Original Publication Date: 1989
Ghostwriter? Yes, Jan Carr. This is the first time Ann used a ghostwriter. She decided to because she hadn't been to California and wanted the perspective of someone who had.
SMS has one of its two-week vacations again, and Dawn takes the opportunity to visit her dad and brother in California. She has a great time with family and friends, enough that she almost decides to move back, like Jeff did. In the end, she chooses Connecticut, since she's made it her home. Her dad says she can come visit whenever she wants...and why not bring the BSC along, too? (cf SS#5: California Girls)
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Ring Dings and Twinkies, Tootsie Roll pops in her knapsack
Dawn doesn't like her childhood nickname of "Sunshine" but it's a whole lot better than Stacey's: Boontsie.
Dawn's obsession with ghost stories started in fourth grade, when she and Sunny got into them.
Sunny also has a spider plant. Maybe Dawn got hers from Sunny or vice versa.
In this book, Dawn's mom and Mary Anne's dad have "cooled off." Dawn's mom is back dating the Trip-man from RS#9.
We get a nice look at Dawn and Jeff's relationship, and a glimpse of her dad; though they're on vacation behavior.
It seems like Dawn's dad jokes to fill time and empty spaces in conversation. That makes sense with how acts in SS#14.
Nicky Pike stills hangs out in the secret passage sometimes.
I thought Karen Brewer claimed Ben Brewer's ghost haunted the attic, and the third floor only because he was above it. Now he "lives" on the third floor.
There's foreshadowing for an addition to the Thomas-Brewer family.
Sunny and Dawn's other CA friends have started the We ♥ Kids Club, loosely modeled after the BSC. They even have Kid-Kits. Speaking of...when I was at my parents' recently, I saw a box in the garage with glitter spelling out "Kid-Kit."
Claudia and Mary Anne sit for the Perkins, Newtons, and the Newton's cousins, the Feldmans (Feldmen?). AND...the oldest Feldmen mentions nursing, that babies get immunities from their mothers that way. I really thought that in BSC land, moms only used formula.
SMS: Nothing new
PSA time: Nothing new
I think this is the first time we've seen the vegetarian Cabbages and Kings restaurant. But with that name, shouldn't it serve shellfish?
If a mammal having paws large for its body means it's still young (like Shannon the puppy), then my husband's eleven- or twelve-year-old cat is still a kitten. He stomps when he walks.
Starting 8th grade: 1
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 13 (2 6th grade, 3 7th grade, 4 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: 32 8th graders, six sixth-graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 33 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, Cheese Doodles, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, marshmallows, mini candy bars, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-3 (Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor)