Original Publication Date: 1991
Jessi volunteers to help with her sister's after-school club, which organizes charity activities for its members. She's helping out for a month while one of the teachers is on a trip; otherwise the club would have had to disband. The rest of the BSC also backs off from baby-sitting to volunteer: Stacey with a new diabetes clinic for recently-diagnosed kids, Kristy with the daycare her younger brother used to attend, Dawn with kids who have physical disabilities like muscular dystrophy, Claudia teaches an art class at the community center, Mary Anne's helping watch a family friend's brain-damaged son, and Mallory volunteers at the park's recreation program.
Through the club, Jessi meets Danielle, a nine-year-old with leukemia. She's just gotten out of the hospital and is rejoining the club. At first, the students who knew her when she was healthy are hesitant, worrying about how sick Danielle is. But she's able to do most of the same things, she just gets tired sooner. Jessi also finds out about a Make A Wish-like program and through it, Danielle and her family are able to go to Disney World. Sadly, Danielle has a relapse, and is in the hospital again at the end of the book.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Mallory expects to make a lot of money from her writing, and plans to use to pay for a nose job.
I wish we'd read about Logan and Shannon doing something. They just end up baby-sitting more.
Kristy's good at spelling.
Jessi has a collection of ceramic horses and of stuffed animals.
Claudia's reaction to learning Margo Pike will be in her art class: "Great!" And to learning Karen Brewer also will: "I'll be prepared." Claudia's awesome.
New client: the Roberts family, Danielle and Greg.
SMS: nothing new
I agree with Jessi's mom, it's a good idea to not inundate a family with calls when a member has to go to the hospital. Do call, but maybe wait a day or two.
Kristy feels a need to explain that daycare is for parents who work.
It was very thoughtful of the Roberts to get a kitten for Danielle's brother, Greg. He must feel lost with all the attention Danielle needs.
The part with fingerpainting reminds me of an exchange I had with a five-year-old when he came back from playing at a friend's house. He had been painting and it got all over him and his clothes, too. I asked what he made, and he looked at his painting, then himself, and said, "A mess."
Margo sculpts a Hamburger Man. When I worked at a bike store, a customer told me he was making a Hamburger Bike: tan wheels for the bun, a brown frame for the meat, a green seat for the lettuce, red and yellow handlebar tape for the ketchup and mustard. He had some other ideas, too.
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: 6
SMS Staff: 20
Students (other than the BSC): 63; 40 8th graders, nine sixth-graders, nine unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 50 (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, Triscuits, Twinkies, Yodels)
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)