This is the book in which we first meet Shannon. She's one of Kristy's new neighbors, and she acts like a bitch to Kristy because she's stealing all Shannon's sitting jobs. Kristy and Shannon start a prank war. But when Kristy's dog Louie has to be put to sleep, Shannon mourns with her and even gives her a puppy. She becomes the second associate member of the club.
Subplot: The Delaneys, Shannon's neighbors, are royal brats. Stacey uses reverse psychology in an attempt to tame them.
The cover amuses me. Shannon's wearing what is described in the text as the SDS uniform, or at least close to it. (see below). She looks a lot like Shelley Long when she was on Cheers. She's with who I assume is Amanda Delaney, because she's holding the $400 cat. Amanda's wearing a carbon copy of Shannon's outfit, only in different colors. I guess that was the 1988 version of Snooty Girl Wear. (This is an actual case where the cover photo is straight out of the book.)
In later books, they always describe Louie as having joined the family when DM was born. In this one, he is about the same age as Kristy, which makes more sense. Louie's problems are due to old age, and 13 is "old" for dogs while most of the time, 7 is not.
When Kristy first meets Shannon, she calls her a snob right off the bat. Shannon calls her jerk-face in reply.
Kristy's already wearing a pencil behind her ear and sitting in the director's chair. (When did that start? Was it the start of eighth grade?) Stacey and Claud sit on the bed and MA and Dawn sit on the floor. In a later meeting, MA and Dawn are on the bed.
Amusing. Kristy lists each babysitter's likes and dislikes, as if it were a dating show. Babysitting is on everyone's like list, so I'll leave it out.
Kristy: likes: sports, TV; dislikes: snobs, cabbage, blood, people who chew with their mouths open and squirrels (she informed us of this on page 1)
Claudia: likes: art, mysteries, boys; dislikes: school
MA: likes: movie stars, animals; dislikes: crowds, being the center of attention
Stacey: likes: boys, clothes; dislikes: doctors
Dawn: likes: health food, sunshine, ghost stories; dislikes: junk food, cold weather
Stacey's list makes her sound especially shallow.
Ummm....if Kristy stayed after school, why didn't she just walk to Claudia's? Instead she took "the late bus" which just magically happened to take her to her house and then had Charlie take her back to Claud's. (We had those "late buses" at my middle-high school, but it just took us and dropped us off at various central locations, not to our houses. And we had to have special permission slips from our parents to ride them.)
Kristy likes the Papadakises because they give their pets stupid names, let their kids pick out their own clothes, and let them go barefoot all summer long. (In other words, they're not uppity) They sound a lot like my family (except instead of Noodle the Poodle and Myrtle the Turtle, we had a hamster named Raoul.)
Mr. Papadakis is named George.
The pranks Shannon and Kristy play on each other:Shannon calls the Papadakises and tells Kristy the house is on fire.
Kristy gets a diaper service to deliver to the Kilbournes' house.
Shannon tells Kristy Sari P. won't stop crying to lure her over to the Papadakises house with the Delaney kids. (The Ps and Ds hate each other.)
Shannon orders a pizza to be delivered to the Delaneys when Kristy is sitting. (see below) Kristy tells the driver that he has the wrong address, and sends it to Shannon instead.
The baby that will eventually be Laura Perkins is nameless at this point, so everyone is suggesting names. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins like Sarah or Randi for a girl and John Eric or Randy for a boy. Myriah likes Laurie and Gabbie likes Beth. Jamie Newton suggests Stupid-head.
The first thread of Jeff going back to California is introduced in this one when Dawn babysits for him. (Sharon went on a date with the Trip-man.) Apparently, Dawn gets paid for babysitting Jeff. I don't know many families where that is the case. In any case, Dawn's idea of sitting for cranky Jeff involves squabbling with him and letting him do things she had told him not to do.
Dawn totally tries to eavesdrop on her parents' phone conversation. Yeah. And then she bursts into tears at a club meeting.
I'm not going to chronicle all the sad stuff with Louie. Not only is it too depressing, but it's too similar to my Mistletoe in her last days. If you must know, read the book. Or one of the other BSC blogs out there. Sorry.
Stacey "tames the snobs" by using reverse psychology on them. When they say they like their room messy, she makes it messier so they'll clean it; when they order her to do stuff, she goes overboard. By the end, the Delaneys are behaving themselves and having a good time with Stacey.
Max is singing My High Silk Hat, but he has misheard the lyrics and keeps saying, my hysle cat. Reminds me of when my sister was singing Pinky & the Brain's brain song and instead of left hemisphere, she'd always say west hemisphere.
Shannon shows up at Kristy's sitting job with the pizza and threatens to throw it at Kristy. Kristy says she'll throw it back at Astrid, making her a pepperoni mountain dog instead of a Bernese mountain dog. It works though, because Shannon and Tiffany wind up laughing, and the whole group shares the pizza.
Max tries to order Shannon around (and calls her Shannie) and all she has to do to put him off is raise an eyebrow at him. Kristy's impressed, but I bet that at this point Stacey would only have to do the same to get the same effect.
Claudia spellings galore! Pocks, apreciat, wright, rember, plesent, feever, Malory, Margoe. She also spells pox as pax and packs, and uses there for their and your for you're.
So the triplets, Margo and Claire all have the chicken pox, and they're no longer running fevers. For some reason, Mrs. Pike insists they stay in bed. When I had chicken pox, I spent time on the couch, in the basement, outside...where ever I wanted. (Of course, I seem to have had a mild case, despite having them at age 13.) They aren't contagious anymore, so there's no risk to Nicky or Vanessa, so why bother? Not that it matters anyway...as anyone could see coming a mile away, at the end of the chapter, Nicky and Vanessa are covered in pox themselves.
Shock! Kristy's so worried about Louie that she skips a club meeting.
Kristy actually gets into an argument with Karen over whether Louie's grave marker should say RIP or Rest in Peace. Kristy mentions that Karen's "been wanting to have her own way a lot."
I cried from the moment they decide to put Louie to sleep until they finish his funeral. I know I never found this book remotely this sad as a child.
How does Kristy know the word herpetologist? It's what she suggests "Old Ben Brewer" was.
New charactersShannon, Tiffany and Maria Kilbourne (13, 11 and 8)--38, 36 and 33
Linny, Hannie and Sari Papadakis (8, 6 and 2)--33, 31 and 27 (later, Linny and Hannie morph to be 9 and 7.)
Amanda and Max Delaney (8 and 6)--33 and 31
Shannon (and everyone else from SDS): Blue plaid jumper and white shirt, stockings. (the cover shows her in a blue plaid "jumper" if you're British; sweater to the rest of us, and a red skirt.)
Amanda: blue corduroy jumper, white blouse, blue hair ribbon, shiny Mary Jane
Max: alligator shirt, corduroys, docksiders
Next month: Happy birthday, Stacey