Monday, November 24, 2014

“This is not a math problem, Claud, this is dinner.” BSC #62: Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever

I remember being really interested in this book when it first came out. My aunt and uncle had just signed up as foster parents with the intent to adopt. It would be a couple of years before I met the little girl they adopted, but when I did meet her, I was expecting her to behave a lot like Lou did in this book despite the fact that a) she’d been living with my relatives more than half her life and b) had only been in foster care a short time.
The Papadakises take in a foster child, Lou, who basically causes minor problems for them for a couple weeks. She recently lost her father and her mother ran out on her sometime back. Lou pushes the boundaries and tests everyone around her, refusing to make friends with Hannie or Linny or follow the Papadakises’ rules. Eventually, her aunt and uncle are found and agree to raise Lou and her brother.
Meanwhile, SMS is holding a charity auction to buy new computers. The BSC writes to a bunch of celebrities they all send autographed ‘stuff’ (jackets and photos and toe shoes and all other kinds of crap) to be auctioned.
And yes, Tessie did comment on the whole ‘foster parent/social worker’ aspect of things. Her take is interspersed in the tidbits.
Interesting Tidbits
I think it’s worth repeating the fact that Watson seems to find thousands of things to do with his weekend, especially while Karen and Andrew are visiting. I’m not saying that his life should stop when his ‘real’ children arrive (I find the idea that he should treat his biological children better than his stepchildren offensive) but it does seem Kristy spends more time babysitting DM and EM when Karen and Andrew are around.
Speaking of DM and EM, Watson and Elizabeth should adopt another kid and call it, say, Fawn Marie or Frank Martin so that the kid can be FM.
Here’s an example of why I hate Karen, outside of the obvious:
            Hannie: Guess what.
            Karen: You won a trip to the moon!
Okay, I don’t have an issue with the fact that instead of just saying ‘What?!?’ like most people would, Karen has to guess. But she has to guess something so completely impossible and then keep guessing until she pisses Hannie off.
And then she has to correct Kristy’s grammar. It ticks me off enough with then babysitters do that to their clients (so not their jobs, unless the parent requests it), but it’s just obnoxious coming out of a seven-year-old. Doubly so because it’s Karen.
Fashionable Dresser is apparently a capitalized title these days. I’d rather stick to lower-case yoga pants and t-shirt, thank you.
YES! Kristy describes Dawn as sensitive. It’s pretty accurate, for once. She may not cry at the drop of a hat like Mary Anne does, but she really does have a sensitive side. (For those of you who want to crow about me saying nice things about Dawn two weeks in a row, I’m going to repeat: I don’t hate Dawn; I just find her slightly annoying. What I hate is that she’s always described as being an individual and not caring what others think when that couldn’t be further from the truth.)
Okay, for those of you not too up on the foster care system, a little lesson (not directly courtesy of Tessie, although she is one of my major sources): The goal of the foster care system is to provide temporary housing to children who, for whatever reason, cannot live at home at that moment. It’s only one part of the parent organization, which goes by different names in different states. I grew up in Illinois, where it is known as Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The goal of DCFS (no matter what the name) is to keep families together and, when they must be separated, to put them back together as quickly as possible. Many of the children have been neglected, sexually, emotionally or physically abused. It takes a very special person to be able—and willing—to handle foster children.
Claudia’s musing about the school lunch. She calls it a ‘study in winter tones,’ and suggests shellacking it and hanging it on the wall.
EM calls DM ‘Davie.’ It’s a lot fewer syllables for her to try to pronounce.
Tessie Says: Kristy thinks the social worker’s car looks ‘official.’ Because social workers travel a lot for their jobs, they often use state-owned cars.
I have always remembered this: When Lou first shows up, she heads back out to the car after meeting Mrs. Papadakis and walks over the car and in through the window to get her backs. I think they mean it as a sign that she’s ‘bad.’
The Karen, Hannie and Nancy actually get into an argument over what color to paint their stupid playhouse. It would be really boring except for the fact that Nancy is being just as stubborn as Karen. I do so love to see someone stand up to her and not back down.
Lou starts complaining that the Papadakises have too many rules. (Speaking of, I just realized that Mary Anne is babysitting for all the following children: Karen, DM, EM, Nancy, Hannie, Linny and Lou. Shouldn’t there be a second sitter? And where’s Andrew?) None of the rules are too serious, but since Lou grew up without rules, she rebels against them. Her horrible act of rebellion? She breaks a rule…by trying to go to the park without permission.
Tessie Says: Two comments about this scene. First, rebelling against rules is a gimme for all kids, but especially foster kids. They have to figure out where the lines are drawn. Many of them have been threatened in the past but their parent-figure never followed through. Lou has to test the Papadakises (and Mary Anne) to see if they’re serious about these rules.
Second, when Lou walks off, Mary Anne grabs her by the arm and then basically pulls her around the street. You cannot get physical when disciplining foster children. The Papadakis family would have been trained not to physically force her to do anything. If a child has been physically abused, even an act like grabbing them by the wrist and pulling them around could bring up those memories. Foster parents and social workers become experts at gaining enough trust with children to get them to do things without being physical. (There are exceptions, but they would be for very small children (the kind that have to be carried anyway) or for children with serious problems that would have to be restrained to protect them from hurting themselves.)
After the incident with MA, Lou looks pleased and MA finds it hard to ‘feel sorry’ for her anymore after that. She thinks it means that Lou is pleased with all the trouble she’s causing, but that’s not how it looks to me.
I liked the moment when MA suggests that, for the auction, Cokie will donate mean lessons. I mean, even nice, sensitive people have moments of being snarky.
Ha ha ha ha! Linny has to write a report on a state for school, so he picked Rhode Island…because it’s the smallest and he figured it would be easier. I actually wrote a report on Rhode Island in fourth grade myself, but I picked it because that’s where my family lived, not because I thought it would be easier. (Kristy tells him she used to do that with books until she accidentally chose The Old Man and the Sea. I still don’t understand the metaphor in that one.)
Tessie says: Again, during Kristy’s babysitting job, she keeps trying to touch Lou (put a hand on her shoulder, that sort of thing) but Lou keeps jerking away from her. It’s a better policy to be hands-off. Kristy was doing really well building a rapport with Lou until she touched her. Some foster kids love hugs and crave them, but you have to be very careful again in case they’ve been sexually abused.
Why would Kristy eat the ‘sea legs special’ at SMS? I love seafood but that sounds flat-out disgusting.
Interestingly enough, the Papadakis kids have shown up in nearly every chapter so far in this book (through chapter nine) but we have yet to see Sari.
The title quote comes from Claudia musing—she’s much funnier than normal in this book—about how pizza is like a math problem.
OMG! Watson and Elizabeth took the kids (including Karen and Andrew) to the movies. They do actually spend time with their children!
This made me laugh: Stacey wants to watch The Wizard of Oz, even though Mallory’s sick of it and Dawn says the tornado at the beginning is scary. So Stacey amends her request…she just wants to watch the tornado. Is she trying to piss Dawn off?
Realistic-ness. First the BSC has a giant, multi-room pillow fight at their sleepover, then they wake up in the morning to realize they left a mess. They made chocolate covered popcorn. Jessi: “And we left the dirty pan to soak. I guess we forgot to put water in it.” Sounds like my kitchen.
The chocolate covered popcorn was part of the “gross food combo” game the BSC was playing…despite the fact that chocolate covered popcorn is AWESOME. MA says that Fritos dipped in butterscotch pudding tasted good, and she does the unthinkable: she grosses Kristy out.
I knew I forgot something. Let’s talk about the cover. Yes, in the middle of chapter ten, because that’s where this scene happens. Lou’s wearing her overalls and sweater combo again. That’s Boo-Boo Lou has in the bag, and Hannie (definitely—she always has those pigtails) and Linny (I assume) watching. It could also be David Michael. Honestly, the boy looks too enthusiastic to be either boy, who were both unhappy with Lou.

