Wednesday, August 02, 2006

She’s the kind of person who finds mistakes in the dictionary; or, BSC # 44: Dawn and the Big Sleepover.

Why on earth do five 13-year-olds and two 11-year-olds insist on caring for large numbers of young children? Seriously. Are they masochists? Idiots? Or do they really not have any idea that people get licensed to do that for a reason? Cause no sane young miss (or young and modern, depending on how old you are) would take on this job…

The plot: Stoneybrook Elementary has a sister school in New Mexico, and the Zuni children are pen pals with all the students at SES. Then, their school and a bunch of houses burn. So, Dawn, who doesn’t have a pen pal, gets all riled up and wants to help the Zunis. She and the rest of the BSC work with the teachers at SES to set up food, clothing and money drives. As a reward, all the students that participate “get to” spend the night in the school gym. Dawn and the BSC organize the whole shebang, with some help from the teachers. And it’s a huge success, cause when do the BSC girls ever fail?

The plot of this one was pretty boring, and it’s especially full of “aw, aren’t kids sweet/cute/clever/hilarious?” Which does nothing for me…so, I present a few things of note, then I’ll be done with this stinker…

A. The Pike triplets think that Pig Latin is their secret language. Cause every elementary school student in the country doesn’t know it at some point…And who taught them? And I’m pretty sure Mal knows it…

B. Dawn describes meeting the BSC: “Well the BSC made me feel totally welcome. Everyone was open and friendly, which was great, because nothing turns me off more than cliques where everyone dresses and sounds alike. Not that there are never any conflicts in the BSC, but everyone respects everyone else’s personality.” Yup. Unless you try and do something different or hang out with anyone else, or unless you’re not IN THE BSC.

C. Dawn: “Sometimes there are no more leftovers and one wants to cook, which means getting pizza or Chinese food or something.” Mmmm, healthy.

D. I always feel bad for Jackie Rodowsky. I know he’s klutz, but the BSC seem really kinda mean to him, always sighing and acting soooo put out.

E. Um, isn’t Raffi for like toddlers, not for grades 2-6 or whatever?

Okay, Claudia tries to out ass herself in this book.

Outfit 1: “For instance, she walked into school today wearing a bright yellow, oversize man’s jacket with rolled-up sleeves; a wide paisley tie right out of the nineteen-sixties; orange stirrup pants; ankle boots; and huge hoop earrings—and you know what? On her, it looked totally cool.” No, it didn’t. I rocked a similar outfit in elementary school/junior high, but with an oversize navy blue and forest green plaid blazer. And it didn’t look cool

Outfit 2: “Claudia greeted us at the door to her room with her hair in a ponytail on top of her head, held up by a huge barrette in the shape of a bone, like Pebbles in The Flintstones. It made her hair bounce when she moved. She was even wearing a Pebbles-type outfit—a pink, off-the-shoulder blouse with huge polka dots and a ragged bottom over black tights. On anyone else it would have looked dumb or babyish, but on Claudia it looked cool.” Again, no it didn’t. Choosing a cartoon infant as your fasion inspiration is NEVER a good idea.

Phone lines are now open for you to vote for the assiest. If you don't call, you can't complain when your assiest outfit doesn't win. Remember, you make the difference.

29 comments:

metaliag said...

I didn't even remember this book until just now, so it must have been a real winner. My vote's on outfit B, if only for the Sideshow Bob image that Claudia's "cool" massive bone barrette inevitably brings to mind...

Anonymous said...

And if you're REALLY young, it's "Your Magazine".

Or "dead in the water". I can't believe YM is defunct now. I grew up on those tip to a better you in only ten days, man :(

Anonymous said...

Outfit A, all the way!

re: Outfit B. Polka dots and black leggings? Dude, Claudia is IN these days.

Anonymous said...

YM is defunct? What is this world coming to?

Oh and outfit B, totally.

Anonymous said...

It always irritates me when the color of the polka dots isn't described. Here we could go with white or black. I need to know these things for a clear mental picture!

Also I hate outfits where Claudia is wearing a huge jacket but no shirt is mentioned. Is she not wearing one and the jacket is closed? That worries me...

Anna said...

I vote outfit A.

Remember the part where one of the sleepover kids asks Dawn if, "Will Johnny have dinners too now?" Oh my lord. So touching.

Bran said...

I'm voting for A. B (shudder) could be considered stylish. Are we all going to start taking our fashion cues from bad children's literature?

When did YM die? I eagerly awaited every issue when I was a pre-teen!

Sara said...

I vote outfit A also. The orange stirrup pants along are making me cringe.

I was actually just thinking about this book the other day! Specifically, the part where some kid brings stuff to box up for the Zunis without their parents' permission, and we are allowed an ever-so-rare glimpse of actual handwriting! Mary Anne's (immensely wordy) permission slip! I bet her dad was a lawyer.

Kelly said...

B. For sure.

bmad said...

YM succumbed to the curse of Christina Kelly a couple of years ago. All three of her teen mags folded under her tenure or shortly thereafter: Sassy, YM, and ElleGirl. Ok, so she wasn't officially the EIC of Sassy, but apparently jane was EIC in name only, at least toward the end. poor christina!

PoBaL said...

HA! I totally remember that Pebbles outfit. Even then, I questioned the sense of it, and I'm usually all over theme dressing.

Amy said...

This is a tough vote. I'd have to say that outfit 2 is probably technically less assy, but the description made me laugh more, so it gets my vote. And a hairclip shaped like a bone is just about the funniest thing in the world.

(Love your blog, by the way! I look forward to it every week.)

Elizabeth said...

I vote for A. I used to wear my dad's shirts to school, but a yellow jacket and WIDE tie? She probably looked like a clown.

naridu said...

Outfit 1, paisley tie and stirrup pants! I can't believe I'd forgotten about that marvel of 80's fashion, stirrup pants. It was right up there with those spring sneaker laces/ties and the hyper color t-shirts...not that claudia would ever be seen dead in hypercolour I'm sure, but orange stirrups, oh yeah.

Anonymous said...

Outfit A, hands down. And why do they always say, "On Claud, it looked cool?" NO IT DIDN'T!

I've just finished reading this book and, as I work in childcare, it really bugged. We do sleepovers occasionally and they are massive amounts of work (and I get paid double time, otherwise there's NO WAY I would participate.) And it really annoyed me how they kept calling parents to pick up the kids who were homesick. First of all, they shouldn't have included the younger children. Second of all, if we called a parent at ten at night, we'd get, "I'm not coming out this late. Tell her to ride it out!" Grrrr

Mols said...

Check out "Kristy and the Baby Parade" -- one instance where they do actually all fail at life. You'd think that'd be really refreshing, but man I was depressed after reading that one!

I remember liking this book because the sleepover sounded like a lot of fun... free pizza, games, all of that. But what bugged me was the prize ceremony... the kids who had donated the most stuff/money got great prizes, and the kids who donated just a little bit got, like, a slinky. And if they were so concerned about the Zunis why didn't someone say "Hey, I bet the Zuni kids lost all their toys in those fires, maybe we should give all these prize toys to them!" No, they missed the whole point. Greedy little jerks.

cara said...

I vote A, just becasue you know the stirrup pants were a bit too short so the crotch was at her knees. Sexy!

Angie said...

Is it too late to vote? I vote for outfit A (outfit 1). I can see someone in Hollywood (Lindsay Lohan, maybe) wearing something similar to outfit B.

I just found your site, and I love it. A couple of years ago, when I was 24 (or thereabouts), I decided to buy and reread all the BSC books. I found several at my local Half-Price, but never got around to reading them all.

What is it about the BSC that still has us hooked?

alexis said...

Tiff, Have you considered writing a book based on this?

--Alexis

Anonymous said...

I have to vote for outfit A...I agree with whoever made teh clown comparison. Besides, I totally would have worn the Pebbles outfit back in the day. :)

Anonymous said...

yeah, you mentioned about the little girl's name being the same as the one hat MA hangs around with when she starts growing up. Well, there's apparentley a mum in California called DeWitt- exactly the same family name as the guy that married Mrs Barrett. We'll probably find out later in the series that the Mr. DeWitt is divorced from the California DeWitt and that the divorced Mr Barrett marries the Mrs. DeWitt in Cali. Or what, can't the author make up names or something?

karla said...

i'm in the midst of reading your archives and just thought i'd let you know how much i'm enjoying it. your reviews crack me up.

Joanna said...

What I always remember from this book is how Dawn convinced the pizza place to use wheat flour because they ran out of white. Or something like that...

Anonymous said...

Wow, the first outfit is horrible! I'm picturing some scientist. Orange stirrup pants? Ew.

The second outfit doesn't sound so bad, but the whole Pebbles thing ruins it. The way I picture it the polka dots are black (which could work), but who knows? I agree, it's so irritating when they do't describe the color of the polka dots.

bazu said...

R.I.P. Sassy!

Jane is just a sad, pale immitation. Or used to be. Now it's... well, I haven't actually read it in a couple of years.

Zesty Cactus said...

She teaches them pig latin in the book with Marilyn and Caroyln, yeah.

Sarah said...

What I especially love is that there's a brief exchange in which one of the girls talks with a supervising teacher about how well the sleepover is going and he remarks that the BSC are so great he hopes they 'stay thirteen forever' so they'll be available to sit for his kids when he has some.
That cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

I remember liking this one a lot when I was younger as I thought the big sleepover sounded a lot of fun.
I have only just discovered this blog, it is great!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Sabrina Bouvier a teenager in Mary Anne's Makeover? So how, how, HOW can she be in LITTLE Miss Stoneybrook. I'm having a hard time believing that either, A) Sabrina aged big-time, since no one in the BSC ever does, and B) there is another Sabrina in Stoneybrook. Someone should of done their homework (cough, ANM, cough.)