Original Publication Date: 1995
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn
When Dawn learned that her best friend's mom had lung cancer, it got her thinking more about California. To the point that now, she's decided it's best to move back permanantly. She decides this pretty early on in the book, but before she thinks of a good way to tell Mary Anne without devastating her too much, the news gets leaked and Mary Anne is pissed. They have a big fight, but then Mary Anne just acts numb around Dawn. There's no huge resolution or explanation, but Mary Anne does start to act normal again before Dawn leaves and they're able to have a real goodbye.
Subplot, because we can't have a book without one: James Hobart breaks his leg and has to be stuck in a cast for the end of summer, so the BSC helps his friends do a Christmas in the summer for him. Of course, he gets confused because in the Southern Hemisphere Christmas is in the summer. Those wacky Australians!
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Cheez Doodles
With all the moral crusades Dawn goes on, I'm surprised she has yet to jump on Shannon's family for breeding their dog. Presumably they're responsible in doing so, but I could see Dawn going off about pet overpopulation.
Back in Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation, Mallory was described as someone who would eventually grow into her looks and become pretty (or something like that); here Dawn tells us that "if you really study Mallory you can tell she'll look just fine as she gets older."
Jessi cautions the kids against buying a little gun toy for James Hobart becase DAWN doesn't like toy guns (it just sparks, not even a cap gun). Guys! She's not even going to be in this time zone in two weeks! Let the kid with a broken leg have a fun toy if he wants it.
Dawns gets a really sweet letter from Jessi, who once described herself as a terrible letter writer but also resolved to change that. Looks like she's succeeded.
Karen and Andrew now live at the Brewers' house every other month, a development which happens in the Little Series (which I am NOT subjecting myself to).
Dawn refers to Carol as her dad's new wife, rather than step-mother (and she really hasn't lived with Carol in the house, so understandable).
The Club (and clients):
Dawn sits for Sara and Norman Hill in the first chapter. Sara's still friends with Elizabeth, who had relentlessly tormented Norman for being overweight.
Stacey nixes the idea of inviting kids to Dawn's going away party, because it will feel like work if they have to keep an eye on them. And they let her back in the BSC?! (being facetious there)
Shannon agrees to take over as alternate officer, but once school starts up she probably won't be able to come to many meetings.
I question the rigor of Stoneybrook's schools if kids make it to eighth grade without knowing that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, in Dawn's Wicked Stepsister, Dawn thinks that scientists invented time zones very recently, instead of the idea sort of occuring naturally because of Earth's revolving around the sun.
Mary Anne tells Dawn she's being selfish for not thinking of how everyone in Stoneybrook feels. Here's the thing, though: while Dawn is thinking primarily of herself, sometimes you have to put yourself first.
This book has a few examples of "I can't believe how dumb all the rest of America is--oh, I'm enlightened though!" which bug me. Like Dawn complaining about the diet of OTHER Americans or Mallory proclaiming that American football is stupid in name and practice. Girls, it's fine to not like something, but don't be holier-than-thou about it.
How healthy is tofu, anyway? I keep hearing things about eating too much soy and that increasing estrogen levels.
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): 175; 111 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: 112