Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #10: One of the Gang

Jessica is super excited because she was named the chairman of the Mini Olympics, which is some random athletic event at SVMS. Elizabeth recently became besties with Pamela Jacobson, who has some random heart condition that keeps her from participating in competitions or even gym class. She previously attended a school in the area just for handicapped, disabled and ill students. Her parents agreed to let her come to SVMS for one year, but if things don't go well, she has to return to her old school.

Steven decides that he needs to bug his sisters even more than usual, so he pretends that he's psychic. He constantly pops up to tell them about his premonitions. They try complaining to their mom, but she tells them to ignore him and he'll eventually get tired of it. Jessica decides to mess with him a little. When he says he had a feeling that she was in danger, she tells him that at the same time, she almost got seriously hurt with a volleyball to the head. When he says he had a premonition that Elizabeth found money, she says she found a $5 bill on the ground.

Jessica also tells him that she heard people who have premonitions often experience visions late at night. After everyone goes to bed, she and Liz sneak outside and put a ladder up against his window. While wearing a white sheet, she makes funny noises and freaks him out. She loses her balance, crashes to the ground, and hurts her ankle. Ned rushes her to the hospital and it turns out that she severely sprained her ankle.

Lila views her "best" friend on crutches as the perfect excuse for her to take control of the Mini Olympics. Liz begged Jess to add some events for people who don't necessarily like sports, but her twin blew her off. After Lila takes control of the event and goes behind her back with the organizers, she decides to take her twin's advice. This way, she gets to participate and Lila looks bad.

Pamela's older brother Denny is less than happy that his sister is now going to school with him. When their dad suggests that she go back to her old school, she throws a fit. Denny then throws his own fit. He points out that she doesn't have any friends, isn't fitting in, and that he wants her to go back to her old school too. Right about that time, Jessica shows up on their doorstep.

She tells Pamela that she wants to change the day and needs her help. They make up a list of events and head to the school for the next meeting. Jessica says that she always wanted to change the day but was worried about what others would think with a not so sly look to Lila. Even though they made all the plans and the day is less than a week away, they naturally go along with her new plans.

Despite spending a lot of time with Pamela, Jessica still pretty much thinks she doesn't fit in and should go back to her old school. She even worries that Pam will think they're friends now and want to start hanging out with her. Pamela actually likes Liz a lot better and decides to write for the newspaper.

Mini Olympics day arrives, and they divide the school into random teams. It's really confusing because there are four teams, each with a different color, and each grade has four separate teams who kind of work together. Instead of letting people enter whatever activity they want, they draw numbers. If they draw your number, you have to compete.

The first event is some type of talent competition where the teams have to put on a skit and write a song. Lila writes her team's skit, which makes fun of one of the other activities. The other activities are random things like a bed making contest and a crutch croquet game, which Jessica rigs so she goes up for her team and wins.

The last event is a wheelchair race, and Pamela gets picked for her team. Ken Matthews gets picked for Lila's team, and even though he's short, as they point out, he's a really good athlete. He thinks he has it in the bag, but right as he's about to win, he gets his hand caught in the spokes, which lets Pamela cross the finish line first. Everyone celebrates, and her dad decides that maybe she doesn't have to go back to her old school after all.

*We had something similar at our school, but we called it Field Day. You had the option of participating in each event or not participating in anything, and since it was on the last day of school, I'm pretty sure you had the option of skipping it anyway.

*It's funny that Denny becomes a major part of the books later when he dates Janet, but Pamela rarely gets another mention. I think they ship her off with Nora and all those other major plot points that randomly pop up later. I also think Jessica dates Denny in high school but Pamela isn't in those books, so maybe she ended up back at her old school anyway.

*My book has a note on the back that it's a Scholastic edition only available from book fairs and the book market. I know I bought books from those fairs when I was a kid, but none of mine ever had that note.

*I didn't even bother to learn the name of the other school, because I knew it would never get mentioned after this book.

*The whole last chapter sets up the next book, which is the one where Ellen and Jessica find the "buried treasure" in Ellen's backyard. All of the later books just randomly mention things that will pop in the next book without actually getting in to the story.

*The Wakefields do some amazing parenting in this book. Alice refuses to get in between the twins and Steven and tells them to just ignore him, but Ned actually steps up and rushes Jessica to the ER when she hurts herself. They claim the twins will get punished for pulling a prank on him but they never actually do anything.

*Ellen is the only one of the Unicorns who actually spends time with Jessica after her ankle injury. I'm kind of sad that she disappears/never appears in SVH.

*Jessica really, really, really hates nonathletic people! When Elizabeth tells her about Pamela, she basically just says that maybe she can help with the advertising and that she clearly won't fit in on the actual day.

*Lila's dad takes out a full page ad in the local newspaper for the Mini Olympics. Um, would anyone who doesn't have kids in the school care? And I assume they would already know about it. Kind of seems like a bad idea. Way to invite pedophiles to a kids' day at the school there!

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