Original Publication Date: 1994
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn
Claudia's feeling down and out because she doesn't have a boyfriend, and has never had a serious relationship. This segues into her starting a personals column with the school newspaper (don't worry, they have spell check). She does a really good job with it, and even goes on a handful of dates that originate from it. But nothing pans out. She decides, wisely, to wait for someone who meets her standards rather than settling.
This is also the book in which it's discovered that Marnie Barrett is allergic to dogs, and the family has to give Pow away. I do actually feel bad for the kids, but at least the Pikes agree to take the basset hound, so the Barretts can visit often.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Cool Ranch Doritos under her bed,
Shannon's "on the short side." I always pictured her a little taller than average.
It seems Mary Anne has told the rest of the BSC that she used to see a therapist (previously she told Claudia in the Chain Letter book).
Claudia responds to an anonymous personal ad that turns out to be from Alan Gray. On paper they seem like a pretty good match. File this information away for when I reach the Friends Forever series.
The Pikes' cat Sarge that appeared in the very first books is still forgotten.
The order's a little messed up when Claudia tells us the history of the BSC. She implies that there were no associate members until after Stacey returned from New York, when they were really inducted before she moved.
Suzi Barrett still believes in Santa, which plays a role in her subplot of the twelfth Super Special.
Do you think it was intentional that the ceremony to mark Pow's transfer to the Pikes ended in eating Oreos? Marnie's allergic to dogs and chocolate...
Students: Liza Shore (7th), Brian Hall, Julie Stern (8th), Rose Marie Montey, Kurt ?, Nathan ? (unspecified)
The SMS paper is put out weekly. When I was on the high school paper, it was only monthly and a lot less complicated than the one SMS does. However, my graduating class only had 69 students and the SMS eighth grade is nearly 100 strong.
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
Do you get results immediately from an allergy test? I'm fortunate enough to have no allergies, so I don't know if it's realistic that the Barretts found out Marnie's allergies the same day as the test.
Ew, Claudia wears brown and yellow together. That color combination makes me think of an old moldy banana.
Starting 8th grade: 6
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Halloweens in 8th grade: 3 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 6
BSC Fights: 8
SMS Staff and Faculty: 36
Students (other than the BSC): 134; 96 8th graders, 4 7th graders, 19 6th graders, 15 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 87