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).
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.
New clients: the Hills, seven-year-old Norman and nine-year-old Sarah
Students: Sue Archer, Bill Torrance (8th)
Staff: Ms. Harris (science)
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.
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
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)