Oh, and that’s one low-rent TV Watson-the-millionaire has there.
Tessie Says: Kristy thinks Lou is the worst kid she’s ever met, but her actions are actually very mild for a foster child. She didn’t run away from home, didn’t hit, kick, or bite anyone, did her homework and never even rebelled all that much. And unlike some of the kids I’ve supervised, she never sexually abused the other kids in her foster home. Yes, I’m talking about kids Lou’s age. She’s more of a scared, sad kid than a truly bad one.*
Ooh, bad pun time! Dawn explains that cats chase things by nature and it’s a trick; instead it’s a trait of all cats. Linny (he of the awesome egg puns) replies, “Trick or trait!”
Dawn actually lifts Lou off the ground and carries her up the stairs. I don’t have to have Tessie point out (again) that you can’t be that physical with foster kids. Especially because in this case, it was a total overreaction. Lou hadn’t done anything that bad: she put brownie batter in Hannie’s hair. Yes, it’s childish, but it’s not worth the ‘lock the kid in the room’ that Dawn pulls on Lou. She probably could have gotten the same results by telling Lou she couldn’t have any brownies.
Hannie tears up and tells Lou she hates her, but that’s the result of a build-up of what’s been going on through the whole book. Hannie’s been angrier and more stern than that character usually is. (Despite the fact that she’s such good friends with Karen, I like Hannie. She’s the kind of friend I had when I was growing up. Instead of painting ‘playhouses’, we painted an old, non-working tractor.)
Despite that, Dawn is the first one to get to see the real Lou. She finds Lou in Hannie’s room…not destroying it like I would have done at that age, but holding a baby doll and crying. She gets Lou talking by sitting back and listening to her and discovers that Lou feels like everyone abandons her…her mom (who left the family), her dad (who died) and even her dog (who ran away).
Um, I’m no social worker. But shouldn’t Mrs. Graves (Lou’s actual social worker) have waited until she’d spoken with the Papadakises before telling Lou they’d found an uncle willing to take in her and her brother? She had to anticipate the kind of reaction she’d get. Is she new to the job?
Then, to make things worse, when Lou goes berzerk, she just stands back and actually calls Kristy—the babysitter!—in to try and calm her down.
Kristy is, however, the one who finds Lou when she remembers that Lou said she used to go to the stream near her house a lot. She finds Lou sitting next to the brook (hey…is it a Stoney Brook?) and convinces her to go back to the Papadakises’.
Kristy almost cries when Lou meets her new puppy for the first time, but then Claudia speaks up and saves the day. The words of wisdom? “Look. M&M chocolate chip cookies. Boy, Mrs. Papadakis sure knows how to give a party!”
I had forgotten that Kristy gives Lou a copy of one of my favorite books at the end of the story! Throughout the whole book, I was comparing Lou to The Great Gilly Hopkins, who keeps wishing for the mother who abandoned her and isn’t pleased to leave a great foster home and live with relatives.
So. The most expensive item at the auction? Neither the three minute CD shopping spree donated by Cokie, nor the Cam Geary jacket of (alleged) awesomeness. It was 24 hours of babysitting time from the BSC. I would really love to know a) what sucker bought that and b) exactly how much that cost. In order to beat the jacket, it would have to be more than $100. Honestly, in those days, you could probably just call the BSC and get a sitter cheaper than what the winner paid. What a rip off.
*Right after I finished this book I picked up a true-crime book about a family that makes Lou’s situation look positively normal. The dad had twelve kids and had sexually abused almost all of them. His daughters had four children and three of them were his. (Ew!) He’d even had marriage ceremonies with most of his daughters. His twelve-year-old daughter, along with all the other minor children, was placed in foster care, where she spoke vulgarly, refused to bathe or care for herself, refused to follow family routines or do homework, had constant nightmares, saw her father and brothers everywhere and feared for her life. Then she had a psychotic break and tried to kill the foster mother she normally loved. Makes Lou seem like a dream child, huh? I’m going to try to find a link about the story.
Claudia: purple and white stockings, Doc Martins (sic), short black ruffled skirt, cropped purple sweater, black velvet hat
Stacey: green shoes, silver capri pants, oversized shirt, green belt, short green checked skirt, gold leaf earrings
Lou: jeans, shirt, loose sweater; scarf around neck, baseball cap, overalls, red
turtleneck; same overalls with a sweater
Sari: red white and blue playsuit, one red shoe and one blue
New characters
Jay and Louisa (Lou) McNally (11 and 8): 32 and 29

