Mallory Pike, #1 Fan (RS#80)

Original Publication Date: 1994

Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn


Mallory has a fangirl crush on her latest favorite author, Henrietta Hayes. It seems to have affected her mind, judging by how immensely stupid Mallory is in this book. You see, the girl who's been dreaming her whole life of being an children's book author and once wrote a story about mice who wear clothes (New York, New York!), now thinks that YOU MUST ONLY WRITE BASED ON REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE.

She gets the chance to meet her idol, who conveniently lives nearby, through a school project (it also involves writing a play for the Kids Can Do Anything Club, which portrays the Pikes pretty badly; it doesn't go well). When she discovers that the author's life is vastly different from the FICTION books, Mallory reads her the riot act. It's just so not Mallory. She starts out wondering how much of the author's life influenced her writing (totally fine), but then loses it. Things do work out in the end when Mallory starts to return to her normal self, but everything before that...Her behavior is so cringe-inducing and unbelievable. This is not one of the better BSC books. It's so painful to read, especially chapter eleven.

Greer at http://blog.stoneybrookite.org/ is diligently posting about the BSC Challenge. Here are my last answers:

One thing you learned from the BSC: Just one? I learned that you shouldn't refreeze defrosted chicken and the "continue on" is redundant. I also learned the trick about not guessing what a child's drawn because you could very well be wrong, and how to look for secret passages by knocking on walls to listen for hollow spots (and even found the compartment where my great-grandparents kept the deed to their house and other papers like that).

Favorite BSC villain: Cokie Mason was always good for a laugh, as was Cary Retlin. Most entertaining though is Stacey when she quits/is fired.

Biggest "that would never happen in real life" moment: Hmm. There are so many...Mallory's delusions in this book, Logan just randomly picking up pole vault and being amazing at it with no experience especially during TRY-OUTS for TRACK AND FIELD, Mary Anne--an accomplished knitter--thinking that a hat is easier than a baby blanket, ten-year-olds obeying eleven-year-olds (I have trouble with eight-year-olds sometimes, and I've got almost two decades on them), Kristy finding softball teams in neighboring towns to play hers, Jessi getting all those ballet lead roles, the Baby-sitters' Island Adventure fiasco...again, just one?

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: none mentioned

Mary Anne's back to being short again.

Mallory tells us, "Dawn swears she'll be back, but sometimes I wonder." I guess there was no set date for her return then? Or is this foreshadowing?

Sure, Kristy runs her mouth a lot, but some things need to be said, like in this book when she tells Mallory in vain that her play is offensive.

Their Families:

Vanessa Pike is still a deep sleeper.

The Club:

Danielle Roberts's leukemia is back.


The continuity with teachers has been pretty good lately.

I don't get the point of this assignment...doing a bunch of work kinda-sorta in the realm of what you might want to do when you grow up...as a sixth-grader...My twelfth grade (last year of high school for those with different school systems) had something like this, but much more organized. We were supposed to report on the training required for your intended career, the upward mobility of it, the pay range, what locations it was available in and if your pay would cover expenses. And you know what? Even though I was certain what I'd be doing, four years later I was somewhere totally different. Not bad, but different.

PSA Time:

When someone starts acting wildly different (especially paranoid) it's not a bad idea to suggest medical intervention. I'm just saying, Mallory hangs out with Charlotte Johanssen, maybe she should go see her mom. Might be a brain injury or something.

The Pikes use a microwave to heat their water? Have fun with the exploding!


This book is full of "Remember when...?" and they seem pretty on.

This book also has a lot of unnecessary commas.

Either streets are labeled differently on the East Coast or the ghost writer (Suzanne Weyn) doesn't understand street addresses. A house with the number 312 won't be crazy-far away from one with 80 (although 80 is a weird house number for the US); it will be two blocks away. And one street branching off another...both shouldn't be "Road"...one should be "Court" or "Place" or something.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 7

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 4 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1

Summers after 8th grade: 7

BSC Fights: 9

SMS Staff and Faculty: 47

Students (other than the BSC): 165; 101 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 31

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 97

Mary Anne-2


Laura said...

