Original Publication Date: 1988
Dawn is convinced her old house has a secret passage somewhere, and ends up finding one that leads from the barn to the wall between her room and her mothers, opening up into the former. Since this is Dawn we're talking about, she's convinced it's haunted by one Jared Mullray, about whom she reads in an history of Stoneybrook.
At the same time, Nicky and the Pike Triplets are continuing to spar. Nicky ends up hiding in the secret passage from time to time, which accounts for the noises and strange things Dawn found in the passage. Except that he never hid there at night...
This book has a few distinct memories for me. I remember getting really scared when I read it. I'm not sure what age I was, but the youngest would be six and a half. I was probably older than that. I hid it under my bed for a while, until my older brother read it and told me the ending wasn't scary. I also remember the Trip Man, and thinking that balancing a checkbook was meant to be taken literally: that people balanced checkbooks on their fingers.
Established or continued in this book:
Claudia candy: Hershey's kisses in a hollow book
Dawn mentions having more than one light in her room and implies that they're bright, which is consistent with RS#4.
Kristy appears to not believe in ghosts, which is revisited in at least RS#29.
Mary Anne gushes over Cam Geary for the first time.
Dawn has a white bedspread.
Kristy loves to stay up late, which fits in with her liking to sleep in.
Jeff has a weakness for chocolate cake.
New clients: the Perkins-Gabbie calls people by their full names, as I did with my older brother's friends; Myriah is a genius; the cat is named R. C. (Rat Catcher); the dog is named Chewy, short for Chewbacca. My parents took in a stray black lab mix in 1980 and almost named her Yoda, since they found her after seeing The Empire Strikes Back (but named her Shadow instead).
SMS: Summer vacation!
PSA time: Nothing stood out.
Dawn sat for Clover and Daffodil in CA.
Know how they knock on the walls to check for hollow spots? My older brother and I did that when were maybe four and seven at my great-grandparents and found a hollow spot. Turns out it was where they kept a safe deposit key or valuable documents or something.
"It was a statement, not a question." That's the second time Dawn has narrated that sentence, the first in her first BSC book.
The Wandering Frog People have made their debut.
Jamie Newton's middle name is Anderson.
BSC Fights: 2
Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)
Students: seventeen 7th graders, four 8th graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 18 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, gumdrops, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M$Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Twinkies, Lifesavers)
Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Mary Anne-1 (Alex), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas)