Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I like studying. And I like earning good grades; or, BSC #108: Don't Give Up, Mallory

Please, Mal. Give up.

Y'all better worship me for this. I could be watching Futurama with RNL, but nooooo. I'm sitting in front of my rad computer writing about the nerdiest retard in all the land: Mal.

Ah, the cover...Mal's teacher looks a bit like my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Fox. Yeah, and all the girls thought he was dreamy. Not just a clever name...



Also, the boys on the cover actually look vaguely age appropriate...sort of. I would've thought they were younger than 6th grade, but at least they don't look like they shave daily.

This book tries to shove three separate plot lines into 150 pages. It does not succeed.

"Plot" number 1: There's this whole thing about "Short Takes" classes. Apparently, "for several weeks at a time, everybody at SMS studies one subject intensively. It's usually a subject that regular classes don't cover." Right. So, this time around, everybody's studying kiddie lit. [Mainly so ANM can spew forth some bullshit in her little letter at the end of the book.] And Mal's wicked psyched cause she loves children's books. Seriously, it's mentioned in every fucking book in the damn series. And she's also psyched cause her teacher is going to be this hip young stud named Damien Cobb...I shit you not. Anyway, the class turns out to be a real bummer, cause Damien's favors the rowdy boys, and Mal isn't comfortable with a discussion style class. Or some shit like that. Finally, she confronts him and wins the day!!!!

"Plot" number 2: The entire 6th grade class does a week's worth of fundraising to raise money for some sort of gift to the school. Mal's in charge, and she sets up this whole FUN-raiser (I'm not making that shit up.) and there's going to be a different money-maker every day (every previous year, it was a week-long candy sale). And she finds out that a class a few years back had donated a grand to create a student lounge in the library, but it never happened. Blah, blah, blah, fake drama. Turns out the school had to use the $$$ to make some necessary repairs. And everyone's all outraged, cause the roof got fixed instead getting a new lounge. So, the 6th grade officers stand up to the principal, and they get him to agree to match funds. Typing this is boring me. You get the idea. They make enough money. I don't think I've read any book after this before, so I don't know if it ever materializes.

"Plot" number 3: Seriously. Sucks. Ass. Um, Buddy Barrett makes up a marching band so he can march in the Memorial Day parade. And instead of getting in trouble for making shit up, the BSC decides to put together a makeshift marching band for 50 million childrens. And they make instruments, but it sounds terrible, so they decide to hide kazoos in all the fake instruments. And the parade is a mess, cause there are too many kids and the parents are all irresponsible. And for once, the BSC bites off more than they can chew. Woo. Fucking. Hoo.

Now, for the fun(?) stuff...

  • Mal doesn't want to brag. But she does anyway. She's an excellent student. And she fucking loves to study. And write papers. And do homework. And she'll never get laid.
  • Mal's the only person to get straight A's on her midterm eval. And everyone's freaking out cause she's a braniac or something.
  • I have never heard the expression stair-step kids. I guess it means far too many children born too close together. Or, "We don't know how to use a fucking condom."
  • This book should totally have been called "Mallory Pike, Miss Know-it-all."
  • Has Justin and "his 'cutest boy in sixth grade' grin" ever made an appearance before?
  • "I knew that I had only a few more seconds before I would be tardy." Too late, already tard-y.
  • "When I went home that Friday afternoon, I wasn't walking--I was floating." And spewing forth terrible, terrible cliches.
  • Seriously, I can't include every example of Mal's nerdiful dorkitude.
  • Why would you think that "such a powerhouse person would be tall?" Ever heard of the Napoleon Complex? I got one.
  • Ah. The "best thing about [Logan] is he likes to baby-sit." Poor guy must not have much going for him then.
  • Pretzels and Cheez Whiz. Yum? Doubt it.
  • Claudia "was wearing denim overall shorts, a short black T-shirt, red-and-white pin-striped stockings that came over the top of her knees, red thick-soled patent leather shoes, and a black felt derby." I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this outfit almost works. Of course I could just be distracted by the shoes, cause WANT!!!!
  • I really need to read the book where they shove Claud back to grade 7. Because it all seems incredibly implausible. Would any school really send someone backwards in the middle of the year? Why not just hold the bitch back????
  • "Abby, the athlete, can usually be found in bike shorts, and a T-shirt, whereas Anna, the musician, would more likely wear a dress." Ah, yes. Because you can't be sporty and dress well, and you can't dress comfortably or be moderately hip if you're a musician.
  • Have we ever met Megan Armstrong, the Korean girl, before?
  • You want to know about Damien? Here: "Our Short Takes teacher stood at the front of the classroom. He was dressed in a collarless white shirt, jeans, and a black vest. His sun-streaked hair looked great with his deep tan and gleaming white teeth. Was he cool? Totally." Not.
  • So, when Mal finds out her class will be discussion based, her "stomach sank. This was starting to sound more like a debate class than a literature class." Just wait until you get to college, sweetie.
  • Maybe he's not calling on you cause he can tell you're a dork with no imagination. Just an idea.
  • "Claudia wore shorts and a rainbow tie-dyed T-shirt. Her hair was pulled into a thick pony-tail held by a matching tie-dyed scrunchie." Soooo much tie-dye. It hurts. Also, I totally saw Claudia on my way to a Wizards game the other day! Asian-American, side ponytail, terrible clothes. Amazing.
  • Also, no one ever asks the parents before setting up the "marching band."
  • Good sitting involves tricking the kids into doing what you want. I had forgotten about that.
  • They make up names for the fucking cardboard instruments. Names like "google-blaster" and "snorkaphone."
  • Um, can the class secretary really decide on a class activity while keeping it secret from the rest of the officers? Don't think so.
  • Oh, yeah. Mr. Cobb went to Princeton. As he keeps reminding us...
  • Oh, and there's this whole Women's Studies 101 thing about one of the class officers acting all meek and wimpy around the boys so they won't think she's too aggressive. Yep, that's about the age girls start playing dumb for the boys.
  • Mal thinks boys might be more confident because they have it easier.
  • Vodka and Canada Dry Bitter Lemon = awesome! [Not actually in the book, but in my tummy!]
  • Dude, if you can't talk to your friends, you're in big fucking trouble. I recommend therapy. It's fun!
  • Are there any meetings that aren't "emergency meetings" in the 'Brook?
  • Two grand won't go very far in building (or furnishing) (or decorating) a student lounge.
  • Yeah, Sandra's kinda right. Boys won't like her if she acts like a brain. Just ask Pelle Carlberg.
  • "Pile on Stacey!" Ah, BSC lezzie action.
  • Gawd. Notebook entries are wicked boring.
  • Do they really need to mention that Norman is a fattie every time he shows up?
  • Okay, I think the ZuZu's Petals (a flower shop in Stoneybrook) name drop is prolly a shout out to the lame-o It's a Wonderful Life, but I got all excited, like, "Isn't that Wife-y Westerberg's name?" Cause I've been obsessed with Paul Westerberg since right around the time I gave up on these books.
  • The class discussions are "so one-sided. Boy-sided." Oh, Mal, you're so clever. Good one, Dave. You're a legend, Dave. [Sorry, I'm kind of a lot obsessed with Flight of the Conchords right now. And listening to them. Right now.]
  • Sandra is complaining cause her feet hurt. Cause she's wearing chunky two-inch heels. In sixth grade. Also, those don't sound too bad. It's not like these crazy stilettos.
  • Mr. Cobb's a dick. And he went to Princeton!
  • I think Mr. Kingbridge (that's the SMS principal) has been watching the beginning of Say Anything too much. You know, "Hey world, check ME out." Well, he's all "Yes, we can! Just watch us!"
  • The parents just leave their kids for the parade without checking to see if anyone is there to watch them. They are BAD, BAD parents. Shame!
  • I think Mal's already been indoctrinated by ALA. She's all "the balance between boy books and girl books."
  • So, so sad. Mal's first B.

Yeah, this book was so fucking bad, I had to break it up into two nights. And drink. Mmm. Delicious drink.


118 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Wow, I can't believe the BSC would actually FAIL at something, much less ADMIT it! You can tell the series started falling off in the 100's, LOL. And what was up with that "cutest boy in the 6th grade" thing? I thought Mal was dating that Hobart kid, so why is she checking out this other dude? Or did she dump the Hobart guy at some point that I missed? (Sorry, I can't remember his first name... Ben? Or was that one of his brothers?)

aimeewins said...

holy shit. I'm just shocked because I re-finished this book like 10 minutes before checking your blog. nice work.

Anonymous said...

i freakin' love your blog. that's all. i've never written a comment online before, and will probably never write to you again, even, but i just wanted to let you know how much i love reading your blog, and i check it all the time. you crack my sh!t up. please keep writing these. :c)

Traci Anne said...

Dude, this was the best part of the book.

"Vodka and Canada Dry Bitter Lemon = awesome! [Not actually in the book, but in my tummy!]"

Well, not book. Whatever. P.S. I've never commented before, but holy crap, I used to be obsessed with the BSC and so clearly, I'm not obsessed with the blog!!

Amy H. said...

"He was dressed in a collarless white shirt, jeans, and a black vest. His sun-streaked hair looked great with his deep tan and gleaming white teeth. Was he cool? Totally."

Sounds like someone was a little obsessed with Saved by the Bell while writing this.

Megan said...

I feel like at the time I read this I was going through a pretty hard-core faux-feminista stage and I hated obnoxious boys, meaning I was all on Mallory's side.

Now years later in college, I find lecture based classes boring as hell and hoard lit seminars like crazy. The idea that a girl as (supposedly) smart as Mal couldn't hold her own in a discussion based class is actually kind of patronizing-- it would have done a lot more for me to see Mal actually SPEAK THE FUCK UP rather than chastening Mr. Hotshot for trying to run an interesting class.

But then again Mal sucks so I hope she enjoys wallowing in her own suckitude.

Julianne said...

Haha, I love your blog! This is awesome! I never wrote a comment here before, but I stumbled across it a while ago, and I've been checking back ever since to see when you updated. Lovee it! I can't believe that I didn't notice how LAME these books were growing up, teehee. Anyway, good job!

Sunshine said...

I love that in 6th grade they had a class on 'children's lit.' And, um, what exactly are you reading in English class? Kierkegaard or something? I distinctly remember being assigned 'Phantom Tollbooth' and 'Bridge to Terabithia' in 6th grade. And last time I checked at work those were shelved in the kid's section.

T Star said...

Mal likes to study. And do homework. It's nice to hear that she actually LIKES something! Since she hates everything else: boys, gym, sports, her looks, her age, her family, socializing, ice cream, flowers, the sun....

I can't imagine how anyone would let her sit for their kids. Not because she is 11. Because she is a miserable, grouchy, insufferable hag!

Anonymous said...

#@$%&*! I JUST READ THIS ONE TODAY!

Ever notice how pointless Ann's little letters in the back are? They have only the slightest connection to the actual book.

Kate said...

You're so beautiful, you could be a part-time model.

Laura said...

I was going to quote something you said to say how funny it was, but I realised I would end up just copy-pasting your entire post. I am so happy this blog exists :)

Gawd, the writers don't do Mallory any favours. Also - hee! Yay for FOC. Probably our most successful export these days.

For what it's worth, "opnygfeg" could do duty as the name of a made-up instrument...or as part of the 'twin language' used by Marilyn and Carolyn...

LizWis said...

"I knew that I had only a few more seconds before I would be tardy." Too late, already tard-y.

That's freaking hilarous.

Also, Flight of the Conchords rocks.

KJB said...

AMM is a big fan of "stair step children" She mentions them again in 10 kids, No Pets.
Apparently, AMM really wanted a lot of kids. And instead she has two cats and no husband (although, I've always assumed she was gay. And by "always" I mean since I was 14 and knew what "gay" meant

Anonymous said...

"Ever notice how pointless Ann's little letters in the back are? They have only the slightest connection to the actual book."

Maybe because she wasn't actually writing any of them by the time the books were being published with the new covers and the letters from her in the back. I was always bothered by the fact that her letters had pretty much nothing to do with the book and she just talked about her family or cats or whatever.

Kylie said...

Oh oh oh yes Tiff I worship you. I have been wanting you to do this one because its the worst BSC ever. Why wasn't it just called Mallory is a whiny bitch. Issues I have with Mal:

1 When Mal whines that the teacher is sexist and only calls on the boys and he mentions girls he called on Mal says they're outspoken girls. Yeah? Just cause they're outspoken it doesn't make them any less female. Maybe Mr Cobb is prejudiced against quiet kids but that's all.

2 You're not meant to raise your hand in discussion classes. Hasn't Mal ever read Paula Danzigers "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" I'm surprised if she hasn't cause I think PD and ANM are friends.

3 Mal is a self righteous little toad. She disses all the other students ideas (in her head). She even thinks to herself that she knows more about childrens books than one of the boys in the class. Who is a little bit up herself?

4 The teacher goes to call on her several times, and she avoids him. This book is not about sexism at all, just Mallory being a sulky cow.

I'm sorry if this is a really long entry, but I have been waiting 10 years to get all this off my chest.

On a lighter note v-word aeyewcab - Stacey hailing a taxi in NY

valuemeal2 said...

Dammit. I am no longer allowed to wear pants. And I have to become a bossy know it all. Silly me for being a tall musician.

poppyfields13 said...

it's business, it's business time... damn, i have never read this book, how lucky am i? claudia does wear a fuckload of tie-dye doesn't she? even when i read these books i had grown out of tie-dye. the last time i actually thought it was cool, i was, like, five. but then again, i probably just "couldn't pull something like that off. but claud looked totally cool in it" -silly me for not realising that.

valuemeal2 said...

And to kjb: I think we discussed it here (or maybe on the BSC LJ) but someone found a source that confirmed that ANM is indeed gay herself.

valuemeal2 said...

And one more thing: I would totally have worn Claud's tie dye outfit. What is it, a tie dye shirt, shorts (I presume jean shorts?) and a matching tie dye scrunchie? That's it? Dude. I wear that outfit even NOW!

Kait said...

I think by stair-step kids she means one right after the other somewhat evenly spaced - aren't they all like one year apart from each other or something?

kiwimusume said...

Hee! Mr Cobb has sun-streaked blonde hair! Is he perchance related to the Wakefield twins?

Also, I can't believe I didn't notice the irony that Mal is confident enough to run the entire 6th grade fundraising week but not confident enough to speak up in class.

colleenn said...

I've only ever read a few books in the 100s that I've managed to pick up at used bookstores as an adult. I was hoping by the title that this was the one that lead to Mal's being shipped off to boarding school, but no such luck. I need to find that one someday. This one sounds just as good though. Mal really is a lot more whiny in retrospect.

I'm surprised to see some level of continuity with the whole Short Takes thing... isn't that what leads Jessi to be in that class with Mr. Trout when they all mock him in the follies and pretty much run him out of school? And I remember that they're learning about BASIC in that book (yay datedness!) and make a stupid pun about "a simple BASIC program."

coquelicot said...

Kait--they're all one year apart from one another except Claire, who's two years younger than Margo. Guess Mr. and Mrs. Pike needed a break from baby-making that lasted longer than a few months between the two. Maybe because Margo probably kept puking on everything.

Kait said...

More proof that the ghostwriters don't pay attention to each other: they call them scrunchies in this book, but stretchies in the last book you reviewed.

Anonymous said...

You have to read the one where Mallory goes off to boarding school. She gets a psychopath roommate who tortures her almost enough to make up for the torture of reading her prior books.

Claudia getting booted back to 7th grade is pretty ridiculous in premise, especially because (spoiler alert), she gets pulled back into 8th later. This, even though the whole point of pulling her out of 8th in the first place was that she hadn't learned the foundations she needed from 7th grade. Apparently, she picked those up in a couple of weeks and was good to go again.

Jodi said...

I'm pretty sure "stair-step kids," which is a commonly used phrase where I live, is a visually inspired term. If you line kids who were born one after the other up in a row, their height differences create a staircase-like effect.

casablancabride said...

I heart this blog - Tiff you are fabulous! I would really love a Vodka and Canada Dry Bitter Lemon right now. Yummmm.

And also: Have you seen the episode of Flight of the Conchords where they make the Lord of the Rings music video? It's hilarious.

"Frodo - don't wear the ring!"

regan said...

God I hate Mallory. Although my disbelief in how anyone could possibly be such a retard is what makes reading books like this fun. I haven't read this one but it sounds almost as good as the one where she student teaches the 8th graders for a school project (brilliant idea...right) and drops her chalk or whatever and everybody starts to make fun of her mercilessly. I think that was what started her problems that made her want to go to boarding school?

Ryan said...

I have never heard the expression stair-step kids. I guess it means far too many children born too close together. Or, "We don't know how to use a fucking condom."

Pffft! That cracked me up. I have two kids, born less than a year apart (yep, it's possible!) but stopped there! I've never heard them referred to as "stair-step" kids. People usually just look at me and my husband like we're nuts. Maybe I should just say what Tiff did, LOL!

LisaCod said...

AMM IS gay, just read an article about her. When did Mallory leave her snotty boarding school and go back to Stoneybrook?
Love love LOVE this blog, I laughed my ass off

Clare said...

Just before Christmas, I bought some red patent-leather (or patent-pleather, let's be honest) Mary Janes at Payless that sound pretty similar to Claud's, minus the thick sole. I saw them on a commercial recently, so they might still be there.

Also, Wizards game...does this mean your recent move has brought you to D.C.? If so, I may have to buy you a vodka-based drink sometime in return for the countless hours of enjoyment your BSC-based sarcasm has provided me.

Kelly said...

If you are in DC, I second the drink invitation!

Michelle said...

LOVE this blog!! I never read this one but the books from the
100s that I have read are awful and MUCH more inconsistent than previous ones. One of my favorite lines from Mallory's books are when she says, "I can't believe my parents won't let me get a nose job!" I mean, I know 11 is an immature age but come on, you can't really expect your parents to let you get a nose job at 11!!

UGGHHHH, I hate that bitch!

LemurCat04 said...

We always called kids born within a year of each other "Irish Twins" (yeah, we were a sensative lot in my neighborhood, and incidentially, largely Irish), though I don't know what the hell you'd call the Pike family ... Irish Octuplets or something?

Kristen said...

The short-takes classes materialized somewhere in the middle of the series and then showed up ALL THEM TIME. Or whenever, they needed a plot device, like why the BSC would work in a mall, or make a video, or study crap at a zoo, or be stuck in a project with Alan Gray, etc. The BSC had more projects in 8th grade then I did in my whole academic career.

Ryan said...

Yeah, I've heard the Irish Twins thing before - and sometimes I just tell people they are twins. It's easier than having that conversation. If I never hear, "Wow, two pregnancies that close together? Don't you know how that happens?" again, it will be too soon. Nothing quite as fun as discussing your sex life with strangers.
And Mallory thinks speaking out in class is uncomfortable.
Beeotch.

KristaRae said...

I used the phrase "stairstep kids" last night and now I'm worried that the only reason I know that phrase is from BSC books.

No wonder every just stared at me.

Word verification: xmpnu
How it would sound if Claudia said "Thank you" whilst retrieving Red Vines from under her bed.

Anonymous said...

Is everyone aware that they have remade 3 BSC books as graphic novels? I just found this out.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about whether AMM is gay or not actually just made me Google her... and I found the most ridiculous page of "Fast Facts" about her. Some samples I found hilarious:

"24. Ann loved writing about Karen, Kristy's little sister. She thinks that Karen is her alter ego, the kind of girl she wished she could have been at the same age."

"29. Ann hates to cook, which is unfortunate, because she enjoys eating."

The site is:
http://www.scholastic.com/annmartin/about/fastfacts.htm

Mehreen said...

I feel like I am missing out because I have not read any BSC books in the 100s. Clauds red-white-black outfit does sound kinda cute. I never realized how annoying Mal was until you pointed out all her flaws at once, but yes, she is annoying and whiny. I think I heard stairstep kids in Ann's other book, 11 kids, 1 summer (which I only chose to read in the 4th grade because Ann wrote it). I'd just like to know what kind of jobs these parents have to support that many children, in connecticut!

Emma said...

*"I'm surprised if she hasn't cause I think PD and ANM are friends."
*Kylie-ANM and PD are not only BFFs, they are also coauthors of P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More.

*"I was hoping by the title that this was the one that lead to Mal's being shipped off to boarding school, but no such luck."
*Colleenn-First of all, I love how your name has three sets of double letters in a row. ;) The book where Mal goes to boarding school is called The All-New Mallory Pike.
*HOW DOES A SIXTH GRADER DECIDE THAT SHE NEEDS TO GO TO BOARDING SCHOOL? HOW IS SMS SO BAD THAT MAL FELT THE NEED TO MOVE TO MASSACHUSETTS TO 'ESCAPE THE TORTURE'?????

Sorry. I'm done ranting now. :)

*saesn- How Claud spells 'Susan' (the autistic savant who is a crazy-amazing pianist, but doesn't talk) when she writes in the notebook. Did Claud ever sit for Susan, or was that just Kristy? Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Smack the Mal. Seriously, smart people who brag about their smarts deserve that. Claudia! Beat her down!

...I was a perpetual C-student, is that obvious?

Anonymous said...

Just sayin....cheese whiz and pretzels is pretty tasty

Anonymous said...

Wow, you just called my favorite movie of all time lame-o! Then again, I'm not surprised you have bad taste. You watch Futurama.

Ali said...

Ugh. Mal, STFU. If the class is too "boy discussion" based, then open your stupid little mouth and SAY something to add to the convo. Dumbass. (Can you tell I have issues, specifically issues based around male English majors in my classes?)

I'd heard of step-stair kids, but actually maybe it was the BSC books that introduced me to the idea...

mcwym: a new mcdonald's sandwich Claudia tries on a whim. (Wow I'm lame.)

Current Pitt Student said...

Not that I am procrastinating or anything by reading your blog back for pages and pages, but did you go to the University of Pittsburgh? You mentioned the food vendors outside of the Hillman Library. (Which are no longer there, they had to move farther up on Bigelow!)

Kelly said...

Ooh, I remember this one. It was after I had bequeathed my BSC books (and my BSC obsession) to my little sister. So she got this book, and I was all, "Wha? Mal's teacher is a sexist? How's she gonna get out of this one?"

So I skipped ahead to Chapter 14, because Chapter 14 is where the Big Problem always gets resolved, and it turned out that he just needed to enforce the "raise your hand" rule. Lame - I was expecting her to call a lawyer or something.

Because of this, I totally missed the whole student lounge thing, which sounds like the dumbest thing ever. You're middle school students. Why do you need a lounge? When are you planning on lounging - the four minutes you have between classes? Or maybe the ten minutes between the final bell and the beginning of after-school band?

Also, a PUBLIC SCHOOL agreed to "match funds" for this ridiculous project? I guess in twee Stoneybrook, no one's worried about justifying their expenditures to the taxpayers come levy time. (Or is that just an Ohio thing?)

P.S. It's A Wonderful Life is nowhere near lame; it contains my favorite line ever uttered in a Christmas movie: "He's making violent love to me, Mother!"

P.P.S. That drink sounds awesome.

Kelly said...

P.P.P.S. You are undoubtedly a goddess if you chose amusing us over Futurama; no mere mortal could be so altruistic. Was it Bender's Big Score?

Anonymous said...

us over futurama? i'm astonished!
but anyway, i've been checking here at least every two days so i can get another dosage of bsc hilarity.
i never read this one because i was on my way out of the bsc by then. but i do remember one of the last ones [if not the final one] that i read about mallory going to boarding school. YOU NEED TO READ IT. it was so hilarious and weird and fan-fictiony. soooo great.

Anonymous said...

lisacod@12:09: How did you know Ann was gay from the article? Did she confirm it?

Anonymous said...

This post had me cracking up the whole time! Thanks, Tiff! I really needed that.

Muzition said...

"they make instruments, but it sounds terrible, so they decide to hide kazoos in all the fake instruments." Wow. I almost thought you'd made that up. But I believe you. :P

By the way, I'm a female musician who almost never wears dresses.

Krista said...

I am laughing like crazy right now. There we so many things I wanted to say about your comments, but my laughter has pushed them all out of my brain.

This is one of my least favorite BSC books because I want to stab Mallory in the neck to make her shut the fuck up.

Desci said...

He was dressed in a collarless white shirt, jeans, and a black vest

...and then a jug of milk fell of a shelf next to him and REM's 'losing my religion' came on.



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NQeSIkw3X0)

lilacstevens said...

a big hint towards Ann's (unconfirmed by her personally, but confirmed in every other way) sexuality, flip to the back of your BSC book to the 'about the author' page. Take a look at the name next to Ann's photo (the one where she's wearing a striped shirt and smiling with really squinty eyes) and who took the photo? L. Godwin.
L. Godwin is Laura Godwin, Ann's longterm lover.

Anonymous said...

I love the BSC reading strategies - skip chapters 1 and 2, then every even-numbered chapter thereafter (because it's about the stupid babysitting side plot), everything gets wrapped up in chapter 14, for some light-hearted denoument in the last chapter.

colleenn said...

Re: emma

"*Colleenn-First of all, I love how your name has three sets of double letters in a row. ;) The book where Mal goes to boarding school is called The All-New Mallory Pike.
*HOW DOES A SIXTH GRADER DECIDE THAT SHE NEEDS TO GO TO BOARDING SCHOOL? HOW IS SMS SO BAD THAT MAL FELT THE NEED TO MOVE TO MASSACHUSETTS TO 'ESCAPE THE TORTURE'?????"

I also enjoy the three sets of double letters in a row. Of course, the real spelling of my name is nowhere near as cool and only has two. But when I was making my gmail account "colleen" was already taken so I went with two n's because it looks more fun that way. I also think back when I first started commenting here there were at least one or two other comments from a "colleen" so I wanted to distinguish myself from her. You'd also be surprised how many odd spellings of my name I get from people... I think "karline" wins so far.

Also, heading out to MA in hopes of "escaping the torture"? ha. I've lived here my entire life, and my elementary/middle school was purely frightening. Then again, it was a Catholic school, and a particularly weird one at that based on what I've heard from other former Catholic school kids.

BurtonFanatic said...

Get this...
Ann's father is a well-known cartoonist whose works were published in The New Yorker (a famous literary magazine).

Um... what?

BurtonFanatic said...

PS- I just found BSC books 1-39 on craigslist along w/ 5 Super Specials. I am in heaven... er, I mean... BSC... lame-o.

Joey said...

To be fair, my junior high had is referred to here as "short takes" classes, so it's not completely out of left field. We did things that were fun, though - one teacher had a Japanese culture class, that one really sticks out. And another teacher did a "murder mystery" class, one of those party games people played back in the 90s. Not really educational, but a good time.

Kylie said...

Hey what is it that ANM has about boarding schools in Massachusetts. Mal, Katie Beth's deaf sister in Jessi's secret language, one of Stacey's NY friends in Stacey's Book, and Logan's fathers wants to send him in Mary Anne to the rescue. Is Mass the boarding school state? Do other states have boarding schools?

V-word mssyfck - I think that says it all

Angel said...

Mr Cobb's outfit for some reason strongly recalled in my mind Michael W Smith's "Secret Ambition" video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BRUsSztA44 ). And now I really want to be in Mal's class, because how awesome would that be?

And what's so bad about discussion based classes, anyway?

Jess said...

Ok that had to be painful. I never liked Mallory (thought she was a baby) Jessi either (too I'm a ballet dancer) I always skipped their books.

I've been reading your blogs for a while now (was pinpointed from 1bruce1 on LJ) and I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to recap the crappyness that is Mallory Pike.

*hands pint of Vodka for that*

Kristen said...

I don't think there is anything weird about Mal going to boarding school. Middle School girls can be really bitchy, and it is realistic that the BSC would have one member suffer from other kids.

gingergirl said...

haha, about justin...
right before i looked at this I reread one of my old books, inspired by your blog...
it was super special 3, baby-sitters' winter vacation...and a justin "price" from mal's math class asks her to dance at the end.
so perhaps that is where it came from.

Anonymous said...

you win for the pelle reference.

Jenah said...

I have a "Claudia" in my Mythology class this semester....

Of course, she's Asian-American, has "perfect" skin, dresses like a mess, and wears her hair in a side ponytail.....Her name's Annie, I think...

We had to work in a small group the other day (the professor made us either go pro-darwinism or anti-darwinism). Anyway, this chick was in my group and I think I actually might have called her Claudia on accident. Whoops....

"scyxem"- This could mean something really nasty....

Alice said...

Yay, Pelle Carlberg! "The clever boy seems to have a different choice/He likes a good-looking chick, who likes to blow him away..."

Mal is so unappealing. It just makes me feel worse about myself that I can't get a boyfriend, and that twat snagged a cute Australian.

take me away said...

I linked you in my blog.. you are hysterical! Keep it up.

Sara said...

RE: "I knew that I had only a few more seconds before I would be tardy." Too late, already tard-y.

Seriously, I laughed about this for like, 4 minutes, which is more laughing than it sounds.

Anyway, thanks for that.

victoria said...

ha this blog has inspired me to reread some BSC's - just finished Stacey and the stolen hearts

does anyone remember one - i think it was a stacey book - where they have to sneak into the school basement and look through old records? and a long time ago there'd been a dance and a teacher had a heart attack? am i rembering this correctly?

Anonymous said...

Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade? I think that was it. It basically ripped off "Carrie"--there was an unpopular kid that was asked to the dance and then everyone laughed at her and then a bunch of kids died at the dance...

Shannon said...

Joey- can't believe you had a "ShortTakes"-like class at MS where they did Murder Mystery Games! My friends and I must've done every one of those in 8th grade (1991-92 for me) for our birthday parties.

LOVE this blog. BSC was such a huge part of my adolescence, starting in 4th grade when Kristy's Big Idea came out, and continuing way too long after since I had 3 younger sisters still reading the series and giving me an excuse to keep up... nothing beats the early ones and the super specials though.

Katie Bell said...

http://www.scholastic.com/annmartin/about/fastfacts.htm

Not only are those "fast facts" super lame, read the frequently asked questions! Holy crapness! But there is an address there that if you send your book in, ANM *cough*personwithastampandaprinter*cough* will sign it and send it back with a letter.
Why do I really feel the need to send in a book now?

Emma said...

xywiki-a website about guys that anyone can edit!!!!

sorry, that's really off topic but i felt the need to share ;)

eponine said...

Wait, I don't get it. What did Mal think the class was?

I've been in two types of lit classes - discussion based ones and ones where the teacher just lectures (and combinations of the two). Granted, I'm only in high school, but I'm not sure how else a lit class could exist.

I'd much rather discuss than be lectured.... whats wrong with you Mal?

Raine said...

Heh, Pelle Carlberg. Nice. Too bad poor Mel is going to choke and die in college. If she ever gets out of the sixth grade.

Media Whore said...

Wow, We actually have a restaurant named ZuZu's Petals in St. Louis. It would make so much more sense if it were a florist. Why is BSC-world making more sense than the real world?

janey said...

Two Things:
1) He was dressed in a collarless white shirt, jeans, and a black vest

...and then a jug of milk fell of a shelf next to him and REM's 'losing my religion' came on.


best.blogcomment.ever!

and mallory would have thought mikey mills was dreamy in that era

2) there ain't no party like my nana's tea party

Sexy Sadie said...