Maybe the house number being 80 was because this is book 80? (Why is 80 a weird house number in the US?)

How in the world did Mallory think her mom would not find the play insulting? That girl is straight up delusional in this book.

One thing you learned from the BSC - Continue on is redundant. And I also learned that you couldn't defrost and re-freeze meat (thought it was all meat, not just chicken but I could be mistaken) w/o cooking it first. And the 'tell me about it' trick. I already knew the tapping on walls thing because I was a total Claudia (a voracious Nancy Drew reader).

Favourite BSC Villan - My favourite was actually the Cokie-expy Marcie from the TV show ep. MA and the Brunettes. If I need to pick one from the books, Karl Tate. (Just the idea of a grown man stealing other people's dogs is just so pathetic. And sad for the original dog owners. Also it reminds me of Paul Merton's stand-up routine about stealing dogs. Though his was not about a pet shop stealing dogs requested by their customers but about the urban myth of being served dog/cat at an asian restaurant. He says (very tongue-in-cheek) that it totally makes sense that instead of going to a butcher and asking for some nice beef, chicken, pork and lamb that you'd run round the streets late at night, trying to catch labradors in a butterflly net.)

Biggest that would never happen in real life moment - I have to go with pod-Mallory (or OOC Mal, if you prefer) in #1 Fan.

Your project sounds like Modern Living. (Except no egg babies.) And it also reminds me of the episode of Boy Meets World where Mr. Feeny gives his 6th graders an assigment to come to school as the person they'll be in 10/20 years. He gives Cory an incomplete on the project because he feels Cory didn't put enough thought into it but Cory feels better after his Dad tells him that his future is supposed to be incomplete because when it's complete, people tend to call it the past.

I've been so afraid of heating water in a microwave ever since I heard about the exploding thing! I hear if you put something wooden in with the water, like a spoon, it'll prevent explosions but most of our spoons wouldn't fit in the water in a dish in the microwave and I don't know if something as small as a toothpick would work because it might have to be in but also sticking out of the water.

SJSiff said...

The house numbers I've always seen (and maybe the East Coast has stuff different, but not my relatives who live there!) are related to the roads they're near. If you remove the last two digits from the house number, you have the number of the road you turn from to get to the street the house is on. So a house number with only two numbers is weird.

For example, if you live on 10th Ave just off of 132 Street, your address will be 10xx 132 St. If 10th is just off a named street, like Madison Way, then the city or county will still have assigned a number to it to make that form of address possible, and the road sign for it will read MADISON WAY on the top and in smaller letters underneath 1100 block or whatever the number assigned is.

Mallory is all kinds of delusional here. It's just so dumb.

Yes, the defrost rule applies to all meat but chicken is the specific example given in the books. Good point! I was never into Nancy Drew (I tried though) so I had to learn it from the BSC.

If you like Karl Tate, you'll enjoy one of the other mysteries down the line! I won't say which one because I don't want to give away the ending.

Yes, if you have something in the water it won't superheat and explode because whatever's in there will break the surface tension of the water. Mallory doesn't mention doing anything, and with the way we're usually given little tidbits of advice it struck as odd that it wouldn't be mentioned. Just don't use a metal spoon, of course!

Fiona said...

I know this is an old post, but I'm just catching up and thought I could offer some insight on the road thing.

A lot of smaller towns that were established in colonial times and stayed pretty small never converted to any sort of grid system. The town where I grew up - CT, established in 1600s - never did. The only numbered roads were the interstate, the handful of state roads that ran through the town, and technically US1, although that was always called the Boston Post Road (because it had originally been used to carry mail to and from Boston). Everything else was named and usually had, at one point, been a cart path/wagon path/something similar. It made things a bit wonky at times and we had more than enough doglegged roads, but it added a bit of character.

I have absolutely no idea how house numbering was done, though. Odds on one side, evens on the other, smaller to larger, but how they arrived at the actual numbers is a mystery.

I live in a newer area that does have a grid system, and it makes things much easier.

SJSiff said...

Thank you, Fiona! I'm on the West Coast, where most of our streets on a grid system.