Dawn and the We ♥ Kids Club (RS#72)

Original Publication Date: 1994

Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis


This is the book that turned most Dawn hold-outs against her, whoever was left after Dawn Saves the Planet. There's being upset, even understandably angry, and then there's committing what could well be felony theft.

Anyway, the book starts with the We ♥ Kids Club being interviewed in the local paper, and the story gets picked up for a spot on the TV news. Suddenly the calls won't stop coming, which you'd think would be fine since there are no set meeting times. Kristy gets jealous and tries in vain to have the BSC similarly recognized.

But the really big thing that stands out in this book is that Dawn's dad announces he and Carol are engaged. And Dawn...oh, Dawn. She's understandably shocked, so she responds as any normal person would: stealing her dad's credit card and flying back to Stoneybrook. She at least leaves a note. Once she lands, she finds a very upset mother, who takes her home but makes it clear Dawn's going right back to California to finish the time all parties had agreed on, only to come back early if it's actually planned. And she has to pay for BOTH tickets. During her brief stay on the East Coast she's grounded and can't see any of her friends (except Mary Anne, of course). Tough, but totally called for. Selfish Dawn gets her way though: the enormity of what she did strains her dad and Carol's relationship enough that they break up completely.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Reese's Pieces under her mattress

I was already well aware of Dawn's dislike of omnivores, but since when does she get annoyed by jocks? I mean yeah, she hates everyone, but jocks get a special mention.

If Dawn doesn't like kids to play with toy guns, why is she okay with toy swords? Also, in California Girls she was fine eating airline chicken, but now it's nauseating. California's getting to her!

I can understand Dawn's initial reaction. Even when you know something that you don't want to happen is eminent, it's hard when you actually have to face it. However, everything after that is insane.

Their Families:

I don't remember Dawn's parents arguing over her desire to spend time in California, at least not too much. But Dawn implies that there was a huge fight.

The California Schafer house is consistently described as being U shaped in a few books now.

Jeff is in the habit of making terrible puns.

The Club:

Nothing new about the BSC, but the We ♥ Kids Club reluctantly agrees to schedule regular meeting times.

SMS: book takes place in California

PSA Time:

It's a good idea to ask before recording someone talking. Depending on your local laws, it might be illegal to recording without the consent of both parties.


You can totally tell Dawn's school is in California because her teacher says "See you mañana" instead of "See you tomorrow." People outside of Southern California never use Spanish words, ever.

According to Dawn, the stands for love, as in the We Love Kids Club.

Sunny still remembers how to surf, which she learned in the last California book. She also originally hails from Oregon.

Jill's already the odd man out: she lives the furthest, and when Dawn describes the reactions to being interviewed of what should be four girls, she only mentions three.


"Chimichangas" is italicized, because it's a bizarre foreign word, and leaving it in regular font would confuse our poor, non-Californian brains.

Mary Anne is reading Julie of the Wolves, which I just finished rereading. Good book.

The newspaper reporter wears grey stirrup slacks. And they make her look sophisticated.

The numbers:

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: 40

Students (other than the BSC): 135; 97 8th graders, 4 7th graders, 19 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 29

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 90

Mary Anne-2


Laura said...

Who records someone talking without their consent in this book?

Ah, this is the book where Claudia is the Princess and the Pieces. I can never remember which book that happens in.

SJSiff said...

No, the newspaper reporter DOES ask consent, which is a good thing to do.

Yes, the Princess and the Pieces pun is in this book, when Mary Anne comments that she thought the bed felt lumpy after Claudia pulls out the candy. Jessi makes the pun.

Laura said...

Oh, the reporter, right. Yes, I remember she does ask.

The World of Lurlene Mcdaniel said...

i agree with you there thAt this is one of the books that totally made me see dawn as a shallow witch and the stealing her dad's credit card just because he's getting engaged to carol, who i thought dawn was starting to like? i know if i ever did stuff like that, i would be in big trouble and oh boy. and she thought she was going to get away with it in connecticut? think again! dawn really is a hypocrite and i'm glad i stopped being her fan and started liking stacey, claud, mary anne, and abby more.

SJSiff said...

Yes, Dawn does some pretty awful things in this book. Others that demonstrate her stubborn belief that she's always 100% right and refusal to work with others to reach compromise are Dawn Save the Planet and Dawn and the School Spirit War.

Isabel Escalante said...

One thing that I still remember clearly from this book is when Dawn or someone calls some office and the reply from an answer machine is 'posityeskinfeet' or something like that. I could never figure out what that was supposed to stand for, even after saying it out loud.

SJSiff said...

Isabel, I've been saying it out loud too, and also have no idea! :)