This was one of my all-time favorites as a kid. I remembered the vast majority of the story before I even opened it, from the Cokie goodness to the "resolution" of the Toilet Monster story. I think I liked it so much because I was so sure Logan and Mary Anne would be together forever and this helped with that illusion. I read it so much I nearly wore my cover off. It was the second-most worn looking book in my collection--right after #2, but I dropped that one in the bathtub and it was missing a half-dozen pages.Anyhoo....the main idea of this plot should be pretty obvious from the brilliantly awesome title. Mary Anne and Logan broke up five books ago, and any cojones MA gained in dumping the dead weight have left. She's paired up in a school author project with Logan, Cokie and Pete Black. She freaks out, especially since Logan and Cokie are going out and slacking on the project. Eventually, she and Logan talk, Logan does his part of the project, Cokie looks like an idiot in front of their author and MA and Logan get back together.
In the B-plot, the Korman children have totally overactive imaginations and create a Toilet Monster...then start believing it really exists.Interesting tidbits
I loved this cover growing up. It features Mary Anne, Kristy, Claudia (wearing a fedora!!!) and, I think, Stacey, roller skating and having fun. And while I fail to see what it has to do with missing Logan (to me, it makes hanging out without a guy look like a great time), it was basically representative of what I thought my teen years would be like. (This copy is one of the re-covers from the late 90s, so it has the pictures down the left hand side. It is also a bright blue...I am fairly certain my childhood copy from 1991 was not blue. I think it was pink.)
The copy from the library is a large-print edition. Is it sad that I really enjoy the huge print?If you couldn't tell the plot of this book from the title, the first line is, "I missed Logan."
Tigger goes crazy and starts tearing around the living room. I happen to know an insane gray tabby cat who does this as often as not. We call it being on kitty crack. (This same insane cat got his rabies shot earlier today and purred and licked the vet while it was happening.)The Korman kids always have hotdogs when there are babysitters...except I remember in another story where one of the BSC members is serving them fish sticks (to the ghostwriter's credit, one of the kids asks if they're having hotdogs in that one.)
MA uses "like" in several sentences in the style of a Valley girl. "Skylar has, like, eight teeth."MA describes the Korman house, when owned by the Delaneys', as ostentatious, and then tells the reader to go look it up. Heh heh.
MA starts the Toilet Monster shit by suggesting that if the Kormans had a cat, a Cat Monster would get it. Bill and Melody start suggesting everything has a monster attached to it, at first as a joke.Jessi tells the world's oldest, stupidest jokes at a club meeting, while Stacey tells Claudia she looks like she's having a daymare.
Mary Anne says she likes school. *nerd!*The girls are eating beef bourguinon for school lunch, and it's Dawn who gives them the correct pronunciation.
List of authors the BSC are excited they might get to study: Lois Lowry, Madeleine L'Engle, Paul Zindel, Paula Danziger, Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, and fake author Megan Rinehart (whom MA is assigned).Kristy thinks it would be funny if Alan were assigned to read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret because of all the "bra stuff" in it. But that book is full of Margaret and her friends wishing for their periods, which should be way more embarrassing. But, it doesn't appear that periods even exist in the BSC-universe. No one ever has PMS or anything...wouldn't it have been great to get a book where one of them got her first period and was all crabby? (I'm picturing a Degrassi episode.)
MA's original group was Logan, Pete and Miranda Schillaber, one of the twins that MA and Kristy were friends with in the early books, before it was decided that BSC members could only be friends with BSC members.I don't know why this seems so weird, but they refer to Skylar's room as the nursery.
Isn't Bill, at nine, a little too old to really believe in monsters?Dawn takes Melody and Bill on a ghostbusting trip through the house, only she calls it a Monster Hunt. And of course, it doesn't help.
The teachers make an exception to the no-group-switching rule for Cokie, because she actually shows interest in an author, but I'm not sure how she did this. Later, she gets the author's name wrong and completely validates MA's theory that Cokie only wanted to switch groups so she could be near Logan.I think this is the book where I started to really like Pete. He and MA really want the project to go well, but Cokie is sitting there being stupid and "hypnotizing" Logan, and they get nothing accomplished. Pete really steps up and he and MA attempt to salvage the project on their own.
MA retells the events of #17, but with one mistake: she says that Cokie wanted Logan and that is why she tried to make the BSC look stupid. Actually, it was her crony Grace who was interested in Logan in that book.Heh. Cokie wants to know why each of the group members needs his own copy of the books--why can't they just read aloud to each other? Pete replies, "Yes, that's always been my dream...to read aloud to Logan."
Claudia spelling: didnt, beter, wold, ther, realy, shold, Melidy, theres, monstir, growel, monstur, dont, excape, fluch, frist, anoying, waht. She also uses thing instead of think.Mary Anne muses on the gender of the toilet monster.
Bill asks if there's a law that babysitters have to fix hotdogs, and Claudia tells him it's rule 116 in the Babysitter's Handbook, under the section about hotdogs.Bill wants to play the telephone game with Skylar because he thinks it would be funny. I once played telephone with my friend's little sister (Pye) when she was about that age. It was pretty humorous. Instead, they just teach her to say Cowabunga, dude!
Heh. After Bill and Melody decide the only way to be safe from the Toilet Monster is to be safely on their bed before the flushing stops, Skylar decides to play with the toilet flusher.MA thinks Pete sounds like Kristy when he "adjourns" their group meeting after learning that Megan Rinehart will be at an assembly and they'll have to present their project in front of her. I wonder if this comment is what led them to have Pete be Kristy's main rival for eighth grade president.
Kristy's notebook entry is really self-congratulatory. She says that, in her first sitting job with the Kormans since the TM first appeared, she solved the problem. There's an unwritten OF COURSE in it. She does, at least, admit she's bragging...and she also happens to be wrong. (She mentions that she might become a child psychologist. In my long, winding, ridiculous fanfiction (which isn't actually written out in a readable fashion, so don't ask to see it), Mary Anne is a play therapist who nearly gets divorced from her husband because he wants kids and she wants to wait until she finishes her Ph.D. Kristy...yeah. She goes a completely different path.)Cokie may not be much of a student, but she's never been shown to be stupid. Why she thought she could get away with copying, word for word, the information on the back cover of the book as her section of the report, I don't know.
MA can't wait until they're sixteen and can drive. She pictures Logan having a red convertible. I guess she doesn't realize most sixteen year olds drive crappy little old compact cars.And of course, Logan and MA get back together until the Forever Friends series. I may be blogging that entry (FF #4 Mary Anne's Big Breakup) later this month. We'll see.
OutfitsStacey: paisley-print leggings, giant shirt, black boots, silver jewelry (I remember when this was fashionable, but it never, ever looked good. On anyone!)
Mary Anne: red tights and a big blue shirt (I hope the tights were at least opaque and the shirt was ass-covering.)
New CharactersBill, Melody and Skylar Korman (9, 7, and 1)--31, 29 and 23