Original Publication Date: 1988
The Little Miss Stoneybrook Pageant is upon us. Mallory and Jessi will have nothing to do with it: it's too sexist. The older sitters, eager to prove they're good at their jobs, think it could be fun for the little girls. Dawn coaches Margo (talent: peeling a banana with her feet and reciting "The House that Jack Built") and Claire Pike (singing "Popeye the Sailor Man"), Kristy coaches Karen (reciting umpteen verses of "The Wheels on the Bus"), Mary Anne coaches Myriah Perkins (tap dancing to and singing "Tomorrow"), and Claudia coaches Charlotte Johanssen (reciting the scene from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" when Violet becomes a blueberry). Myriah ends up placing second to a "pageant-head" while Charlotte freezes onstage then runs home in tears. The BSC decides pageants don't reward real talent or character.
At home, Dawn and her family deal with Jeff moving back to California with their dad. It's supposed to be only a six-month visit, but it's never mentioned as temporary past the middle of the book. He's thrilled to be moving back, so Dawn is hurt that he won't miss her. There's a nice part at the airport when Jeff suggests he and Dawn use the photobooth so each of their parents can have two pictures of the two of them. He does end up missing his mom and sister, but is much happier in CA.
Established or continued in this book:
Claudia candy: licorice
This may be the least awkward "Jessi is black" book: "She [Mallory] are alike in a lot of ways, except that Jessi is black. Jessi also wears glasses..." You know, rather than "But we'd like her even if she were purple!"
Yay for peacemaker Claudia, trying to console the other 8th graders when Charlotte only wants Claudia to babysit. I like that side of her.
Dawn's house in CA has a bright yellow door.
Dawn, plenty of people on the West Coast eat red meat. I'm up in Washington and I had a roast beef sandwich yesterday.
Dawn calls Kristy a slob (in narration). She must be remembering the cruise they all took in SS#1.
I really like the way Dawn's family is written dealing the Jeff issue.
Becca Ramsey has bad stage fright.
Dawn and Jeff went to a school called Vista while in CA. Jeff still has a weak spot for chocolate, by the way.
Margo Pike is uncoordinated, yet she can peel a banana with her feet.
Claire Pike always wears a watch on her right hand despite not being able to tell time.
Geez, Jessi and Mallory get to see a fight at their meeting as official members. No wonder they learn quickly to be quiet and stay out of things, sitting on the floor making their gum wrapper chains.
SMS: nothing new
PSA time: nothing really
Hello, Sabrina Bouvier, the supposed-seven-or-eight-year-old. Maybe if I read carefully I'll find out how you escape the time warp.
I think the girls picture in the front are (left to right) Sabrina, Myriah, and the third-place winner. They all have sashes, two have tiaras, and the dresses aren't the right colors for any of them to be Claire, Margo, or Karen (not that that's stopped Hodges before). There's a show-off (Sabrina), a humble one (Myriah), and a random girl in ballet slippers, which might work...
Hooray for used books! This one has someone's address in Lake Mary, FL, and two notes that Kristina L. loves Barrett K. Her sister dogeared a page and she hates her for it. Kristina, if you ever see this, I bought your old book!
"Us babysitters" AGAIN. We=subject, us=object. I hate you, Dawn.
AND "us girls." I hate you, too, Kristy.
BSC Fights: 3
SMS Staff: 13 (2 6th grade, 3 7th grade, 4 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: twenty-eight 8th graders, six sixth-graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 26 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, marshmallows, pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie Pops, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-2 (Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas)