Abby and Anna are about to turn 13 and are in the midst of planning their Bat Mitzvah. Abby is also freaking out because she failed a math quiz and her teacher sent home a note. She destroyed the note and kept it a secret from her mom. During her next class, she learns that they have another test coming up and this one counts for 25% of their grade. This really freaks her out because she’s so busy with studying for her rite of passage that she doesn’t have time to do anything else.
It doesn’t help that her mom finds out about the quiz anyway. Abby points out that she was sick and couldn’t study for the test and the teacher wouldn’t offer her any extra time. Her mom goes down and basically chews out the teacher. Abby feels bad because she missed two days of school, but she wasn’t actually that sick on the second day and spent it watching television.
Luckily a random guy shows up and offers her a great study guide for the test and for only $3. She buys it, reads through it and thinks it’s a great guide. Not only does it have the questions and answers, but it shows how to do each problem. She goes over it several times and feels prepared for her test. Then it turns out that her “study guide” was actually a copy of the test.
The teacher passes back the tests and Abby scored a 98. She checks the question she got wrong and realizes that the answer was wrong on the guide. The teacher has her and four other students stay late. All five students missed the problem in the exact same way, but no one confesses. Abby caves and tells the teacher that she bought a copy, but doesn’t know the kids name, so the teacher suspends her for three days.
Instead of telling her mom, she hides the letter from the school and fakes going to school every day. Her mom is home working on their party, so she hides out at the public library. On her last day of suspension, she ventures into a restaurant and her mom catches her. She grounds her for one month, but she can still sit, attend meetings and even do soccer and other sports. Nice grounding.
Abby finally gets the chance to make everything right when she sees Mary Anne buying a guide from the same guy. They take the copy to the teacher and she realizes that they were telling the truth. Abby’s mom shows up to raise some more hell, but comes in just as the teacher is praising them for doing the right thing. They finally have their Bat Mitzvah and enjoy being around the family.
The little B-storyline involves a bunch of parents in town growing tired of their kids watching television all the time. They make the kids stop watching TV or put on bans and the Pikes even turn off their cable. The kids mope around, until they decide to put on a play about their favorite TV star. They have so much fun doing it that they decide to keep putting on plays, instead of watching television.
*I thought Abby was supposed to be smart? Why would she not realize that her study guide was a copy of the test?
*I can’t believe that everyone would miss the same problem in the exact same way. Can you imagine memorizing dozens of math problems, complete with solutions and problem solving?
*How big is SMS? I get that Abby is new there, but I never really pictured it as a big school, yet she had never seen the guy before.
*All of the members attend their party and then, even though her mom grounded her, she gets to have a big sleepover, with all the members and some of Anna’s friends.
*This kind of felt like a PSA on Jewish traditions. I skipped big sections that read like a Wikipedia entry on Bat Mitzvah celebrations.