Jessi's Gold Medal (RS#55)

Original Publication Date: 1992

Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis


The summer olympics are on (they were held in this book's publication year, in Barcelona) and they inspire both a sports festival at SMS and mini olympics for the BSC charges (Jessi's idea). About a month before both, SMS gym classes have a swimming session, during which Jessi is asked to join the synchronized swim team. She competes in it for the sports festival and wins, which should come as no surprise to anyone who read the title of the book. Most of the BSC competes, too, including Kristy who beats Alan Gray in an obstacle course, winning a bet that indentures him to a week of servitude to Kristy. Mary Anne mans the concession stand so that she can still be part of the day with doing a sport, and Mallory tries to fake-sprain an ankle to avoid being pressured to compete but sprains it for real.

The mini-olympics goes pretty well, although Andrew gets upset at losing every event he tries to enter (why didn't they separate the kids by age groups?). Fortunately, it's an Everyone Gets a Trophy Day, and he gets a ribbon for trying so hard. Totally appropriate for a four-year-old, but I would think that ten-year-olds can handle someone coming in first.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Ring Dings, Milky Ways, pretzels, chips, malt balls, Oreos (no hiding places mentioned)

This book says Kristy "lets her long, brown hair hang straight." I think it's supposed to mean that she doesn't curl or perm it, but it doesn't quite sound like a ponytail. I've also never pictured her hair as long, more medium-length, like around her shoulder blades.

It also implies that Mary Anne was dressing in little girl clothes with pigtails until her dad remarried. And that she didn't start dating Logan until after that.

Their Families:

Mr. Pike has "brewer's yeast" sitting around that Byron mixes with water and drinks...I know there wouldn't be any alcohol in it the way he makes it (just water, drinks it right away) but it seems weird to throw that into the story.

The Club:

The BSC still puts out ads from time to time.


Faculty/Staff: Ms. Walden (6th gym)

Students: Elise Coates and Janet Gates (unspecified), Maya Condos (6th)

PSA time:

No. No, no, no. You can't just walk out and try pole vault. It's dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Utterly fantastic event, but please practice it before you actually go compete in it. (No, the author didn't confuse it with high jump or javelin; both are mentioned separately.)


Hee. This line: "Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, and ladies glow." I used to say that to the cross country team I coached.

Should you ever do high jump, the Fosbury Flop is almost certainly a better option than the Western Roll. Dick Fosbury was an engineer in addition to an athlete, and figured out the mathematics of it.

The numbers:

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: 26

Students (other than the BSC): 75; 50 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 11 sixth-graders, 11 unspecified

Clients: 29

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 58 (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 (regular and sweet-n-sour), Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, jellybeans, Kit-Kats, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, malt balls, marshmallows, Mentos, Milky Ways, mini candy bars, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf and chocolate-dipped), 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)


Michelle said...

The title just totally ruins the book, LOL. It would be like calling Citizen Kane 'It Was His Sled'.

nikki said...

I was always scared to Fosbury Flop in gym class. I didn't like the idea of not seeing where I'm jumping :)