Original Publication Date: 2000
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker.
Mary Anne is still trying to figure out who she is on her own, rather than as defined by being this person's daughter or that person's friend or this group's member. She's also still have nightmares and intrusive thoughts about the fire (I hope she sees Dr. Reese, the therapist she's seen in the past!), and also feels like people overlook her because she's quiet, and expect that they can just make decisions for her. She takes advantage of being on the yearbook staff to distract herself, but Cokie doesn't make it easy, teasing her at every opportunity. Cokie even ruins the fun that Mary Anne's having with elections for "Most Likely to..." categories by starting a rumor that Mary Anne has been desperately begging Logan to take her back. Plus she fixes the elections to win a bunch of categories (the staff catches on and has a revote). It's time for revenge. And who better to help than Cary Retlin?
With the help of Cary and the BSC, Mary Anne has some ideas for Cokie just in time for a big party Cokie's throwing. She has to sneak out to go after she ends up grounded after a fight with her father (she thinks he's being overprotective; he thinks she's being moody and irresponsible). However, she ends up not using any of the plans, and calls Cokie out on how awful she's been instead. She reads Cokie the riot act, and it shuts her down, especially when the rest of the partygoers applaud Mary Anne for standing up to Cokie, which gives her continued resolve to be able to stand up for herself in the future. Mary Anne returns home to find her father waiting in the kitchen, and they restart their earlier fight, which Sharon puts a halt to by making them realize that they're both still tense because of the fire. They've both been walking on eggshells around each other because they don't want to upset the other, and that ended up making things worse. With that out in the open, Mary Anne and her dad make up.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
According to Mary Anne, Kristy "charges through life like a soccer fullback." Okay then. Fullback is a defensive position; I think Mary Anne meant striker, because while defense does have to be tough, the image Mary Anne seems to be trying to present is someone rushing through the ranks to score a goal. But Mary Anne isn't really into sports, so it's reasonable for her sort of confuse terms. Not sure why she'd ever actually make that analogy though.
Logan's sort of going out with Dorianne Wallingford.
Claudia has different lucky colors on different days.
By the end of the book, Mary Anne and Logan aren't tight friends, but they don't avoid each other either.
This book presents the fact that Richard likes to organize his book by category and then in alphabetical order as proof of his extreme neatness. If you have a lot of books, doesn't it just make sense to organize so you can find them? We have four bookshelves, with children's books (in my daughters' room), fiction, humor, reference, and non-fiction; plus the cookbooks in the kitchen, a basket of board books for the girls, and then some books on the shelf under the coffee table: the family Bible and some field guides so we can figure out what bird is at the feeder.
The Club (and clients): nothing new.
Cokie Mason is a yearbook editor. Not just on the staff, but an editor. That's a HUGE responsibility, and usually comes with a minimum GPA requirement.
Mr. Fiske, formerly introduced as an English teacher, is also the yearbook advisor. Smaller chance of typos that way, I bet.
Some of the winners for the different categories: Claudia is best artist, Logan and Abby are best male and female athletes, respectively, Cary Retlin and Alan Gray tie for wittiest, Emily Bernstein wins both most likely to succeed and most intelligent, Kristy is most likely to be elected President, and Stacey is most likely to be seen in Beverly Hills. Mary Anne doesn't win anything nor did she expect to. Cokie also doesn't win anything.
While musing about how to get back at Cokie, Mary Anne considers slipping her a laxative. NO. You NEVER sneak a person unneeded medicine, and only sneak needed medicine under the advice of a medical professional (like crushing up a pill in a kid's applesauce). What about allergies, or other medications the person might be taking, or the adverse side affects of a medication? Just NO. You don't trick people into ingesting things (again, exception for situations like grating a carrot in a kid's spaghetti sauce).
Mary Anne wonders whether cats have nightmares. I'll admit I'm curious too. I think it's possible; I've seen both cats here twitching like they're dreaming, and sometimes they growl. Speaking of the cats, yesterday was the older one's birthday. Eddie (short for Edgrrr) is 13 now.
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