Original Publication Date: 1995
Ghostwriter? Yes, Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner
The book opens with Kristy's stepfather pushing himself hard at work and at home and a vague sense of forboding. Then Watson has a heart attack. They call it mild, but from how careful he has to be and how long he's in the hospital it seems more serious. He takes his doctor's orders seriously and cuts waaay back on work and eats much healthier. Then goes overboard being a stay-at-home dad, and Nannie moves out when she perceives she's no longer needed (nice passive-aggressive ploy Nannie!). When people decide to actually talk to each other instead of assuming things and getting ticked off, things smooth over quickly, Nannie moves back in, and Watson and the family figure out a schedule that works for everyone.
Also, the Marshalls start to make a habit of springing extra kids on their sitters, too many for one sitter to safely handle (and without extra pay, too). Since it would never occur to the BSC to simply TALK to Mrs. Marshall and tell her it's a safety concern, it becomes a big deal until Mrs. Marshall understands how the club works: more than four kids = more than one sitter.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Mallomars
There are a lot of references to older books, especially in chapter two, that confirm past events (like how Mallory wants to be an author and one time won an award for writing).
Nannie can do high-kicks in time to music. I'm pretty sure she has hip surgery later, so these are her spry days.
I really don't understand why Karen and Andrew's custody arrangement has to be so very strict. It seems like they're flat-out forbidden to go to the other house when they're at one. Lisa and Watson seem to get along pretty well. Is a visit here and there really going to screw things up that much? Then again I don't have much experience with divorce, so what do I know?
The Club (and clients):
Shannon's back to associate member status, since Dawn's home and Shannon's French club is gearing up.
Carlos Mendez, who was rumored to be dating Mary Anne when she had her makeover but turned up at a dance with Sabrina Bouvier, is now dating Susan Taylor, another eighth grade girl (one of the fashionable ones who complimented Mary Anne's new look).
Common heart attack signs for men:
Chest pain, especially lasting more than five minutes
Shortness of breath, usually preceding chest pain
Dizziness or light-headedness
Common heart attack signs for women:
Pain in arms (especially left), shoulder blades, back, neck, and/or abdomen
Pain in jaw and throat that radiates up from the chest, similar to the feeling of being strangled
Overwhelming and unusual fatigue
I don't think I've ever been to a hospital with visiting hours as restricted as the ones in the BSC-verse. Even when I visited a friend's dad after his brain surgery.
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
Christmases in 8th grade: 1 (Hanukkah is also mentioned, but no one in the BSC celebrates it)
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