Original Publication Date: 2000
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles.
Kristy has joined the SMS debate team, and is going on a four-day trip to Washington, DC competition with nine other members of the team, including Abby. They get assigned to debate whether cats are better pets than dogs with students from other schools (Kristy's groups is assigned pro-cats; Abby's is pro-dogs) and debate in a tournament-style competition. One of the people on Kristy's team looks remarkably similar to Terry Hoyt, a boy who used to go to SMS and briefly dated Stacey (the other is a boy named Kai). But he introduces himself as David Hawthorne and denies having ever gone to SMS. And did he react to the mention of Stacey or was Kristy just imagining things? She has little time to wonder, because someone seems to be following David, possibly trying to abduct him.
After a kidnap attempt, David reveals to Kristy that he and Terry Hoyt are the same person, and that his family is no longer undercover, but asks Kristy to keep the fact that the would-be kidnapper said David's dad "had to pay" to herself. Kristy's pretty confused, but agrees. Kristy and David end up with a Secret Service detail. David's a little annoyed and embarrassed at the attention, but Kristy is relieved. They and Kai are able to relax enough to prepare for their debates (Kai wasn't present during the kidnap attempt and doesn't have a Secret Service agent tailing him) and do well enough to qualify for the finals. Of course, Abby's pro-dog team is also in the finals. During the finals, Kristy spots the man who tried to abduct David in the crowd. She screams and points him out, alerting the Secret Service (mainly David's dad) to get him. After things calm down, the judges deliver their verdict: Kristy's team wins, and Kai gets a special award for best debater.
Before heading back home, Kristy and Abby clear the air (they'd been sniping at each other due to their competitive personalities) and admit that they each wanted to argue the other side. David and his dad stop by and offer the two a tour of his dad's office: the White House. They don't get to meet the president, but they do have a fun time on the tour.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Even though Abby is described as wearing her glasses about half the time, I can't recall any pictures of her with them on.
Charlie Chaplin is one of Abby's heroes.
Watson has advised Kristy to not snack from the minibar in the hotel because of the price gouging. He's absolutely right, and this sounds familiar from Baby-sitters on Board.
The Club (and clients): nothing new.
Mrs. Simon is in charge of the debate team.
Other team members in the competition: Melissa Banks, Rick Chow, Trevor Sandbourne
The bus trip from Stoneybrook to DC is supposed to take six hours. It's a four and a half hour drive from Stamford to DC, so accounting for a bus having to drive slower, traffic, and including a stop for food that works out pretty well.
More of an FYI, but it's pretty much agreed upon that cats and dogs have roughly equivalent intelligence.
This is Kristy's last book.
The police want to "question" Kristy and David about the kidnap attempt? Or interview them/talk to them? Because you generally question suspects...
I don't understand the logic in making an entire family live with assumed identities. It seems almost abusive to the kids. Maybe that's why it IS a good idea: people won't expect it. But especially with the Hawthornes, don't you think criminals would start to notice that there's a man with twin children scoping out potential counterfeiters?
Also, Kristy has the same Secret Service agent the whole time, for a couple days. Does he just never sleep?
The President isn't mentioned by name in this book, which makes sense as it was published in an election year, but it is mentioned that he has a black and white cat named Sparky. Bill Clinton, who was president then, had a black and white tuxedo cat named Socks (he was primarily Chelsea's).
Starting 8th grade: 12
Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 5
Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate in the plot of a book, not just reference): Christmas-6, Hanukkah-2, Kwanzaa-3
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 6
St. Patrick's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 12
BSC Fights: 13
SMS Staff and Faculty: 69
Students (other than the BSC): 218: 123 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 31 7th graders, 48 6th graders, 16 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 38 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 151