Monday, September 24, 2012

"I'm not saying that all kids who go to private school are snobs (because then I'd be calling myself a snob!)" BSC # 28 Welcome Back, Stacey! (1989)

AKA Stacey's Parents Get Divorced and She Mopes

I've been sick with the Pike Plague...did you miss me?!

Sadly, this little doozy is not part of my collection. I haven't been able to find any Stacey (or Abby) books at thrift stores, except the two I've already blogged. I went to the library and told myself I'd read the first Stacey book I saw. I've read this probably only twice before, so I'm looking forward to rereading and blogging it.
Next week's book is also sitting on my shelf: #121 Abby in Wonderland. It's the only Abby my local branch stocked. I hope to be able to blog the "original" seven BSC members pretty evenly and not play favorites, but there's only a few Abby books so I'm going to spread them out a lot farther. You'll get to hear my opinion of Abby next week though.
The plot of this book is fairly obvious from the title, and it removes ANY dramatic tension the story might have had. Stacey's parents announce their divorce, and tell Stacey to choose where to live. Obviously, she chooses to come back to Stoneybrook, or this very imaginative title would make no sense.
There's no B-plot in this one. Stacey's the only one really doing any babysitting, too.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover. It's one of the ones that they re-did when they put the pictures down the side. I seem to remember there being a banner on the house though. Maybe I'm confusing it with #13? But I do know that if they updated it, they didn't change Stacey's clothes or the awesome 80s station wagon. Stacey is also quite possibly the only one on the cover who doesn't have permed hair. At least, MA and Kristy look mighty permed (and you can only tell them apart because Kristy is wearing a turtleneck and jeans and MA is wearing leggings.)

Off topic, sorta. I dropped the book down the back of the couch while typing the last bit and spent 30 minutes getting it back, before I even got to start the book.
The book is dedicated to Courtenay Robinson Martin. Isn't Courtenay the name of the little sister who gets kidnapped in Missing Since Monday? I used to have a copy of that one and remember two things about it. 1. Gabbie and Myriah Perkins are also it in it and 2. Even at age 10 I thought the spelling Courtenay looked silly.
Tidbit #4 and I still haven't started the book.
Stacey keeps saying how much she "hearts" things. As in, there's a little heart in every sentence. She <3 New York, shopping, museums, and even tourists.
Stacey has to point out that the Walkers (a family she babysits for) and Jessi are black, but she just thinks of them as people, not black people. If that's the case, then why even bring it up?
I love when the books try to bring up real amounts of money, and real stores. Stacey's dad is home early from work and before she even goes inside, Stacey can hear them arguing. Seems mom spent $490 at Altmans (is that, or was that, a real jewelry store?) and $1568 at Tiffany's. Yikes. Even these days, the latter is a lot of money.
Isn't it nice of Laine's parents to let Stacey dial long distance from their house? (Laine never asks for permission or anything.) Although, Stacey does later promise to pay her back.
I was at American Girl Place this week for my niece's birthday, and Tessie and I started laughing at the Bitty Baby dolls. In order to have one for everyone, they have an African American baby, a Latina baby, an Asian baby, etc. I pointed out that one of them had "exotic, almond shaped eyes" so we started calling it Claudia. (The black baby was Jessi; the redhead Mallory, etc.) I get that they want to point out what Claudia looks like, just like the other girls. But if they point out she's Asian, or Japanese, do they really need to point out that her eyes are almond shaped? Even an 8 year old knows that with it being pounded into her head.
When Stacey is talking about Jessi in chapter two, it's strange. I *think* they've only met maybe twice. Once was definitely during #24, when Stacey comes back to town for the Mother's Day event. They also show all the BSC members (except Logan) together on the cover of SS #2, but I don't remember that actually happening. All the 13 year olds got to go to the CIT dance and stuff, but Mal and Jessi weren't invited to that. They also didn't come to NYC during #18 as the older girls did.
Claudia misspellings: exited (excited, twice), babysiting, expuryence, bisness (I still don't know why business isn't spelled that way), waht, frist (first), barnch (branch), probelms, tryed. She also says no instead of know and hop instead of hope. And, here's the kicker: she spells both Stacey (Stacy) and Kristy (Krity) wrong.
When Stacey's parents tell her they're getting divorced, they tell her not to be difficult about things. But I honestly think she took it pretty well. She asked what the troubles were and when she didn't like the answers, she slammed her door and turned her music up loud. It's not like she started cursing and telling her parents she hated them or anything.
After about 24 hours of being ignored, Stacey's parents shut her bedroom door and tape a note to it saying, "Do not enter. Go back to the living room and talk to your parents." And it works!
Who thinks it's a good idea to leave custody of a thirteen year old entirely up to the child? I still think it's nutty that Dawn's parents let Jeff and Dawn break their custody arrangement and move back to California. That's just opening the kid up to all kinds of issues, especially given the kind of games Stacey's parents play with her later in the series.
I just love when the BSC throws in sitting or safety tips. Stacey has the Walker kids do a table setting race, but she says you can only do that with plastic utensils and paper plates so you don't break anything.
Stacey reads The Snowy Day, The Owl and the Pussycat, and Angus and the Ducks with the Walkers.
When Stacey starts weighing Stoneybrook v. New York, she compares how "cool" she is in each place. Then she weighs her friends in Stoneybrook against the shopping in New York.
Stacey hopes to get her parents back together, so among other things, she steals official school paper and writes notes to each of her parents, signing them from her school counselor. Her goal is to have the two of them "meet the counselor" at a romantic restaurant and have dinner together. She's surprised when her parents don't fall for it.
The first house Stacey and her mom look at is dated and tiny, with a crumbling front walk and three rooms painted purple inside, including the ceiling. Stacey's mom says they're on a budget, which makes sense. But the house on the cover does not look like something her mom could afford; it looks more like Watson's mansion.
The house Stacey's mom eventually buys is behind the Pikes and used to house the neighbors on whom the Pikes liked to spy. It's bigger than the other houses but has a few problems and "1000 year old" appliances. It's also old, which I guess is supposed to set up the next book, with Mallory and the trunk from Stacey's attic.
Heh. Claudia and the other girls can recognize Kristy by the way she "thunders" up the stairs.

