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.
Vanessa Pike is still a deep sleeper.
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.
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.
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
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 97