Original Publication Date: 1995
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker
During the lull between school letting out and summer camps starting, the BSC runs a circus-themed day camp. It also overlaps with a business for Mary Anne's dad. Mary Anne ends up missing a lot more than she expected to, which coincides with Alicia Gianelli's difficulty in saying goodbye to her mother during camp. Mary Anne coddles Alicia though, and has a bit of a pity party for herself. She feels left out of Dawn and Sharon's plans. While Alicia quickly adjusts to the change in her routine, Mary Anne's attempts are compounded by a sprained ankle. Alicia adjust so well that Mary Anne realizes she needs to pull herself together too, and is able to enjoy spending time with her step-family.
Also, Karen's a brat (see, SHE'S been to REAL circus camp, and knows better than everyone). She inspires some co-REAL circus campers to snot about things too, but she gets her comeuppance.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: sour cream potato chips and jujubes in her closet,
In one of her early books, Kristy is fond of sleeping in late, but this book and Shannon's Story tell us that Kristy likes to get up and going.
In Mary Anne's first book (Mary Anne Saves the Day), she mentions that her dad asks God to bless her mother when he says grace. From this book, it's clear that he and Mary Anne no longer pray before eating. In Keep out, Claudia!, Mary Anne mentions she and her dad rarely if ever attend church, so they must have grown out of whatever religious inclinations they had.
The Club (and clients):
Shannon's still the alternate officer, with Dawn as treasurer.
Mary Anne says that Dawn helped start California's We ♥ K ids Club, but Sunny, Maggie, and Jill did that on their own and surprised Dawn with it.
Conspicuously absent from the camp are the Hobarts, Jenny Prezzioso, the Barrett/DeWitt kids, the Rodowskys (except Jackie one evening), and the Perkins. In fact, it's been a while since the Perkins girls have been mentioned. Not as conspicuous: teh Addisons, the Kormans, the Kuhns, the Robertses, and Rosie Wilder.
School's just letting out for the summer (for the 8th time).
Now, Mary Anne does sulk too much in this book. But speaking from experience, a county fair is horrible if you're on crutches. You can't get around anywhere, there's a ton of stuff to trip over, you can't go on rides, you slow everybody down... Don't suggest that idea to someone who's not used to having mobility issues; let the injured party bring it up.
Also, if you're using crutches right your armpits shouldn't hurt. But you might get callouses on the sides of your ribcage a little above elbow height.
There's internal confusion on when the camp ends. Sometimes it's 5:30, sometimes 5:00.
Ew. Looks like I had a nosebleed while reading this book (happens all the time), judging by a couple tiny stains on a few pages. I must have sneezed. Too bad it's not a mystery book.
Logan says that cuckoo birds laugh. I think meant kookaburra.
I think there's a typo on page 79, when Mary Anne is talking about how many take-out menus they have: "...and ordered from [those restaurants] and they brought more food." I think "food" should be "menus."
The ghost cat is mentioned, but as something that happened to Dawn, not Mallory (in mystery #3, Mallory and the Ghost Cat).
Starting 8th grade: 7
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)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 8
BSC Fights: 10
SMS Staff and Faculty: 48
Students (other than the BSC): 172; 108 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 33 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 111