...

I will never believe someone can look cool in orange stirrup pants.

Amen. A-freaking-men.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Lauren - I can see not having more than four teachers want to go to the sleepover. I just can't believe the school or parents would be okay with it.

maria said...

I just read this book two days ago.
I too thought it was sooo unrealistic.
Come on, no 13 year old is responsible enough to put together a fundraiser like that.
I also thought it was lame that they don't mention how much they made.
And the part where Dawn wonders if Kristy will take credit for the book, hahahaha!!!
These girls called each other best friends, but they secretly hated each other and talked badly about one another. So much passive agressiveness here.

Anonymous said...

i am 26 and think the pebbles outfit is cool

Anonymous said...

I read this book when I was seven and remember enjoying it quite a bit. Apparently, at seven, the sheer ridiculousness of this book didn't sink in for me.
I haven't read it for years now, so I can't tell you whether I'll still enjoy it, but I do remember some of the ways the kids tried to raise money - Hailey being a fortune teller and scamming the obnoxious guys at SMS (Alan, Pete, and someone else), the kids holding a yard sale and not telling their parents that they took meaningful items (the parents decide to buy back the items at lowered prices because its for a good cause), kids donating items without telling their parents, and Jessi getting some guy named Goober for the Pikes' yard setup...