In honor of the upcoming holiday...
It's almost Thanksgiving in Sweet Valley, so the kids all talk about the food they can't wait to try. Suzie, a friend of the twins who almost never gets a mention, suddenly gets quiet and doesn't want to talk. Jessica also notices her talking about something serious with their dance teacher, which ends with the teacher giving her a hug.
The twins decide to invite Suzie over to their house to hang out. She first says she can't come, but then Alice promises to drive her home. The twins also see her outside of the dance studio waiting for her mom. They think it's weird that her mom walks to pick her up because their apartment is so far away. Oh, and they also see her and her brother outside the ice cream store acting really weird.
Since their grandparents can't make it for Thanksgiving, Ned and Alice decide the whole family should volunteer at a homeless shelter. Jessica refuses because shelters are gross and filled with poor people. She's clearly been spending too much time around Lila. Suzie then tells her that she's right and that the shelter is absolutely horrible.
While hanging out at their house, she tells them both that shelters are bad places. She talks about crying babies all night, people shouting, and all kids of other stuff. Supposedly she knows all about it because her mom volunteers so much. Though she tries to walk home, Alice drops her off at her apartment building. They then see Suzie sneak out the front door and run away.
When Alice confronts her, Suzie completely breaks down. To no one's surprise, she's been living in the homeless shelter. Her mom quit her job to stay home with her brother, and then her dad lost his job. After a year, they lost their apartment too. Alice promises that things will get better. Jessica feels bad but decides that volunteering at the shelter might make Suzie feel better about her situation.
Volunteering actually goes pretty well except that her dad is late. He finally shows up to announce that he just got a new job doing construction on a nearby development. Since it will last for a year, the construction industry will recover by then and they can get an apartment in the meantime. Everyone then rejoices because it's a miracle. Yeah, a miracle that someone did job interviews on Thanksgiving!
*Winston and his family always have rice instead of mashed potatoes, which just seems weird. Jessica claims that everyone has apple pie, but Todd says his family has pumpkin. Yeah, I'll take pumpkin pie over apple pie any day of the week.
*Amy is going through a habit of eating baked bean sandwiches, which is literally cold baked beans between two slices of bread. No thank you.
*According to Alice, they'll eat at the shelter then come home and have a second meal later. How is that even possible? We do Thanksgiving at our house, my boyfriend and I, and we literally spend most of the night before and the day of cooking to have everything done by four or so. There is no time in our schedule to take a few hours off.
*Suzie was telling their teacher that she couldn't afford her lessons anymore, but the teacher told her she could attend for free. She confesses to the twins that her dad doesn't think it's right and was going to make her quit.
*Jessica and Elizabeth suggest letting Suzie and her family move in with them, which Alice immediately shoots down because it isn't practical. Yeah, because everything they do is oh so practical.
*Jessica wants to wear her new fancy blue dress to the shelter until Elizabeth points out that it might make Suzie feel bad. They decide to wear jeans instead.