Original Publication Date: 1990
Ghostwriter? Yes, Mary Lou Kennedy
Dawn develops a huge crush on a high school friend of Kristy's brothers. And Travis seems to like her back: he stops by her house, takes her to the mall, buys her little gifts, and so on. But his gifts are also a way of manipulating her: he buys her hair combs in order to get her to cut her hair and style it differently, he buys her earrings in the hopes she'll get a third hole pierced in each ear, he orders for her at a restaurant. Dawn's a little too smitten to see that he's trying to change her until she realizes that he's actually dating someone at his high school. The shock brings her back to Earth. She tells Travis what she thinks of him (not much) and moves on.
The parallel story is that James Hobart is getting teased by Zach again, and is torn between playing with his real friends and wanting to fit in now that he lives in America. He eventually decides to hang out with people who appreciate him for who he is rather than for who they want him to be.
The book ends with Mary Anne and Logan having written to Logan's cousin, Lewis, about Dawn. He writes back to Dawn, and they become penpals and plan to meet when he visits Stoneybrook later in the year.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
There is still MORE foreboding about Stacey's health.
Obviously, when Jessi is sleeping over at someone's house or on a trip, she can't practice ballet at her barre. I wonder if she does other exercises instead.
Dawn says no one her age shakes hands, but Mallory shook Mrs. Ramsey's hand when Jessi introduced them (yes, Mallory's 11, but Dawn thinks this in reference to a high schooler, so I'm assuming a wide age range). Of course, Dawn didn't see that interaction.
Mallory and Ben Hobart are starting to go out. According to Dawn, Ben's in eighth grade? I thought he was in sixth...
I doubt this is intentional, but at one point David Michael looks through a cigar box full of toys. Way off in book 107 or 118, we'll find out that Watson smokes cigars once in while. Either crazy-good continuity or a coincidence.
Sam Thomas is on the track team, but the book doesn't specify which events he does.
Okay, Kristy's starting to become a caricature: while she doesn't say anything, she's clearly annoyed with Dawn for arriving two minutes late for a BSC...when she was coming from a sitting job.
Hmm. Dawn says Stacey keeps track of how much the sitters make at their jobs. That use to fall under Mary Anne's job.
Assuming Stoneybrook High School and Middle School follow similar sports schedules, football and boys' basketball and both boys' and girls' swimming are all in the fall. So is track and field...and there are tryouts for it? Maybe the ghostwriter just doesn't know sports that well, or Connecticut is weird. I'm leaning toward the former, because how can he be on three of teams at once (football, track, swimming)? I got two letters one high school season, but that's because I was manager of the second team, which is much easier to work out schedule-wise.
PSA time: nothing stood out.
I think it's odd that most teenagers in these books don't get their licenses at 16 (from the description, Travis is the only person Dawn knows who got his license at 16). That was the norm at my school. We didn't necessarily have cars, but we had our licenses.
I briefly had a similar reaction to Dawn's assumption that the Latin club would be all girls, because my dad took Latin in high school the other (four) students were also male...then I remembered he went to all-boys school.
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, six sixth-graders, five unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 40 (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, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, Planter's Peanut bar, 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-3 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, 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)
Sweet Valley Kids #72: The Macaroni Mess
22 hours ago