Hey, I'm back. It's been awhile. I remember reading this book as a preteen and wondering why Mallory just didn't speak up in class. Also, why does SMS need a fundraiser to make money? At my middle and high schools we got our money from vending machines. Also, since when does any female baby boomer age or younger act weak so the boys will like her? No one my age(I'm 19) ever acted like that, and I can't imagine my mother or my aunt(they're in their 50s)acting that way either.

claudio said...

if u don't like it don't read it, what a grouch ur. ur no better than mallory n u probaby look like her 2.

kiwimusume said...

if u don't like this blog don't read it, what a grouch ur. ur no better than the person ur yelling at n u probaby look like her 2.

:)

Hekima said...

Oh my. Someone said the "Don't like, don' read!" phrase. It must be time for a party!

My verification code says I'm bringing vtgtrt to the party. It's some kind of vegetable tart. Or at least that's what Dawn told me.

LemurCat04 said...

Don't feed the troll, kids.

Especially intellectually lazy trolls who speak in text message-ese

Kate said...

I love your blog! I was (am) a huge fan of the books. I think I'll start rereading my favs now...

Hekima said...

(passes LemurCat04 some delicious suewees) Nah. Feed everyone else. And I think suewees is some kind of sushi.

claudio kishi said...

ur funny haha, i'm not a troll i'm just sayin'

Emma said...

I'm bringing raasp to the party! Maybe that's slang for raspberries. Mmmm, delicious raasp. :)

Anonymous said...

This blog is PRICELESS.


I just discovered your blog, and I've been laughing hysterically. I, too, was BSC obsessed back in the day. Actually, not too long ago my best friend and I decided to revisit the BSC (and read the newer books) to laugh at their lameness. Love knowing that other people appreciate the complete ridiculousness of it all, too!!

How did these girls stay 13 throughout 1600 winter vacations and 1200 summer vacations??!! That's not to mention that Dawn and Stacey must moving back and forth between parents every other week....


To your Claudia comment: When I was in 2nd grade one of the girls in my class was sent back to 1st. Strange, but it happened.

Jess said...

Holy Crap Your in DC? OH my gosh I'll buy you several drinks for all the laughs you've given me!

Meg said...

I just read every single review in the past week.
Seriously, thought I was going to pee myself laughing at some of them. I stopped reading them when I was about 10 (I started reading pretty young, so I moved through series pretty fast), but MAN is it fun to go read this blog! Love it! And I can't believe how long this went on for! 126 regular books or something, plus all sorts of random spin-offs.
And I can't believe Dawn moved back to California and never came back. I guess I never really noticed that when I was younger.....

vcguucdi: Dawn's favourite snack food

UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

Yeah, Claudio, you're a troll--anyone who would come to a blog dedicated to mocking books and say that the writer shouldn't read them if she doesn't like them is either a troll or an idiot.
Though maybe I should go with idiot, considering your writing style.
(Sorry guys--part of me lives for mocking stupid people.)
Tjfigd--a fig dish Dawn found at a healthy middle eastern marketplace

Anonymous said...

I feel like this guy's teeth should do that thing where they go 'ping' in the cartoons when the charming people smiles.

Anonymous said...

This blog was better before.

The infrequent updates makes me not want to bother checking here anymore.

Also, it seemed like this blog used to be witty and funny, now it's just kind of angry.

Like the BSC, fun while it lasted, but time to move on.

Emma said...

Anonymous 6:03 pm- Tiff doesn't owe us anything; she can update whenever she wants to! If you want a snarky, frequently-updated BSC blog so badly, get your own. And use a name, too, so you don't have to hide behind the safe haven of anonymous-ness. If you're gonna bitch about this blog, at least own up to it. Come on, now.

Regan said...

It never ceases to amaze me that people will bitch incessantly about updates being infrequent, as if they're owed an update at a specific time. People like that remind me of whiny customers at my job who complain about the free samples not being to their liking. *eye roll* Now, that said...

My verification word is "declr". This, of course, is one of the silly nicknames that Claire has decided to bestow upon whichever BSC member is watching the Pike brood today. :D

Emma said...

nice one, regan! :) my word is soucm- one of Mary Anne's bajillion nicknames for her kitten, Tigger.

kiwimusume said...

And use a name, too, so you don't have to hide behind the safe haven of anonymous-ness. If you're gonna bitch about this blog, at least own up to it. Come on, now.

THANK you!!! I thought I was the only one that thought that.

And yeah, I get tired of the whole "OMG Tiff is SUCH a lazy bitch for not supplying updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 sharp!" bullshit too. Is there really so little in your lives that you can't wait a little bit? Like emma said, Tiff doesn't owe us anything.

LemurCat04 said...

What the fuck? No one here is paying Tiff to produce this blog, so you whiney bitches can go complain about not getting free entertainment elsewhere. The air of entitlement is just astounding. And it's not funny, it's just angry? The hell? Perhaps a certain anounymous user should go get her head checked. No one owes you anything, dearie.

MACC said...

I think Tiff owes he/she a swift kick in the ass, if you ask me.


Anyway, personally, I enjoy the hell out of this blog. Makes me laugh everytime!

smzetfaf-- Definitely something Karen-related, such as a dumbass game that she forces everyone to play. I'm thinking sort of Duck-Duck-Goose mixed with a "no-blinking" contest.....

amanda_sue said...

I used to love BSC books!

I recommend finding books about Abby and Anna. These were newer ones. I loved these characters!

