Original Publication Date: 1994
Ghostwriter? Yes, Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner
I don't normally put up pictures of the books, but it's a good excuse to show off the early birthday present my husband gave me:
That's who's perched on my shoulder right now. Fitting since it's a Mary Anne book. My brother-in-law found it, stray behind his apartment. We're 99% sure it's a girl, and after she gets a clean bill of health at the vet Monday and we're sure my husband's twelve-and-a-half year-old cat won't try to eat her, she's ours! If Eddie is just a big jerk, my best friend has expressed interest. If it is indeed a girl, Jill. If boy, I really like the idea of Simon the Zealot because it'd be bizarre. (And yes, that is a Stegosaurus bath mat in the kitten quarantine bathroom.)
Anyway, the book. Jenny Prezzioso is acting more obsessed with her appearance than usual, and it's preventing her from joining the kickball team the Pike triplets are organizing. She doesn't want to join and get dirty and no one wants her on the team, so I don't see what the problem is, aside from how obsessive Jenny is about getting dirty. It eventually comes to light that Jenny is trying to be perfect because her baby sister Andrea is getting modeling jobs and Jenny is worried her parents will like Andrea more. Jenny ends up going on some auditions herself, but isn't as successful as Andrea. In retaliation, she forgoes her cleaning rituals and gets herself as filthy as possible, vying for attention. Once Mary Anne helps Mrs. Prezzioso see this, Jenny gets the attention she craves, and even a modeling job. But she finds her heart's really in playing kickball, which is now very well organized after some tips from the BSC. And Jenny's dad goes to watch her pitch in a game. Aww...
AND...Mallory brings up to her parents that she's sitting for her siblings more than she used to sit for other kids, and after a talk with the doctor they agree that she can rejoin the BSC.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: potato chips in the closet, pretzels
Logan was on the school volleyball team. In Washington, there is no official boys' volleyball through schools (Title IX thing). I checked with the CT school sports website and it appears there is volleyball offered through schools there.
Claudia makes her own greetings cards.
The reason the triplets start the teams is that they want to prove they're old enough to not need a sitter, finally realizing that Mallory's only one year older than they are.
Jenny asks who's at the door before opening it to Mary Anne's knocks, as she was being taught in earlier books.
Claudia's personals column is still running in the school paper.
If you have a sandbox in the yard you should cover it when it's not being played in. Cats, raccoons, opossums (or possums in Australia, I suppose) and other animals think they make great litter boxes.
Apparently the ice cream man comes really early to Stoneybrook. The last book was midwinter, so it can't be too much earlier than the beginning of spring--wait, am I trying to apply a logical timeline to these books?
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