Original Publication Date: 1998
Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis.
Sunny's mom is getting worse. A lot worse. Sunny's even realizing that all the treatments are just delaying the inevitable, and wonders if her mom wouldn't be better off just coming home and receiving pallative treatment to keep her comfortable until she dies. Of course, this sort of situation is causing the family no end of stress. Sunny's dad deals with it by burying himself in his work. He also has a short temper, and takes it out on Sunny from time to time. Sunny sometimes stays at Dawn's house, trying to escape the pain of it all (she's also still cutting classes). She grows close to Carol, but further from her dad and from Dawn, who aren't sure how to deal with Sunny during all the turmoil. Part of the problem with Dawn is probably some resentment, that Sunny is closer to her stepmother than Dawn is. In fact, Sunny is with Carol when Carol passes out and has to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She's ordered to be on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy (two more months; the baby would actually have a good chance of surviving if born that early, but would have an increased risk of birth defects and long-term problems; it's best to delay birth until at least 37 weeks when possible).
But Sunny has the same sort of thing; Dawn seems closer to Sunny's mom than Sunny does. Sunny's still chasing boy quite a bit too, which causes a problem when she's distracted by one while she's supposed to be staying with Carol. She's busy chatting when a small fire starts on the stove. Everything (and everyone) is fine, but Carol is pretty shaken up, and Sunny is mortified. The Schafers are pretty pissed, too, but accept Sunny's apology. The incident sparks a fight and a falling-out between Sunny and Dawn.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Ducky):
Amalia is still getting creepy phone calls from her ex. CALL THE POLICE.
Ducky's friend Alex is sinking deeper into depression.
Sunny gets Ducky a job at her father's bookstore, solving her problem of being relied on for free labor, her father's of dealing with high employee turnover, and Ducky's of his brother not paying him back after borrowing cash.
Carol is now about seven months pregnant. She and Jack are waiting for the baby to born to find out whether it's a boy or a girl.
Sunny's mom mistakes her daughter for her late sister, Robin, at one point.
Jeff tries awkwardly to comfort Sunny when she's upset about her mom. It's not terribly effective, but it's a nice thought.
The whole "eating for two" during pregnancy? Just remember that the developing baby is tiny. I had an ultrasound at about 28 weeks and the estimate weight was just over two and a half pounds. And that's with only about three months left in the pregnancy.
Want to cook something for several hours with a low risk of fire? Get a Crock-Pot or other slow cooker. They're awesome. You'll use less energy, too.
This book from mid-March to early April.
Sunny is disdainful of the acrylic yarn Carol is using to knit something for the baby. Yes, it's true that acrylic can melt if it catches fire, but it's also washer/dryer safe and there are many types of nice, soft acrylic. It's more likely that a baby will get something dirty than catch fire. Although considering Sunny was raised by hippies, I could see her preferring organic material, like cotton which is still washer/dryer safe. Some wools are okay for the washing machine too, but not all.
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-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): 209: 119 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: 130