Next week: Time for more Kristy: Mystery #9 Kristy and the Haunted Mansion

Monday, November 17, 2014

“I’d like one of those cool oxygen masks that drop out of the ceiling.” BSC #64: Dawn’s Family Feud (1993)

Jeff’s in town for a visit, and since he hasn’t spent much time with the new Spier-Schafer brood yet, everything’s awkward and difficult. Richard’s trying too hard to get Jeff to like him, while Sharon and Dawn are falling all over themselves to please him, even while he’s acting like a brat. It gets really bad when they go on a long weekend trip to Boston, but they eventually realize how stupid they’re being and enjoy each other’s company.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Barrett found herself a boy toy who has four kids of his own, and of course, the kids all hate each other. The parallels between the two plotlines are obvious, and Mary Anne even draws them out loud in chapter seven, but it doesn’t stop her from being whiny and annoying (as are Dawn and Jeff) throughout the rest of the book.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover! Jeff’s doing exactly what you’d expect him to do if he were just about to have his picture taken. After all, he’s a ten year old boy. (I still do that, actually. My Facebook photo is me and The Pepper making pretty much that same face.) Meanwhile, Dawn and Mary Anne caught a case of the bitch and Richard and Sharon are all, “Aww, aren’t our kids cute?” instead of “Smarten up or I’ll smack you upside the head!” like they should be. Best of all, it’s almost exactly as the book describes the photo is taken (except that Sharon and Richard should look less happy.)

Sharon starts the book by asking Dawn for “that squirty stuff.” I think it’s supposed to be an example of her being scatterbrained, but I think we’ve all had moments like that. (If you haven’t, please don’t let me know. I have them all the time; the other day I asked a coworker to hand me “that thing you write on paper with” because the word pen wouldn’t come out of my mouth.)
Richard wastes a bunch of time showing Dawn how to make Jeff’s bed up with hospital corners. Now if Dawn-the-neat-and-tidy doesn’t see the difference, do you think Jeff is going to care?
I would totally watch The Care Bears Meet the Smurfs. It would be Smurfy!
Avocado cheese melts sound pretty good. I’m thinking I might have to try that on tortilla chips for dinner.
Jeff’s wearing a fanny pack when he gets off the plane. That’s one trend I seriously hope never comes back into fashion. My mom wore one for years, using it as a purse, but she called it a ‘bum bag’ because that’s how they’re known in England. (‘Fanny’ has a whole separate meaning there.)
I think it’s funny that everyone’s talking about how exciting it would be if Franklin married Mrs. Barrett, because it would make a combined seven kids…the same as Kristy’s family and fewer than Mal’s family. (Mal is the only one who doesn’t comment on how insane it would be.) No one seems concerned about how the kids will get along, despite the fact that Kristy herself didn’t want to meet Karen and Andrew in the very first book. I guess this is because Buddy and Suzi actually like Franklin, while Kristy didn’t care for Watson.
Mallory suggests playing license plates with the Barrett and DeWitt kids, but probably only Lindsey and Buddy are old enough to read license plates and know what state it says.
How does Mrs. Barrett, who, sixty books ago, couldn’t even clean her own house or take care of her own kids, know that ‘all matinees start at two’? It would seem to be more her style to show up too late than too early.
Dawn and MA decide to coordinate their outfits for the family portraits, so MA drags out every dress she bought over the ‘last three years.’ Now I can get away with that, but are we really supposed to believe that MA still fits into a dress she bought when she was ten? Or that she’d even want to wear that, since it would be something her dad picked out? (Maybe they mean 1990 to 1993, all of which was while she was 13…)
Why would Dawn eat fried ice cream? Shouldn’t that make her scream and go brush her teeth? I mean, processed sugars!
Ooh, I’d watch all of these too: The Mutant from Outer Space, Revenge of the Mutants, The Mutants Fight Back, Son of the Mutant and The Mutant from Outer Space Part Two.
I can’t fathom the logic of trying to ‘make’ the Barrett and DeWitt kids like each other by cooking a fancy dinner and dressing the kids up in their best clothes. They’re little kids! They’d probably rather eat mac and cheese with cut up hotdogs in it on paper plates, and then they could actually act like kids.
The Richard-Jeff thing reminds me of an episode of Queer as Folk in which a boy about Jeff’s age visits his dad he doesn’t see too often. The kid acts like a little bastard through most of the episode. Finally dad’s boyfriend (who thinks kid has a problem with dad being gay) finds out that the kid thinks his dad overplans their time together and forces him to ‘make the most of it’ by rushing from outing to outing. Finally, they cancel the rest of their plans and sit around reading comic books and the three of them get along better. Richard keeps planning activities for Jeff, but they’re the kind of activities Richard would enjoy rather than what Jeff would enjoy. The whole problem could have been solved by Richard asking Jeff what he wanted to do and then planning that.
Mary Anne only gets upset with Dawn because Dawn suggests her dad is the reason Jeff is miserable. Here’s the thing about this: I don’t blame Jeff for being unhappy. Not only is he completely the center of Richard’s attention (which is weird and awkward, because they’re family but don’t know each other at all), but things are difficult with the triplets because they haven’t kept in touch well and aren’t interested in all the same things anymore. But he is acting extremely bratty about it all, more than the situation requires. And the parents are making it worse by not laying down the law with him (and when they start up, MA and Dawn). I know he’s on vacation, and they don’t see him very much, but telling him to get his attitude straight isn’t that out of line. You still have to be a parent, even when you only see your kid now and then.
Actually, this A plot is one of the most realistic plots in the entire BSC series. Blended families don’t magically get along because their parents decide to get married, the way the Brady Bunch (and the Thomas-Brewer Bunch) do.
We’ve found the source of “Mary Anne the Walking Guide Book”: it’s genetic. Both she and Richard carry guidebooks throughout their stay in Boston. Despite that fact (and, you know, elementary school American history class), she has no idea what the Boston Tea Party is.
Mary Anne also insists on sleeping with Richard and Sharon because Dawn and Jeff are being childish. Bet they loved that.
Of course, Dawn writes multiple letters on her three day vacation. Interestingly, she writes two each to Kristy and Stacey, three to Claudia and one to Jessi. Notice anyone missing?
I think the worst part of the vacation is the fact that Dawn can see that Sharon and Richard are upset, yet she keeps siding with Jeff…even though she acknowledges that he’s being a world-class brat. Sharon really wanted to see the art museum Richard and MA go to, and Richard really wanted to go whale watching, but because the kids are fighting, they go their separate ways. Sharon actually starts crying after a full day of Jeff pulling crap to get out of hanging out with Richard and Mary Anne.
You all know how I feel about Dawn, but she’s definitely the most mature of the Spier-Schafer children in this book, and even she throws a tantrum or two.
Ooh, Claudia spelling! Actually, I was really thrown by this notebook entry because I couldn’t figure out who was doing the joint entry with Claud. It looks like Abby handwriting but obviously couldn’t be Abby. I had to read halfway through to find out it was Shannon. (Shannon usually has tiny little neat handwriting.) On to the spelling: wernt, problums, Baret, Shanon, notbook, becuase. She also uses grate for great and no for know.
And of course, because they’re BSC members, Claudia and Shannon ‘fix’ the Barrett/DeWitt problem. This is obviously the counterpoint to me saying that the other plot was realistic.
The title quote is what Adam says when Jeff offers to get the triplets souvenirs from the plane. When Jordan points out that the oxygen masks are only for emergencies so Jeff can’t get him one, Adam responds, “Jeff can do anything.”
Mrs. Barrett: cream linen slacks, blazer, lavender silk blouse, pearl necklace and earrings (and yes, she looked like a model)
Suzi and Marnie: matching blue and white polka dot dresses, ankle socks, black patent leather shoes
Buddy: blue pants, white shirt, red bow tie
Jeff: torn jeans, dirty t-shirt, ball cap; tan slacks, sweater
Dawn: red t-shirt, blue shirt, jean skirt
Mary Anne: old jeans, sweat shirt
New characters:
Lindsey, Taylor, Madeleine and Ryan DeWitt (8, 6, 4 and 2): 29, 27, 25 and 23

Next week: I have to say I underestimated Tessie. Not only did she not pack up my copy of #62, she actually read it. So I guess it’s my turn to read it too.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

“Maybe we should call ourselves Kristy’s Killers.” BSC #63: Claudia’s Freind Friend (1993)

This is another one of the infamous BSC “issue” books, but I remember actually liking this one a LOT as a kid. Now that I know that AMM used to be a teacher, it actually makes sense. Everything about how Claudia and Shea feel about their tutoring feels pretty realistic.
So Shea’s just been diagnosed as being dyslexic, and since he’s feeling depressed about it, the Rodowskys want BSC members (who are closer to his age and not ‘adults’) to tutor him. It doesn’t go well until Claudia starts tutoring and letting him help her with her spelling. Claudia’s also being tutored by Stacey, who’s being a hardass about the tutoring. Claudia writes a journal for Stacey but also keeps a secret diary making fun of Stacey.
The B plot involves a bunch of secret admirer notes that keep showing up at Claudia’s house during BSC meetings. They’re short, unsigned and unaddressed, so no one knows who they’re directed at. MA thinks they could be from Logan and Kristy thinks they could be from Bart, etc. They wind up being from their sitting clients.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: Welcome to the 90s! Claudia’s gone grunge (actually, that looks a lot like what I was wearing yesterday…hmm…), while Shea’s doing the purple-green thing that my sister was so into in this time era.

Ooh, Claudia’s reading “When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple” which was one of my favorite things I read in English class in school. It’s also the basis for the Red Hat Society.
Kristy gets mad at Mallory for being late for a meeting…when she had a sitting job until 5:30.
Hee hee hee! Claudia says that complaining makes things easier (which is my life motto). So Stacey teaches her the word ‘kvetching,’ which is not one of her vocab words, but which she’ll actually remember.
I’ve seen a lot of other people comment on Claudia’s lack of spelling before. Other than being amused by it and keeping track of it, I’ve never really wondered too much about it. But I’ve seen comments along the lines of ‘If Claudia’s not dyslexic, then what the hell is her problem?’ Well, some people are not good spellers, but that doesn’t make them dyslexic. They could, however, have a different learning disability. In Claudia’s case, it always seems more like she just doesn’t make spelling a priority. If you can read what she’s written enough to understand it, then it’s good enough. She doesn’t reverse letters or words or write things backwards. I’ve seen everything from kids Claudia’s age still confusing b and d to people seeing ‘hot water’ as ‘water hot’ or even ‘retaw toh’.
All I want to do when I read the chapters with Shea in them is give him a hug. We all have things we’re not so good at, and for kids like Shea, all they get to hear about most of the time is what they’re lacking and what they’re doing wrong. Mary Anne has the first tutoring session with Shea and he writes a really good letter and just needs help with fixing his spelling and reversals, but he just sees all the things that are wrong with it.
Ooh, consistency. Claudia says the Rodowskys always have junk food on hand. In #24, when the kids are all eating lunch, most of the kids have sandwiches and carrots sticks and stuff like that. The only actual food mention I remember is Haley drinking apple juice (because she either spits it out or snorts it through her nose while laughing…I forget which one.) Meanwhile the Rodowsky boys have soda and donuts. I don’t know why I remember this kind of crap. I think in that case I was wondering why Haley was sitting with all the boys instead of with her friends.
The teacher in me keeps wincing every time someone works with Shea on his homework. I think of ways they could do things that would be better or easier. I think there are sometimes where it would be appropriate to NOT focus on the fact that Shea can’t spell. Like maybe just for science homework, have the tutor write the things down and let him copy. There are sometimes where the idea is more important than the spelling/writing.
These days, they’d solve a lot of Shea’s problems in non-reading/writing subjects by letting him type and use spell check.
We don’t get any actual Claudia spelling until chapter 7! After Stacey tells Claudia to keep a journal (which Stacey will read and correct), Claud starts a second ‘private’ journal, where she doesn’t worry about spelling so much: studey, especially sinse, english, morre, moore, (both are supposed to be more), tho. Oh, and she spells Stacey wrong...but Anastasia correctly.
Actually, Stacey’s tutoring style is so much worse than the BSC’s style with Shea. I know she’s trying really hard to be serious, because the threat of Claudia flunking is real. But if you want a kid to get into studying, you work with their strengths as well as their weaknesses, and make the work fun. (Remember when Mallory tutored Buddy in reading and had him read Encyclopedia Brown and write comic books?) Claudia’s got that figured out, too. I mean, she takes the notecards for her vocabulary/spelling words and decorates them based upon how they make her feel. It works for her, too, because she actually remembers how to spell most of them a couple days later.
The title quote is part of a notebook entry Kristy writes about a combination sitting job (for the Kormans)/Krushers practice.
There’s absolutely no consistency as to who is on the Krushers. For example, Kristy says that Bill and Melody are Krushers and so is James Hobart. Obviously, none of those kids were around in #20 when the Krushers were formed, but they also weren’t in the last book, which had a whole Krushers subplot.
More Claudia spelling! Cokey, jellow, baby-siters (this is an improvement over babby-siters), espechally, becuase, posibly, freind, tuder (tutor), corects, pairent, dummer, resorces, beeing. She also uses herd for heard.
Claudia should totally make friends with the Rodowsky boys. When she asks them what they want for a snack, Archie and Jackie suggest she should drive them to the mall (how, exactly?) and get them some Ben & Jerry’s.
The spelling’s finally getting good. Shay, becuase, disabilaty, reguler, exsellent, tuter, freind. She also spells tutor as tooter, which my niece and nephew would love. (They use the word ‘toot’ in their house instead of fart.)
Real book: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. DM wants Stacey to read it to her.
After she and Stacey get into a fight, Claudia actually refers to her as ‘Stacey the Killer Tutor.’
I’m terribly mature. I had a good laugh over this sentence: “Normally, I don’t mind being in the closet.”
So the final note the BSC gets invites all of them to come to the Rosebud. Since they decide it must be from Cokie and Grace and therefore a set-up, they all decide to dress up as badly as possible. Unfortunately, you don’t get too much detail. (See below.) Obviously, when they show up for the meeting, it’s not Cokie and Grace but the Rodowskys, the Braddocks and the Arnolds. (Strange combo of kids, but whatever. That’s par for the course with the BSC.)
Oh good. Another mention of Harriet the Spy.
So Shea has obviously developed a crush on Claudia. He wants to sit next to her, writes her a little love note (okay, not really a love note) and then purposely bumps her with his elbow. Were he a little older, he’d totally be flirting with her.
I knew there was at least one book where Dawn went to a dance with Pete Black. He’s either gone out with (or asked out) every eighth grade member of the BSC except Kristy and Abby.
I’m actually more interested in which kids are dancing together than whom the BSC is dancing with. The Arnold twins are dancing with two Pike triplets, while Jackie and Hannie are doing the “sock hop” literally…hopping around shoeless. Jamie dances with his mother, and Claudia dances with Shea.
Claudia: oversized shirt and jeans (‘spillproof’ for sitting at the Rodowskys); tattered jeans, lime green shirt with a bleach spot, kelly green socks, orange-red lipstick; oversized blue and white striped shirt, socks with blue spots, blue bike shorts, red high tops, dangly earrings, red ribbon in her hair (no, this is NOT her bad outfit!)
Cokie: lime green dress that matches the Jell-O served at lunch that day at school
Nanny: pink silk dress with pink and silver sash, silver flat slippers
Jessi: stained white t-shirt
Stacey: a dozen colors of eye shadow; black jeans, black Doc Martens, golden shirt with black buttons
Kristy: really bad ‘topknot’ hairstyle

Next week: #64 Dawn’s Family Feud