Original Publication Date: 1993
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker
Mary Anne mistakes worrying about what people think of her for self-centeredness and resolves to put others first more. This gets her into trouble as she bends over backward for people, particularly when she starts taking sewing lessons from a Mrs. Towne, who lives on her road. The day Mary Anne arrives for her first lesson, she finds Mrs. Towne semi-conscious, having broken her ankle badly. Mary Anne handles everything smoothly, and when Mrs. Towne is back home from the hospital the two work out an agreement that Mary Anne will help with the housework Mrs. Towne isn't able to do in exchange for sewing lessons, rather than paying. But Mrs. Towne starts to take advantage of Mary Anne's being a pushover, Mary Anne, not wanting to be selfish, takes a while to stand up for herself. But she finally does and they work it out.
While this is going on, Mary Anne and Claudia teach a children's sewing class for some of the BSC charges. Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett drop the class after getting in fights about sewing being only for girls, but do rejoin in time to make a friendship quilt that the class gives to Mrs. Towne.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: regular and chocolate-dipped pretzels in her closet, Gummi Worms
Mary Anne again expresses a desire for pierced ears. She can't seem to make up her mind whether she'll never, ever want them or she's not allowed to.
More foreshadowing about Dawn missing California.
I don't know why Mallory doesn't help with the sewing class. She knows how; Claudia's just learning.
Their Families: nothing new.
Dawn actually gets to do something as alternate officer when Mary Anne has to leave early.
SMS: summer vacation.
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
I was about to be annoyed that Mary Anne thinks she can smock on a regular sewing machine, but she correctly identifies the necessary equipment for smocking at Mrs. Towne's.
Little editing failure on page 111, where it reads "Mary Anne" instead of "Dawn."
The Pikes and Jessi make "about six dozen cookies" but at least eight varieties. They're mostly variations on chocolate chip or oatmeal that have random ingredients (like peanuts instead of chocolate chips), but with those two batches of dough plus peanut butter cookies I'd expect more than six dozen.
Starting 8th grade: 5
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 4
BSC Fights: 8
SMS Staff and Faculty: 32
Students (other than the BSC): 111; 78 8th graders, 2 7th graders, 18 6th graders, 12 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 78