Original Publication Date: 1997
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
The BSC finds themselves sitting for Shannon's younger sisters more as their mother has decided to take some college courses in hopes of earning a teaching degree. Kristy has most of the jobs, and very quickly finds that the girls feel left out in their family and overshadowed by Shannon. Kristy offers some suggestions, and at first Tiffany and Maria try to help Shannon out, but they just make more work for Shannon. They then declare they will purposely make Shannon's life difficult. Things finally come to a head when Shannon admits how thin she's spread. While it stops the pranks, it doesn't really solve the root of the problem: that the Kilbournes are so busy they don't really have time to be a family. Kristy suggests that Tiffany and Maria write letters to their family explaining how they'd like more time together. It works at least in the short term, as Shannon and their parents show up at an event for the younger girls.
There are two dances being planned in the background: one for all the middle school students in Stoneybrook, which Shannon is involved in planning, and one for kids, suggested by Kristy when she sees that Tiffany and Maria feel left out. Both dances turn out to be fun for everyone.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Mary Anne seems to think that Abby's impersonations of different people are mean-spirited.
Shannon's favorite kind of cookie is Snickerdoodle, which is a good choice. However, she likes them with raisins and walnuts. Bleh.
Shannon is in algebra classes, which would put her a grade ahead in math if her school is like mine was. Welcome Back, Stacey! told us that Stacey is also a grade ahead in math.
At first, it seems odd that the Sister War dissapates when Shannon realizes how stupid it all is and starts laughing, but that's pretty much what happened in Kristy and the Snobs.
Kristy postulates that Claudia is viewed as a sort of a queen to the seventh grade boys. Well, obviously! She's Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade!
Bizarrely specific continuity here: it's pointed out that the grandfather of Louie the collie was a sheepdog.
There is some semi-forshadowing of the Thomas-Brewer family training a seeing-eye dog (in #119): Emily Michelle is unusually good at getting Shannon the dog to listen to commands.
It's implied that Maria has only recently started swimming...but she's actually been on the team for quite a while, since before Tiffany started her garden in Stacey and the Cheerleaders. A few pages later, the book also states outright that Maria has earned several trophies and awards for swimming.
The Club (and clients): nothing new.
SMS: nothing new.
PSA Time: nothing stood out.
It's October in this book.
I suddenly realized that I'm brilliant for having dark-colored bath towels. We just happen to like dark blue, but soon we'll have two girls, and if they decide to pull pranks involving hair dye like Tiffany and Maria do, then I won't need to worry about stained towels.
Here's an idea: when you're planning a dance with several hundred attendees and the committee can't decide on which ONE type of beverage to serve...why not have a three or four choices? A bowl of this, a bowl of that, and some pitchers of water.
Starting 8th grade: 10
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-3, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-2
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3
Summers after 8th grade: 10
BSC Fights: 11
SMS Staff and Faculty: 67
Students (other than the BSC): 210: 120 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 26 7th graders, 47 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 37 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 131