Original Publication Date: 1987
This is Dawn's first book. She's trying to adjust to living in cold Connecticut among people who eat red meat instead of tofu and to her parents' divorce. Of course, she has no trouble making friends because she's part of the most wonderful BSC. She does have some tension with Kristy, who's jealous that Dawn is now Mary Anne's other best friend, but they work it out and Dawn becomes the Alternate Officer.
Dawn starts baby-sitting a lot for the Barretts: Buddy, Suzi, and Marnie. Their parents also just divorced, and it wasn't a pleasant one. Mrs. Barrett (AKA, fashion model) is having trouble keeping things organized while she looks for a job. Dawn helps clean and so forth, and Mrs. Barrett comes to rely her. She also fails to tell Dawn important things: where she's going, that Marnie is allergic to chocolate, etc. She also forgets when Mr. Barrett has visitation days, and he ends up taking Buddy on what was supposed to be his day, thinking it will serve his ex-wife right, that she'll panic for a minute then remember. Too bad Dawn is sitting that day. Buddy is safely returned, and Dawn has a talk with Mrs. Barrett about where the line should be drawn as far as her responsibilities.
Established or continued in this book:
Dawn hates the cold. I'm shocked, too.
Dawn thinks her house has a secret passage. We'll find out about that later, but for now we do know it has an outhouse.
Geez, Dawn is touchy. Claudia and Stacey mentioned that an egg rinse and some lemon juice would give her hair some shine and body, and it sounds like they just mentioned it because they do that once a week, but Dawn says "What I do with my hair is my business."
Dawn and her family has a lot of stuff in the attic from their old house. I think her dad still lives there; why wouldn't Dawn and Jeff leave some things in their old rooms? They are going to visit their Dad sometimes.
This is a little better: Dawn seems more distressed by messy things like spilled food than disorganized things like her house. That will fit better with the continuity, but not perfectly.
Claudia's junk food: salt water taffy, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, M&Ms...and Dawn ate some taffy.
Mary Anne got contact lenses to replace her reading glasses. Now, I'm nearsighted, so I could be wrong, but it seems like that would be more of hassle than glasses. Would she have to take them out to see things further away? When I do close-up things like knitting or reading, I prefer my contacts out.
Mary Anne wears her first pair of jeans in this book. She wore a jean skirt in RS#4, but I guess that doesn't count.
Mary Anne can't stand pink. She likes navy blue and yellow.
Dawn's parents divorced in the fall, but her mom waited until after Christmas to move across the country. I've seen lots of criticism for such an upheaval, and I agree that it's a lot to put two kids through. At least she waited until the holidays were over.
Dawn's brother play ice hockey with the Pike triplets.
Dawn's mother likes personal artifacts that have historical significance because she thinks they're romantic. I think #64 should hold true to that.
Dawn says her parents divorced because her mom is "disorganized and [her] dad just couldn't live with that." I wonder how long they were married.
Mary Anne's dad got contacts.
Stupid Karen, who Dawn says talks too much, now thinks the attic is haunted, too.
Watson Brewer isn't much of a cook. I think that changes, but I'm not sure.
Dues are fifty cents, but are raised to a dollar at the end of the book so they can pay Charlie to drive Kristy to and from meetings. One thing that has never made sense to me: during the school year, why doesn't Kristy just hang out with one of the other members or at the library or something? I don't get why Charlie always takes her from school to home to Claudia's to home again.
Stacey brings the treasury home with her, apparently.
Kristy gives Dawn a look (but not a Look) for having a personal conversation on the phone during business hours.
SMS: Nothing new here.
Mrs. Pike is one of the library trustees.
Dawn's house was still built in 1795, and when she thinks of the history it saw she comes up with the War of 1812, which I doubt she knows anything about other than the year, and the Gay Nineties. Other things on her list make sense, like the Civil War and the first airplane (since she just flew across the US), but the Gay Nineties? Really?
Mallory really likes hearing the story of Richard Spier and Sharon (Porter) Schafer, which will fit nicely with her storylines when she spies and in #29.
PSA time: Jeff says "Dogs love leftovers." That may be, but make sure no onions or garlic is in said leftovers if dog is going for them. They're bad for dogs. Cats, rats, and hedgehogs, too. Also, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.
PSA time #2: You can't test brownies for doneness with a knife, Dawn, unless it's made of wood. Cake-like things need a wooden thing, like a toothpick, to which uncooked dough will stick. You use a knife to cut open chicken or other meat and see if it's cooked through, but you wouldn't know anything about that, Dawn, because no one from California eats meat.
April 28 fell on a Tuesday during the BSC 7th grade year. May 2 was Saturday. So far, so good.
WSTO is on the FM band at 1313.
"It was a statement, not a question." Dawn narrates the exact same thing in #9.
Hello, Bizzer Sign. Ha ha, even Mallory gives it to Byron (whose name, until I was 22, I thought was pronounced like Brian).
Jordan Pike plays piano.
Welcome, Barretts. They have a basset hound named Pow. Marnie makes her "ham face" when she's happy, which I assume is like my older brother's "sniffy face" of yore. One thing I don't get is that Mr. Barrett has visitation rights, but he's only allowed to talk to the kids on the phone on alternating Tuesdays...that just seems weird.
WAIT! Marnie ate some M&Ms on page 49! On page 85 we find out that she's allergic to chocolate. Foul!
BSC Fights: 2
Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)
Students: sixteen 7th graders, four 8th graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 15 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, Ding-Dongs, gumdrops, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M$Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Twinkies, Lifesavers)
Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)