Dawn's Big Date (RS#50)

Original Publication Date: 1992

Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn


Remember a few books back when Dawn had a crush on a high schooler, Travis, and let him change all sorts of things? At the end of that book, she became pen pals with Logan's cousin, Lewis. Now he's coming for a visit, and Dawn decides that she needs to update her look and act cool so she can impress him. Most of the BSC thinks she's going overboard, although Mary Anne is eager to help. Naturally, Lewis is confused and disappointed to find that the girl he'd been getting to know is completely different in person. Dawn has a revelation before he leaves and goes back to her true self. She and Lewis get along much better when they're both being who they are, and the rest of his visit goes well. They continue writing letters when he returns to Kentucky.

At the same time, the BSC sits a few times for a new family, the Hills. Norman (7) has a weight problem, while his parents and older sister are thin. They're always on his case about it, belittling and nagging him rather than helping him. The BSC helps him stand up to his sister's bullying and inspire him to talk to his parents about the situation, too. He ends up getting respect from his sister, showing his parents how to help him better, and resolving to get to healthier weight.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: regular, cheese, and caramel popcorn under her bed

Dawn has stationery with a tiny silver unicorn printed on the corner of each sheet. I wouldn't mention it except that when they went to Disney World, the boy she had a crush on bought her a charm bracelet with a tiny glass unicorn on it.

Dawn points out what we've all thought about the Kishis' ban on Nancy drew books: at least Claudia's reading something. (A theory I've heard is that her parents let Claudia think they're forbidden fruit to make them more interesting.)

This book marks the first time Dawn's ever chewed bubblegum (sugarless, of course).

Their Families:

Dawn's mom and Mary Anne's dad are doing better at working together despite their differences: Sharon is more organized and Richard is less uptight.

The Club:

New clients: the Hills, seven-year-old Norman and nine-year-old Sarah


Students: Sue Archer, Bill Torrance (8th)

Staff: Ms. Harris (science)

PSA time:

Dawn says (judgmentally) that she and her mom are very health-conscious in their eating, for example, they eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables. Generally better than cooked, although at least carrots and tomatoes are healthier when they're cooked.


Whoever bought this at a used bookstore (maybe me; I can't remember) paid $1.60 for it.

The numbers:

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: 23

Students (other than the BSC): 62; 43 8th graders, 10 sixth-graders, nine unspecified

Clients: 28

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 52 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, Chunky bar, 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, Kit-Kats, 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-8 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Arthur Feingold, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-5 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Price Irving, 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)


Laura said...

BSC AG, I think I'm going to have to go back through all your previous posts and re-read the Candy in Claudia's Room sections because I'm sure Claudia must've eaten popcorn before this book - although I guess maybe it mightn't have been in her room that she ate it.

Seeing as she had caramel, cheese and regular popcorn in her room in this book, I'm thinking it must be the one where Peaches sent her the tin with the three different kinds in it. And she says she's lucky her parents didn't see it because she just talked them into letting her have plain/buttered popcorn and that flavoured would definitely be out/a no-no.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought it was silly that Dawn is changing completely for a boy again, not long after Dawn and the older boy, where she said that she wants to be loved for what she really is. Anyway, it was a good book and I had loved all that makeup-fashion-hang out stuff like when I was ten! I originally read the books in french when I was young (i'm from Quebec,Canada) but now I re-read them in English to practice a little. Continue your blog, I like it !

BSC AG said...

Laura, you're right; she has had popcorn (and you also described accurately how she hid it from her parents). I list all the junk food in her room for each book, and I have a running total at the bottom with my other numbers. She has quite the variety so far.

Anon, yeah, it is. Especially when she's such an individual.

Laura said...

Anon: Yes! That totally bothered me that Dawn'd said she wouldn't want to change for a guy and would rather find one she could be herself/a slob around but then completely changed her entire personality and attitude, not to mention her wardrobe, for Lewis.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite BSC books. I particularly remember what a jerk Mary Anne was in this one. I am also embarassed to say that when I first read this I thought Dawn's new outfits sounded so cool. Rereading them as an adult, I can recognize how hideous they are.

BBH said...

You are awesome! I love your blog.
I like the theory you mentioned with the Nancy Drew books.

I always hated this one because didn't Dawn fail a test on purpose? (Or was it just cutting up in class?) At that point, I thought she had taken it too far. I could not wrap my 8 year old brain around that one.

BSC AG said...

BBH: She doesn't fail a test, but she does goof off in class and lose participation points. Even now, I can't imagine doing that!

Also, just to be clear, I didn't come up with the theory about the Nancy Drew books, but I do like it. I read it on another blog; not sure which.

Emily said...

This is probably my favorite BSC book of all time. :)

The World of Lurlene Mcdaniel said...

dawn never learns does she. Wow and she accuses Mary anne of changing her looks, yet at least Mary anne is actually honest with herself and doesn't change for a boy twice, especially if that boy happens to be the cousin of your step sister's boyfriend. Man is dawn so stupid.