Original Publication Date: 1990
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
An old house in Stoneybrook is going to be torn down, but not before certain items are removed for the historical society. While this is going on, Charlotte Johanssen is staying with the McGills for a week while her parents go to be with her grandfather who's having surgery.
Stacey and Charlotte visit the house one day...and see some rather unsettling things: a mysterious face at the window, a swarm of flies near the back door, flames that suddenly disappear. They also have nightmares about the house. Kristy and Claudia do some investigating, and find that the house is built on part of an old cemetery and that the last owner now lives at a retirement home. They go to visit him and he tells them of more hauntings he experienced while living there. Despite his warnings to not attend the demolition for fear of what might be unleashed, Stacey and Charlotte go to it along with many other people from Stoneybrook. As the house is knocked down, Stacey sees more of the same flames...but no one else does. In fact, everyone else seems bored. Stacey rushes off to the retirement home, only to find that the previous owner died the night before, but had also left her a note, in which he admitted making up all the stories just so he could enjoy their company and give them something exciting to pursue. The things Stacey and Charlotte saw have reasonable explanations (the workers removing the historical pieces). So...not much of a mystery.
What Stacey saw the day of the demolition is never explained, and there are the still the nightmares, plus some weird experiences other girls had (Mallory had a nightmare, Claudia felt a presence). But the other girls' experiences happened a long time ago, and I think were just due to their feeling uncomfortable around an old, abandoned house. As for Stacey and Charlotte? Well, Stacey's diabetes has been harder to control lately and Charlotte gets tonsillitis while staying with the McGills. I think their illnesses caused what wasn't explained by the workers' actions.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: M&Ms, Twinkies, and Twix bars in her closet, crackers under her bed, Doritos
There is even MORE foreshadowing about Stacey's diabetes getting harder to control, possibly because of puberty.
Dawn's lived in Stoneybrook for "almost two years now." Which makes sense: she moved their January of their seventh grade year, and they just finished the summer after eighth. But school has just started again, and they're back in eighth grade.
Stacey's dad is the only one she lets call her Anastasia.
Stacey and her mom still have the painting from Mallory and the Mystery Diary hanging over their fireplace.
Again, the claim that Kristy's never missed a meeting, and how Dawn wants her to so she can be president for a day. Kristy has missed a few meetings, including at least one when Dawn could easily have taken over: when her dog died.
Charlotte Johanssen's favorite TV show is still The Cosby Show.
SMS: Nothing new
Hooray! Even though Charlotte's feeling better, she still finishes her penicillin prescription. Not doing so is a good way to get antibiotic-resistant bacteria, because when you're on the mend and feeling better, the bacteria that's still left is the stronger bacteria. Finish your dosages!
This just occurred to me...the girls ride their bikes a lot, but I don't recall ever reading about any of them putting on a helmet first. And on the cover of Mallory Pike, #1 Fan, she's standing next to her bike with no helmet. I always wear one, so not doing so seems just bizarre.
Stacey and Charlotte play 12 games of War. Since Stacey explained winning as getting the entire deck, not playing through once and counting who has more, that must have taken FOREVER. On a similar note, how do they play Clue with just two people?
Kristy reads about the Blizzard of 1888 in some old books Watson bought at an estate sale. There was a huge blizzard in Connecticut and the surrounding area then (one of the worst recorded), so good job on the continuity with real life!
Starting 8th grade: 3
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1 (plus one in seventh)
Summers after 8th grade: 2
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 15
Students (other than the BSC): 35 8th graders, five sixth-graders, five unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 38 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, Cheese Doodles, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, marshmallows, Mentos, mini candy bars, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, pretzels, pretzel sticks, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-5 (Guy, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-5 (Toby, Pete Black, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart)