Thursday, August 27, 2009

#44: Dawn and the Big Sleepover

Tagline: This was going to be one long night!

Cover: Why the past tense tag line? I have no idea. I've always thought that the curves in Dawn's turtleneck make her look oddly well-developed. I have no idea who any of the kids are supposed to be, except one boy has red hair, so it might be Jackie Rodowsky. I've also always thought that the girl in front had hair that did not match her colouring at all.

Plot!: The Stoneybrook Elementary School kids have Zuni pen pals, kids from a school in New Mexico. Then the Zuni school burns down, and they don't know what to do to help. So Dawn suggests a giant sleepover, that the BSC runs, of course. And it saves the day, or something.

Points to Consider:
  • I never had a penpal. Once we randomly wrote to elementary schools as a class project, but no one wrote me back.
  • The penpals send their school pictures to the Stoneybrook kids. Adam is disappointed because his penpal, Conrad, doesn't look enough like an "Indian." He expected warpaint and headdresses.
  • Byron is crushed because Jordan used pig latin - their secret language! - with his penpal.
  • Dawn is practically gushing over Mal, saying how smart and creative and uh, practical she is.
  • You might be shocked: Sharon Porter Schafer Spier is NOT Julia Child.
  • Dawn wants a Zuni pen pal, but she doesn't have one, so she's sad. Then Mary Anne suggests writing to the elementary school and asking about a middle school writing exchange, and Dawn reacts like it's the greatest idea in the history of the world. No, Dawn, just the most obvious.
  • No, Dawn. Orange stirrup pants do not look "totally cool" on ANYBODY.
  • But wait. Dawn, who was so upset that she didn't have a penpal that Mary Anne immediately started asking her what was wrong, then "sort of forgot about it."
  • Claudia is dressed like Pebbles Flinstone.
  • Maybe it's just the books I've been reading lately, but there are an awful lot of times when some of the girls are at a meeting and they start giggling about something and then someone walks in and says "What's so funny?" and they all start laughing again, usually with food in their mouth. It's just so FUN being a member of the BSC.
  • The Zuni school was destroyed in a fire. It was next to a gas station and it exploded and the fire spread.
  • Dawn tells Richard and Sharon about the fire. Richard's reaction: "Maybe they didn't have a good sprinkler system." If this was a fire at a GAS STATION, I don't know what a sprinkler system could have done...?
  • Ugh. There's this whole thing where Dawn talks about how poor the Zunis are, but still noble. It probably is coming from a genuine place, but the writing in this section is just cringeworthy.
  • Mary Anne is reading Tiger Eyes. Maybe there should be a new blog, in addition to What Claudia Wore - What the Baby-Sitters Read.
  • Why is Claudia always put in charge of sign making?
  • Charlotte is nervous about her house burning down, especially because she doesn't have an aunt to move in with like her pen pal did. She asks Stacey if she could live with her if her house burned down, and Stacey does this weird, "uh, well, that's, uh, that's really unlikely..." Come on, Stacey! She's your almost sister!
  • This books is really boring, and quite a downer.
  • Aparently, Ray Stuckey is the class clown in Dawn's homeroom class. He makes fun of Dawn for not answering her name, and then bitches that the BSC gets excused to go to SES for an assembly. So Dawn says, "Eat your heart out, Ray." Ooooh, that's like, the worst thing a teen can say to another teen. Um, what?
  • Wow...the school secretary has a computer! That's something I was not expecting.
  • Ah, the days when some random adult could just drive students off-campus without a handful of permission slips.
  • Woman-in-a-position-of-power alert: The SES principal is a woman.
  • Everyone acts like Dawn is the second coming for thinking up this great idea, but NOBODY is saying that the emperor has no clothes. Dawn's great idea was a vague "let's do something to send them food and clothes and money." ZOMG - that's...exactly what everyone does when there's a crisis.
  • There are also Make Way for Ducklings and Freddy the Pig mentions.
  • The Pikes have a carnival to raise money. The Rodowskys have a yard sale. Both times, BSC members are in charge of it. Where are these people's parents? Is there some kind of underground swingers club that they're all part of? Where's that fanfic?
  • Kids start donating things that belong to their parents, without asking permission, like book sets, lamps, and fancy suits. Maybe if the parents paid attention once in awhile this wouldn't happen! (Don't worry - I'm not down on all parents. Just the Stoneybrook ones).
  • Alan Gray apparently has a crush on Kristy. Remember that for when we get to Claudia and the Disaster Date.
  • It's a big deal that the pizza place doesn't have flour, so they almost have to cancel the order, but then the pizza guy decides to make them with whole wheat flour. I guess that was a big deal back then...?
  • One of the songs that they play at the sleepover is "Who built the ark? Noah! Noah!" which is strangely religious for a public elementary school sleepover.
  • A second Robert McCloskey book is mentioned - what are you doing, Lerangis?
  • Ms. Besser asks the BSC to stay exactly the same age for a few years (until she has kids to be babysat). Hahahah...ha.
  • I don't even want to think of how much it cost to send all of this stuff to the Zunis. Oh, remember the Zunis? The ones whose school burned down? Yeah, we didn't hear too much about them in the middle of the book, as the BSC managed to turn someone else's tragedy into something that was all. about. them.
Final thought: Even though like, no one is voting for more Karen/Little Sister recaps, there will definitely be more coming up, because they're shorter and easier to get through. So y'all have that to look forward to.


nikki said...

The only memorable thing from this book for me. The Pebbles outfit. God damn, do I love Claudia.

Emily said...

This was the first ever Lerangis book, which surprised me when I realized that. It doesn't have the....attitude that his later books did.

ali said...

I always liked this book (for some reason... I wish I knew why) and I really liked your post!

Is it just me or is having Mary Anne reading Tiger Eyes in this book a bit too, well, contrived. Also, I love how the members of the BSC read exciting and edgy books. They can't just be edgy and exciting themselves.

Sadako said...

Heh. I don't mind Little Sister recaps because even though I hate reading them b/c I HATE Karen I love people talking about how truly evil she is.