Double heh. Kristy's telling the story of dinner at the Rodowskys'. Dawn keeps interrupting her to correct her grammar. I can't tell if it's Dawn messing with Kristy or making a joke. Kristy says Jackie "squirted his hot dog across the kitchen the second he bit into it." and Dawn says, "He bit into the kitchen?"
There's something wrong with this phrase: "He'd like her for his girlfriend." It sounds...dirty.
When has Claudia ever heard of Nepal?
Ahhh. When Stacey's dad finds an apartment on the East Side, she says she's never lived on the East Side before. And all the stuff I mentioned before happens. Mom gets upsets because she thinks Stacey decided to live with Dad; Dad starts trying to bribe Stacey to live with him. And then Stacey tells her parents she hates them.
Ummm. The Walkers told their children, Henry and Grace, that Stacey was moving away and couldn't babysit for them anymore. When Henry asks WHY, Stacey takes it upon herself to explain divorce to him. It doesn't seem quite appropriate.
I love the picture books mentioned in these books, because they're all ones I remember from my childhood. Stacey reads Millions of Cats and Outside Over There with the Walkers.
Correction to my first tidbit. When the McGills arrived at their new home, there was a banner, held up by some of the random kids who showed up to welcome Stacey back to town. But I'm pretty sure they didn't redo the cover picture after all. After all, why would they take out a banner and still leave Claudia looking like ass? I mean, she looks like an eight year old Latina girl wearing leg warmers. Although, her outfit is almost exactly as it is described in the book (see below).
Mrs. McGill kisses Claudia. I find it a little disturbing, even though it was on the top of her head, and it was to thank Claudia for saying something sweet. She also calls Claud "sensible" which Claudia thinks is nice. This is obviously before the island super special, where she reveals she actually is quite sensible and smart.
I think it's funny that Stacey's room is done up in blue and white. Later on, they make such a big deal about how Stacey is always wearing black and that's part of what makes her "sophisticated." Blue and white just doesn't seem to jibe with that.
When they redid the covers, they added malarkey "letters to the reader" in the back of the books, explaining where the plot idea came from. This one says that AMM decided that Stacey was just too important a character to have floating off in NYC.
Laine: stretchy black cotton pants suit, with cuffed legs and a cropped top, leopard skin leotard, blue and green dangly earrings and bangles
Stacey: short red pants, purple suspenders, black and yellow sweatshirt, purple pushdown docks, red high tops, fruit necklace, sun glass earrings, red headband (she calls this one of her better outfits. You could be arrested for wearing those clothes together in most states.)
Claudia: black and white sweater, black leggings, black and pink socks, headband with rose on it, beaded necklace, earrings with tons of charms on them
Kristy: jeans, sneakers, turtleneck
Mary Anne: flared green dress
Dawn: jeans with zippers (I guess she's not wearing a top.)
Mallory: pink leggings, short skirt, sequined sweatshirt

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