Moving right along with my rereading of the BSC and coming up with plots I definitely want to see the new series tackle and others that I know can be easily set to the side and I won’t miss them. Though, truth be told, I am so happy with how the series came out, I think I would be good with almost anything. However, there are certain things that 100% need to be in the series (hello, Stacey’s parents’ divorce and Dawn and Mary Anne’s parents wedding).
Book forty-one, Mary Anne vs. Logan, is one that I have very distinct memories of reading. I was visiting my best friend at the time in New Jersey (her family moved there when I was in grade school and I would occasionally visit for the weekend). The new book was due to come out one of these weekends, so her dad drove us to the local bookstore so I could, along with her older sister, pick up a copy. I remember reading it in the wee hours of the morning while she was still sleeping (I did that a lot when I would sleepover at friend’s houses because I have never been a late sleeper).
In the book, Mary Anne ultimately breaks up with Logan because he doesn’t respect her feelings and is trying to dictate everything she does. Good for her. I don’t remember it at the time, but Logan WAS really controlling. I was probably too swept up in the innocent adolescent romance and upset that they were breaking up to notice that there was anything weird going on.
There is a clear timestamp on this one – it’s Valentine’s Day. For the irony of the breakup I guess?
And so we move on to the next book, Jessi and the Dance School Phantom, which once again brings us into the world of Jessi’s ballet school. This time, she has gotten the lead in the dance school production of Sleeping Beauty and someone is NOT happy about it. Her toe shoes and other gear goes missing and she receives mysterious threatening notes in her ballet bag. Thus the plot of the book is to figure out who the phantom at ballet school is.
As usual with a Jessi ballet book, I wonder why so much emphasis is placed on both the fact that Jessi is an amazing ballet dancer (seriously, she gets all the good roles) but also that she doesn’t think she wants to pursue it professionally. Is this Martin’s way of warning kids that it’s hard to make it in the dance world? So then shouldn’t ballet be more a struggle for Jessi? I say go for it girl – your resume as an eleven year old is insane. Surely this means you’re good enough to get into a prestigious ballet school? But since she never gets out of sixth grade, I guess we’ll never know!
Book forty-three brings another heavy topic with Stacey’s Emergency. Due to complications with her diabetes, Stacey ends up in the hospital for an extended stay as doctors try to figure out why she is having trouble with her insulin. However despite the heavy topic, the overall tone of the book is fairly light-hearted and has a subplot of Stacey trying to deal with her parents always putting her in the middle of their petty arguments.
No real timeline indication here other than Stacey mentioning she’s missing a lot of school.
Book forty-four, Dawn and the Big Sleepover, gives us a taste of social justice warrior Dawn. She comes up with the idea for the kids of Stoneybrook to have a massive fundraiser for their pen pals who live on a Native American reservation when their school burns down. The prize for anyone who participates in the fundraiser is a big school sleepover.
Now I know why I always wanted to have a gigantic in-school sleepover.
In Super Special Six, New York New York!, the BSC heads to the Big Apple. Kristy finds a dog! Dawn becomes an agoraphobic! Claudia questions everything she ever knew about art! And those are just some of the adventures had by the gang on their trip.
This is one of those books that makes me remember why I thought I was going to be so cool when I turned thirteen… however, when I was thirteen I was not just traipsing all over New York City with my other thirteen year old friends – and I lived there! I always think the books that take place in New York are so fun, because they are so tourist-oriented (not that it’s not fun to occasionally hit up touristy spots but they mention so many places that would be on someone’s NYC bucket list). Rarely do the sitters go off the beaten path, although in this book Dawn kind of does once she recovers from her agoraphobic-level of fear of leaving Stacey’s father’s apartment.
Although there is no timestamp on this book, I have determined its summer vacation. First off, they mention they are on vacation. Second, Kristy and Jessi run into the line for Shakespeare in the Park which I know as a native New Yorker happens from June-August every year. So I’m determining that the next round of 8th grade is starting.
In book forty-five, Kristy and the Baby Parade, Stoneybrook is throwing, well, a baby parade. It’s exactly what it sounds like. All the babies of the town are invited to participate in a parade, decorating their strollers and making floats. Kristy is involved twofold: she is helping Mrs. Prezzioso decorate the stroller for baby Andrea AND working with the BSC members on an Old Woman Who Lived in the Show themed float.
As you may imagine, seven pre-teens and a bunch of babies putting together a float leads to disaster, and the club is fighting for much of this book.
Again, there is no specific timestamp but I don’t think school is mentioned at all so I’m going to continue to go with my summertime theory! Thus, when we hit book forty-six in the next installment, the BSC will be starting 8th grade for the fourth time! (So technically they should be juniors in high school right now.)
Also in the next installment we reach… the mysteries!! Two of them!! And another super special, along with the next five book in the main series.