Original Publication Date: 1994
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
SMS students are all getting jobs during a six-week Short Takes class, so they can learn about working in the real world. Stacey is working at Toy Town, a store in the mall, and the rest of the BSC (except Shannon, since she goes to a different school, and Dawn of course) also gets jobs at the mall. But there have more than a couple instances of shoplifting, and the BSC is sure they can find out who's responsible. After some investigating, they discover that not only is the mall manager shoplifting items to sell later, but there are some homeless children living at the mall. The mall manager was trying to recoup losses he'd incurred by mismanaging the mall. The kids had seen him, and were allowed to stay if they'd be discrete and not tell. The police nab the manager and get help for the kids, who ended up homeless when their mom had to be hospitalized. Stacey also helps spearhead a childcare center for the mall.
Because this book is so centered on the mall, there's not a lot of continuity information.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Hershey's miniatures under her bed, Cheetos Paws, cookies sweetened with fruit juice
Shannon's schedule is light enough at this moment that she can handle most of the BSC jobs that come in.
Their Families: nothing new.
While this project is going on, Shannon is pretty much the BSC. So, SMS can just keep the kids doing school work for hours?
Shea Rodowsky has a crush on Shannon (Buddy Barrett did earlier).
Hello, Short Takes classes, also known as plot devices. They're classes that last a few weeks and teach something specific in encapsulated form. The class that had the egg babies is referred to in this book as a Short Takes class, but wasn't when we first read about it.
Teacher: Mr. Withum (Short Takes)
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
Stacey's wearing floral print leggings on the cover. I think it's interesting that a lot of print fabrics would make nice skirts but terrible pants.
The kitten is healthy aside from a little cold and is a six-week-old BOY. Now that I know it's a boy, I'm not sold on Simon the Zealot. We'll see.
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: 41
Students (other than the BSC): 135; 97 8th graders, 4 7th graders, 19 6th graders, 15 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 92