Original Publication Date: 1989
Mallory gets short-term steady sitting job (aren't they all?) with a new client, the Arnolds. Her charges are eight-year-old identical Marilyn and Carolyn. At first, things seem okay, but soon the twins start to misbehave. Their parents dress them the same, even down to their nail polish, so when they take off their ID bracelets, Mallory can't tell them apart. They do this when Claudia sits for them too, going so far as to send the wrong twin to her piano practice.
Mallory eventually figures out that the girls want to be treated like individuals, just like her triplet brothers do. Once the girls realize Mallory does actually want to get to know them, they behave better. Mallory also helps them talk to their mom about dressing differently. They end up with permission to spend their birthday money on new outfits, and are much happier.
Inspired, Mallory talks to her parents about updating her look. She ends up with permission to get pierced ears and a new haircut and to spend babysitting money on clothes.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: NONE!
If Mallory's eyes are bad enough that wouldn't be able to read the twins' ID bracelets from a short distance, why would she ever consider going anywhere but down the hall without her glasses?
Claudia's leg aches when rain's on the way.
Dawn is taller than both Mary Anne and Mallory.
Mallory knows how to make coffee. I don't, so that impresses me. I barely know how to order it.
When they go to the mall, Dawn gets two holes in each ear, Claudia adds an extra hole (it doesn't specify which side), and Mallory and Jessi each get one. Mary Anne remarks that Jessi looks "pretty sexy." (Kristy and Mary Anne leave the mall with their earlobes intact)
Mallory also gets braces and a new haircut. Her stylist tells her cutting her hair shorter will let it relax, which I don't get. My hair is wavy/curly and really thick. Right now it's to my mid-back so it weighs itself down and mostly ends up wavy or in loose curls. If it's much short than my shoulders, it becomes an afro (seriously, when I was three I had a white-blonde afro).
Supposedly, the triplets have distinct personalities. But is this every expanded upon? Byron's "sensitive" and likes to eat, Jordan takes piano lessons, and Adam's the other one. Have I missed anything?
I think Mallory's parents are right to be cautious in giving contact lenses to an eleven-year-old. They're more work that glasses and the person getting them needs to be able to handle that (maybe Mallory is, but she needs to prove that). I got my first pair when I start heading the ball more in soccer, at age 13.
Associate members don't pay dues (which makes sense).
The Arnolds are introduced.
This books marks the first time that one of the girls really steps in to talk to the parents about a problem the kids are having. Mallory wonders if she's overstepping her bounds, but we all know that as time goes on, the girls worry less and less about that.
SMS: Nothing new.
Another difference between a yard sale and an estate sale is that the owner of the items being sold at the latter tends to be dead.
Mallory doesn't know what a shoe tree is.
I hope Nicky's model of the solar system made with balls isn't supposed to be to scale, because the sun is a tennis ball.
My friends and I must have liked this book. Jessi reminisces about pretending to be twins; Mallory about pretending to be foreign. I can recall being on a ferry ride with three other friends and two pretended to be fraternal twins while the other and I pretending to be French. I also remember thinking that I'd have to wait until I was 16 (like my mom had been) to get my ears pierced. Instead, when I was seven and we walked by a boutique, I asked Mom and she stunned me by saying yes!
Carolyn says she has "pretty much money." What a strange way to put it.
Starting 8th grade: 1
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1
BSC Fights: 4
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: 32 (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), pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie 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)