Also, I remember reading "Biography" editions. Each character had to write a biography for an 8th grade assignment and chose several stories and pictures from their life and wrote their own bio. I loved those bios! I know Abby, Claudia, and Dawn did them. I'm sure there are others too.

Anonymous said...

Mal's first B? Are we to assume she got an A in gym? Granted, she did well in archery, but the volleyball fiasco? Hmmm.

Emma said...

how do you get a detention for not playing volleyball? at my school, you just don't get your daily participation point. are the sms gym teachers really that harsh?

Anonymous said...

UPDATE PLEEAASSEE!!!

kiwimusume said...

If I were Tiff I'd purposely prolong the update by a day each time some entitled little whiner complained about waiting.

If these people looked at the post before this one they'd see a link to a DIY snark community where they could not only read snark practically every day but make their own, but I guess they prefer to whine "Tiiiiiiiiiifffff, why are your posts so shjaxwly?" instead.

I repeat: Is there so little in your life that you can't function without an update every seven days?

Tracy Turnblad said...

Seriously, don't these people have jobs to be at? Rather than sitting on your computer whining about a blog, why don't you complainers go out and, oh I dunno, do something productive with your lives? Whiny little bitches.

Anonymous said...

between the bitter trolls rudely clamoring for new posts and the defensive "lemme buy ya a drink puh-leeeze" simps who want so desperately to sit at Tiff's lunchtable in the caf, this blog's COMMENTS are the only ridiculous thing about it.

-anonymous, because why the hell does it matter whether I use a "name" or not...the Internet is anonymous, and I don't want to list my "identity" so I can get little barbed messages from anyone who doesn't agree with my views

kristythomas said...

Careful, kiwimusume is going to freak out that you're anon...

leah said...

Does it MATTER if people want to comment anonly on a book. Is putting your name in the nickname box really owning up to anything?

Take this for example, I put leah in the nickname box, but say I consistently post here as sarah. If I hadn't said the last sentence, would any of you know? No... so how is using a name any less anon?


And does it matter? Can't we just enjoy the snark and word verification for when updates are slow?

Speaking of which: bautniol

When Stacey is 24 her entire scalp just falls off because she's had too many perms and the chemicals have destroyed it. This causes her a lot of [emotional] pain, so she begins taking bauniol. She becomes addicting and has to prositute herself to get her supply. Not that she didn't prositute her before. Kristy hires her and is able to fullfill many a childhood fantasy.

kylie said...

v word jndjgmt - if Claudia knew what indignant meant that's how she'd spell it :)

emma said...

wdaen- how Claud spells 'waded' in the BSC notebook when she writes about how she took Laura and Gabbie Perkins wading in the Brook. And yes, even though it's almost never mentioned, there is, in fact, a brook in Stoneybrook.

I use too many commas. ;)

kylie said...

I was just thinking about the brook. It was mentioned in #1, and never mentioned again.

(Why do I spend my time thinking about the BSC)

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said...

"Does it MATTER if people want to comment anonly on a book. Is putting your name in the nickname box really owning up to anything?"

Do you really, honestly think that Blogger can't link any comment made on this board back to your IP Address and then get your name and personal info (or your parents' name and personal info) from ISP? Seriously, people. It's called The Patriot Act. Nothing is untraceable anymore, regardless of whether or not it's coming from Romania.

Does it really matter? Yeah, it does. If you're going to insult someone who's providing a free service, at least have the good manners to use a freakin' identity instead of being another internet douchenozzle who thinks because they're on the internet they have the right to act like a tactless moron.

heather said...

"And use a name, too, so you don't have to hide behind the safe haven of anonymous-ness. If you're gonna bitch about this blog, at least own up to it. Come on, now."

i believe it's anonymity.

creativemachine said...

"Can I still join the BSC fan club?"
"I'm sorry, but the BSC fan club is no longer in existence."
(from the scholastic website in feq's)

Sooo, i guess this is where everyone came to deal with the tragic loss of belonging they felt with the BSCFC...right?

Also, this is really effing hilarious. This whole blog. My sister got me into it...

I wish AMM had sctually included some real drama in the series. C'mon, why can't any of the characters just DIE or something? the closest she ever got to dramatic was her California Diaries series (following Dawn back to her hometown for high school) and i reread one of them, and oh my god, all her characters (not just BSC-related; ALL of them) are like completely pretentious and they all seem to be so much older than their years. When i was 13, we only cared about settling into high school, and meeting boys... no one gave a shit about baby sitting. BTW at 11, you still have a curfew. You're not old enough to babysit other kids because YOU ARE ONE YOURSELF!!

Also, the only representation Australia gets in the whole series comes from TASSIE??? WTF? they could have picked somewhere nice, where the idea of him having a tan is ACTUALLY plausible.

And I think the whole issue of AMM's sexuality is pretty spot on. Shit, it actually makes a whole lot of sense.

That's all i can think of for now. GOD i love this blog. Keep it up, Tiff.

V-word GIANGREV - how much crying Malory will do when i poke her eyes out for being such a whiny lil bitch

creativemachine said...

Ok, so NOW i know why the lil bitches think they know so much
Thankyouuu scholastic! :)

"Why do the characters never age?"
"If we had allowed the girls to age in real time, they would have been twenty-eight-years old by graduation day!"

V-word TURETHI - adj. someone displaying behaviour linked to tourets syndrome eg. "Reading BSC books makes me go all TURETHI"

metamorphstorm said...

The comments on these posts entertain me as much as the posts themselves!