Original Publication Date: 1992
It's time for egg-babies. The eighth-graders are taking a Modern Living class (it might be a section of health class; it's not clear) for which they are paired up as married couples and each couple gets an egg to take care of for a month. Mary Anne is confident: she and Logan are a real couple already, and she's an experienced baby-sitter. Naturally, she and her classmates quickly find out that, at thirteen, they are nowhere near ready to live independently of their parents, much less have their own kids. Ultimately, Mary Anne does enjoy the project, but decides kids and marriage should wait until she's in her early-to-mid twenties. The rest of the BSC agrees that responsibilities like this should wait. The project also cures Mary Anne and Dawn of their longing for a baby brother or sister.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned, unless you want to count the eggs that "attended" a few meetings
We already know that Kristy and Mary Anne have similar coloring and height, but I think this is the first we've heard that they have a similar face shape.
Um..."[Claudia]'s very exotic-looking. No brown hair and brown eyes for her. She's Japanese-American." Because, as we all know, people of Japanese-only descent have magenta eyes.
"Individuality and independence do not necessarily equal self-confidence. Dawn has some chinks in her armor..." Nice to see it acknowledged that Dawn tried to change herself for a couple guys.
Mallory, reminiscing about her mom's pregnancy with Claire: "You don't know how tired you feel when you're pregnant. And you're even tireder after the baby comes. Busier, too." Truer words were never spoken.
New clients: twin infants Ricky and Rose Salem, from the infant-care class the club took in #45; and Alicia and Bobby Gianelli (the latter is one of Karen Brewer's classmates).
Students: Aaron Albright, Angela ?, Kevin ?, Miles ?, Tarik ?, Zoe ? (8th)
Staff: Mrs. Boyden (8th grade Modern Living)
The Modern Living class seems like a fore-runner of the upcoming Short Takes classes.
In the Modern Living class, the students are paired off into couples. There are four more boys than girls, so there end up being two boy-boy couples. An attempt at being progressive, or one at humor?
Okay, come on. Meat is not intrinsically bad for you. In fact, vegetarians and vegans have to be careful to find adequate sources of protein to replace what would have been eaten in meat. Many people live perfectly healthy lives without meat, and others eat too much of it, but to say that it's always bad for everyone is just not true.
Salt will hold together a spilled egg yolk. Good to know if you drop an egg or your kid decides to "adopt" one as a pretend child and breaks it trying to draw clothes on it.
Yes, Mary Anne, good job. It's always fine to ask a mom with a new baby if how she's doing. If she's really, really not doing well, it can be an opportunity for her to realize that she might need some help.
From the way the scene is written, the Salem twins seem to be drinking expressed milk rather than formula. The early books seemed to not even acknowledge that babies can drink milk; they always, always, always talked about formula...
...Like a few chapters later, when some of the girls are pretend-feeding their eggs, and talk about how they'd have to mix up formula if they were real babies. Feeding a baby formula doesn't bug me (yes, breast is best, but it's most important to feed the kid, period) but it's so weird to not see breastfeeding mentioned. I knew about it well before the age of thirteen, but that may have something to do with having a brother seven years younger.
This book made me look forward to doing a project like this one day in school. Never happened, though. Oh well, now I'm doing it for real!
Starting 8th grade: 3
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 2
BSC Fights: 6
SMS Staff: 24
Students (other than the BSC): 72; 50 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 10 sixth-graders, nine unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 53 (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, fruit pie, 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-2 (Curtiis Shaller, Quint Walter)