Original Publication Date: 1991
What's this? Another two-week school vacation? Time for a trip, then! This time, it's New York City, to stay with Stacey's dad (Stacey, Claudia, and Dawn) and Laine (Mary Anne, Kristy, Mallory, and Jessi).
Claudia and Mallory take art lessons at the Fine Arts League of New York. Mallory enjoys it, learning a bit about art though ultimately deciding she prefers a different style of drawing and writing overall, but Claudia has a rough time of it. The teacher is harsh with Claudia but generous with praise when talking to Mallory. Of course, this is because Claudia has so much potential that the teacher wants to push to her to realize just how good she can be.
Kristy finds a stray dog. She hides him in Laine's apartment, thinking she'll be able to bring him home, but her mom and stepdad say no, so she has to find an owner for the dog before leaving New York. The dog ends up going to a nine-year-old boy who adores him.
Mary Anne does some of her walking guide book bit, which works well since she and Stacey end up babysitting some British children, Alistaire (whose name I can't read without thinking of Alastair Sim from the 1951 A Christmas Carol) and Rowena, and taking them around NYC sightseeing (including the World Trade Center; weird). Their parents on visiting for work (they're something like diplomats), and while Mary Anne and Stacey are watching the kids, they notice someone following them, and think someone's out to kidnap the children.
Just like when she visited in RS#18, Dawn is terrified of NYC. But she does eventually go into the city (she'd been hiding in Stacey's dad's apartment) after meeting one of Stacey's neighbors, Richie, who has a broken ankle but more importantly, loves NYC and shows Dawn that there are plenty of good things about it.
Jessi goes to a ballet at the Lincoln Center and meets a dancer a little older than she, Quint, who's good enough to audition for Juilliard but nervous because the other boys in his neighborhood tease him for dancing ballet. Jessi prompts him to try out anyway, and he gets in.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Mary Anne worries that when she says goodbye before going on a long trip it might be the last time she sees whoever she's leaving.
Jessi briefly gets to be the funny one again, instead of just the Black Ballerina caricature she's on her way to being.
It's too bad Claudia didn't continue keeping a diary after making one of the NYC trip, because it would have helped her spelling.
Stacey's dad is still a workaholic, but trying to curb that tendency.
The Pikes' computer does graphics. Ooh.
The Club: nothing new
SMS: on vacation
No! Brontosaurus is the head of an Apatosaurus on the body of a Camarasaurus! It was only created because Marsh and Cope got in a pissing contest over who could discover the most species of extinct animals and they got sloppy. Stop thinking it ever existed! If you really like the name Brontosaurus, because "thunder lizard" is a good name, look up Eobrontosaurus.
This book was given as an eleventh birthday present to a Kirsten H. in 1991. Kirsten, happy most-likely-belated thirtieth birthday!
Stacey mentions cockroaches. Ugh. I'm so, so glad that I live in the Pacific Northwest, where roach species prefer wooded areas to house interiors.
Does the petting zoo still cost a dime? Stacey says it always will, but I can't find the information online.
Another question for you New Yorkers (I've only been the city once, for about two hours, so I don't know): when you take a cab with a baby or young child, do you put a carseat or booster seat in the cab?
Starting 8th grade: 3
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 2
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 19
Students (other than the BSC): 62; 39 8th graders, nine sixth-graders, nine unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 48 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, dark-chocolate caramels, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, 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), Planter's Peanut bar, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, pretzel sticks, red hots, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-7 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-4 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Richie Magnesi), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-7 (Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, Ross Brown, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart), Jessi-1 (Quint Walter)