Original Publication Date: 1996
Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis
Mary Anne is hired as a "companion" for a young girl visiting from England, Victoria Elizabeth (get it? Victorian and Elizabethan England? If she had an older brother I bet he'd be named Edward). She's not a true princess, but if a few dozen people died then Victoria could end up on the throne. Her family is visiting on UN duties for six months, and it's Victoria's first time in the States. She has some trouble adjusting to her temporary home and rubs some people the wrong way due to cultural differences. Mary Anne helps her figure things out, and things go smoothly from then on.
While this is going on, Mary Anne's dad has to travel to Milwaukee, WI on business. Feeling lonely with her husband and biological children gone, Sharon focuses her attentions on her step-daughter. However, Mary Anne gets the impression that Sharon is treating her as a replacement Dawn rather than getting to know her better. They have a talk which dances around the subject, but serves to resolve the issue as well.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: pretzels,
How did Kristy make it to 13 without realizing that celebrating Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November is a US-only thing? She's surprised to learn that the English, of all people, don't celebrate it. Guess what, Kristy? They also don't celebrate the Fourth of July.
I couldn't figure out his exact position, but since Logan scored a touchdown in the SMS football game he almost certainly plays offense.
Dawn and Sharon have "health loaf" for Thanksgiving (Dawn flies in to surprise her mom for the holiday). The description of it sounds identical to what my vegetarian aunt had at Thanksgiving last week.
Mary Anne's mother played basketball for her college.
Just how organized is Mary Anne's dad? Very: he still uses the same watch from his childhood.
Because Sharon's kineiologist has recommended she go off dairy, Sharon has apple cider on her Cheerios. Gross. Just don't have cereal, then!
Sharon volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Mary Anne describes a picture of an infant Dawn perched "precarisously" on Sharon's lap, which Sharon attributes to Dawn's eagerness to start walking. But Dawn's a newborn in the picture. Newborns aren't that mobile yet...nice try, Sharon.
Mary Anne explicitly says that in her mind, "Mom" is reserved for her biological mother, and she's mentioned in at least one other book as well. She also gets mixed feelings seeing two notes Sharon leaves her signed "Mom." Yet on page 140, she refers to Sharon as "Mom."
The Club (and clients):
New client: the Kents.
SMS: nothing new.
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
While I'm not vegetarian, if I were to think of one food item to get in Wisconsin, it wouldn't be bratwurst. It'd be cheese. Second would be beer.
I don't normally pay attention to outfit descriptions, but Mary Anne wears a plaid skirt with argyle socks. I don't think those two patterns should be together.
This book marks the third time Thanksgiving in celebrated in the same academic year.
Starting 8th grade: 9
Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 3
Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-2, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-1
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3
Summers after 8th grade: 9
BSC Fights: 11
SMS Staff and Faculty: 60
Students (other than the BSC): 186: 118 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 8 7th graders, 44 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 36 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 122