Original Publication Date: 1998
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn.
Stacey and other SMS students have been noticing that Robert is acting oddly. He's sort of in a perpetual fog, and losing interest in things he used to enjoy. At the urging of his younger sister, Stacey talks to him and soon it's clear that there's level of clinical depression going on. Stacey tries to pull him out of it, but fortunately realizes before too long that she's in over her head, and encourages Robert to talk to a trusted adult. The book ends without him being 100%, but feeling better about life in general.
There's a pointless subplot about picking strawberries and having a strawberry festival.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Stacey wishes she had Abby's hair.
Nicky Pike seems to sunburn easily.
Stacey gets along well with her dad's girlfriend.
The Club (and clients):
Abby brings snacks (strawberries) to a meeting! For once Claudia can relax a bit. However, I hope Abby didn't eat any, because as Anonymous pointed out in the comments section, Abby has been established in both Stacey the Math Whiz and Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade as being allergic to strawberries (thank you for catching that!).
I've read a lot of criticisms about how the BSC takes over for parents. But I think they have to. Case in point, this sentence: "Parents had to ask Shannon and her sister to set a two-cake limit [at the strawberry festival] so that their kids wouldn't make themselves sick." Hey, parents? Take responsibility for your own kids and watch what they eat yourselves. When I took my toddler to a festival at my church that included lots of from various nations, I didn't expect anyone but me (my husband was at work, otherwise him, too) to keep an eye on how many cookies she had.
The SMS baseball team is doing really well, and on its way to winning a regional championship.
A teacher who has previously only been seen teaching Short Takes classes, Mrs. Boyden, also teaches homeroom for some students (including Robert).
Stacey claims "you can always use a plain white blouse." Just remember that white becomes see-through when wet. Figured that one out the hard way in a lake...
Assuming you have a car, keep an old towel in the trunk. You'll know why I say this when you need it.
A bit of trivia inspired by Claudia painting black stripes on a white leotard to make zebra stripes: zebras are black with white stripes. You can tell because their noses are black.
Kristy uses the internet in this book. Weird!
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 in the plot of a book, not just reference): Christmas-5, Hanukkah-2, Kwanzaa-3
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 4
St. Patrick's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 10
BSC Fights: 11
SMS Staff and Faculty: 67
Students (other than the BSC): 214: 120 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 29 7th graders, 48 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: 139