Original Publication Date: 1995
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker
This is Abby Stevenson's introductory book. She's just moved from Long Island to Stoneybrook, and is enjoying life so far. The plot centers around a funding problem with SMS, which will lead to cuts in the school's art and music programs. Since the only reason Abby attends SMS rather than Kelsey Middle School, whose district she lives in, is that her twin sister needs the more challenging orchestra of SMS, this could be a problem. Abby is spurred into action, organizing a fundraising fair. The whole town gets really into it, and it's a huge success.
Although it would seem Abby in integrating well, a particularly bad asthma attack concerns Kristy enough that she wonders if Abby should be sitting as much as she has. What if Abby has another bad attack during a job and can't get help? But Abby proves herself capable, and Kristy lets her worries drop.
There's also a very touching moment when Abby and Anna find a box of their late father's things while unpacking. They show their mom and bond over memories.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Dove chocolates, barbecue potato chips, and pretzels
Kristy and Mary Anne are both described as stubborn.
Mallory gets Abby's jokes better than the rest of the BSC. Perhaps because she's a writer?
Until this book, Shannon had never been in a food fight (Anna helped her out with that).
Anna Stevenson is more serious than Abby. Her passion is playing classical music, violin in particular. She has none of Abby's allergies or asthma, but needs corrective lenses like her twin. However, she prefers glasses to contacts. She ends up becoming good friends with Shannon.
Abby's mom is a widow, Abby's dad having been killed in a car crash four years before this book. She throws herself into her work as an editor. She commutes to New York every day for her job, about a two-hour trip on the train.
Abby and her family are Jewish, of eastern European descent.
The Club (and clients):
Abby is Dawn's official replacement as alternate officer.
Two new SMS students: Abby and Anna Stevenson.
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
There was no ghostwriter for this book. It's nice.
Starting 8th grade: 8
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 has celebrated it--yet)
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): 176; 112 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: 116