Friday, October 12, 2012

The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2: Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation


Oh man, I have no idea why I haven’t recapped this one yet. I think I read this book 27 times when I was younger. Anyway, this takes place when Stacey is living in NYC. The BSC apparently watched The Parent Trap a few too many times and decided to go to camp for the summer. They wanted Stacey to go and she kept turning them down before deciding to go. Oh, and a whole bunch of their charges go too. The older girls are all Counselors In Training aka CITs.

Stacey decides to make everyone keep a journal of their experiences so she can put it together as a book at the end of the summer. On the first night at camp, she rolls around in some leaves, which turns out to be poison ivy. She gets it all over her body, catches pink eye, develops a cold, gets bit all over by mosquitoes, and gets impetigo. She spends part of the book in the infirmary.

Claudia meets a cute guy when some CITs from the other side of the lake come over to tell the girls about a dance. Her charges find out his name (Will) and they finally meet at movie night. They fall in luv and spend the entire dance together. Will is Asian-American and had his grandmother living with his family too. They say goodbye but agree to write each other.

Dawn worries about this girl Heather in her cabin because she’s quiet, reads all the time, and keeps to herself. Her cabin goes on an overnight trip and they get lost in the woods. Heather steps up to the plate, figures out what to do, and even gets them back. Heather suddenly becomes more popular with the other girls and Dawn acts like she had something to do with it.

Jessi and Mallory are too young to be CITs, but the owners agree to let them be Junior CITs. The girls in their cabin act really stuck up and wind up being racist, calling them “oreos.” They work with a group of younger girls, including Becca and Charlotte to do a dance routine for the end of the trip. It goes really well and two of the mean girls apologize, while the other one just ignores them.

Mary Anne winds up in a cabin with girls who act a lot older than her. When she tells them she has a boyfriend, they don’t believe her. One of the girls has a little sister, Tara, in their cabin who is super mean to Margo Pike. Mary Anne writes a gushy fake letter to Logan, and the girls convince her to sneak out and walk around the lake to give it to him. She does, but gets caught because Tara told on her. She ended up making it father around the lake than anyone else before so they treat her with respect.

Logan only has two chapters (or one?). He gets her letter and all the guys make fun of him because it’s so gushy. He starts a food fight and gets in trouble, but his counselor confesses that he did the same thing when he was a camper. The guys meet Mary Anne at the dance and decide that she’s cute so they stop picking on him.

Kristy is in the same situation as Mary Anne (kind of). Her cabin mates tease her for looking too young, not dressing up, and not having a boyfriend. They give her a little makeover just in time for the dance. She loves the way she looks, gets excited when guys hit on her, and seems happy with the changes, but she goes back to her old self at the end.

*This camp is insane. Some of the campers stay all summer and some leave after two weeks. Everyone from Stoneybrook is leaving after two weeks and given that they take up nearly half of everyone there, how does this place stay in business?

*Apparently they have a list of replacement counselors from former campers/counselors. Dawn’s counselor has to go home when her mom gets sick, and they find a new one in less than 24 hours. Are there really people just sitting around waiting to get a call?

*Mary Anne’s cabin mates want to pierce her ears with a needle and she goes along with it. The other girl chickens out, but it’s still completely out of character.

*Kristy mentions in the book that she got blue Pony shoes with Velcro right before leaving for camp, but the cover shows her wearing lace up shoes.

*Kristy has a rare moment here where she admits that she feels younger than all of the girls in the club because she isn’t interested in boys, makeup, or clothes.

*Charlotte loses it because she doesn’t like being away from home. Kristy thinks she should go home and a lot of other girls do too, but it’s annoying because they never actually tell her that or mention it to her mom.

*Dawn is kind of snotty in this book because she acts like Heather either shouldn’t be at camp or should make more of an effort to get along with the other girls.

*BTW, Dawn eats a hot dog while on the overnight, but can’t fathom the idea of eating a marshmallow. I love in the early books that she will sometimes eat meat, but in later books she says she never ate meat.

*According to Kristy, her name isn’t in name meaning books. I have to call BS on that one.

*I always remember this book because it was the first time I heard the term oreo. I think it got mentioned on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air once and I was shocked.

*Dawn says that you could walk for miles from the camp without seeing people. Is it really such a good idea then to let a bunch of kids lose in the woods?

*I’m curious how Mary Anne even manages to sneak out given that the counselor only has a curtain around her bed to separate her from the group.

*Everyone is super excited about going back to camp again, which is funny given that in the FF series, everyone backs out.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Point Thriller: Silent Witness (Carol Ellis)


Lucy wakes up in the middle of the night hearing her neighbor Allen playing basketball in the driveway. Then she remembers that he died just a few weeks ago and feels bad about losing one of her best friends. She remembers that he fell off a cement embankment that kids climb all the time, and that his mother gave her a box of things to pass onto his friends. She goes through the box and finds a videotape that she watches. She sees a few random scenes before falling asleep and doesn’t see the person staring at her from his house.

The next day at school, she passes the box along to some of his friends. His friend Brad takes his comic books and his girlfriend Suzanne acts snippy towards Lucy, saying that it’s morbid for anyone to want any of his stuff. She also gives his basketball to his friend Jon because they used to play together.

She gets two calls later that night from someone who just breathes and hangs up. When the phone rings again, she goes off on the caller but it’s Jon. He tells her that Allen always said he should ask her out, so they agree to go out the following night. Their date goes pretty well at first, but then he excuses himself to pick up his little brother.

Lucy hears Suzanne on the phone, shouting at someone that she will take care of things. Suzanne then stops by her table, acts doubtful that Jon will show up again, and keeps asking her to sit with them. Jon does come back, but he acts aloof and distant. He finally apologizes after taking her home, telling her that his little brother hates that the family moved to the area a few months before.

Lucy notices that the garage door is open, but she thinks it was her parents. The inside of the house feels creepy and she finds two hang up calls on the answering machine. She runs outside and waits until her parents get home. They do a walkthrough of the house and she sits down to watch some more of his tape. She gets creeped out after seeing two shots of Jon angry and yelling at the camera. She turns it off and wonders how much she knows about him.

She runs into Allen’s friend Robert and asks him for notes for an upcoming history test. She also runs into a mutual friend Jenny who wants to use Allen’s video for a special project. Robert gives her a script to give Jenny after school, and Jon waits with her for awhile before taking off. She goes to get a drink of water, and when she comes back, she finds that someone went through her book bag.

She also discovers that someone broke into her locker. She tells Jenny that she thinks she has a stalker, but Jenny thinks she’s just paranoid. She makes a comment to Suzanne who works in the office about her locker, and Suzanne flips out thinking that she’s accusing her. She later pops up and apologizes to Lucy for acting that way.

Lucy heads home and falls asleep studying. She wakes up to hear someone walking around outside. She runs around the house, locking all the doors and turning off the lights, but she still hears someone creeping around outside. The doorbell rings and it’s Robert dropping off the notes. He takes a flashlight and walks around the house but doesn’t find anything.

Lucy gives Jenny Allen’s video so she can make a copy for her project. She calls Jon and leaves a message with his surly brother but he never calls her back. Jenny never calls and every time she calls her house, no one answers. The next day, Jon is a horrible mood and Lucy chickens out before she can ask him for a second date. Then she hears the bad news that someone attacked Jenny the night before.

She skips school and rushes to see her in the hospital but she’s asleep. When she goes back to school, she sees Suzanne in the parking lot with some random guy named Dave. Jenny calls her the next day and tells her what happened, how some guy grabbed her purse and ran off. Lucy passes the story on to everyone in school, but then realizes that Jenny was wearing her poncho and someone thought she was Lucy. She goes home, only to find that someone broke into her house. They didn’t take anything, but the front door was unlocked and her cat was outside.

Since she needs to see the video and her own VCR breaks, she sneaks into the video lab after school. Naturally, everyone else leaves while she’s watching it. After getting past the scenes with Jon, she sees Suzanne making out with that guy Dave. She decides to take the copy Jenny made from the closet and take both home.

Someone sneaks into the lab, slams the closet door shut, and locks her in the closet. She hears the person taking the tape out of the machine and sneaking outside. After pacing back and forth in the closet, she starts shouting and banging on the door when she hears someone open the lab door. It’s Jon and he saves her, but she doesn’t trust him.

Blah, blah, blah. Let’s say that it’s a few days later and she’s back at the school to watch the tape. She sees Allen filming a guy walking down a dusty road and sees a car come out of nowhere and hit the guy. The guy gets out, stares at the other figure, gets back in the car, and takes off. Oh and the guy driving the car is Robert.

Robert suddenly pops up behind her and reveals that he knew what was on the tape. He attacked Jenny and did all the other stuff to get the tape back. Basically, Allen told him that he filmed it and urged him to go to the cops. Robert agreed but never did, so Allen asked him to meet him somewhere. They fought and shoved each other, Allen lost his balance, and fell to his death.

He starts chasing her around the video lab and she tries to knock some shelves over. The shelves are too heavy so she drops the tape and kicks it under a table. Robert keeps chasing her and she grabs a tripod. When she tries to hit him, he ducks and loses his balance and falls into the closet, so she locks the door behind him.

Later that night, she’s sitting with Jon and telling him about calling the cops and them picking up Robert. Jon admits that his little brother got messed up with a bad crowd and he’s been worrying about him ever since. The scenes on the tape were him and Allen practicing how he would talk to his brother. He apologizes and tells her that his brother is getting better. She is so happy that they decide to start dating or something.