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.
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.
Nothing new about the BSC, but the We ♥ Kids Club reluctantly agrees to schedule regular meeting times.
SMS: book takes place in California
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.
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
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 90