Saturday, August 8, 2009

SS #1 Baby Sitters On Board!

Mal thinks she's a spy.
At least she does not get caught
Until the ski lodge.

So we have our first Super Special...and our first hiccup in the publication order. This one definitely came out after #14, but Mallory isn't in the club yet, and there's no mention of Jessi. Stacey is still in Stoneybrook (the Mc Gill's Ping Pong table is mentioned, and that gets sold at the garage sale in #13), and the time of year that this is supposed to take place is unclear. The back of the book says it's summer, but what summer? The only summer that's happened so far is the one from book #6 through book #10, and the Pikes have definitely already been to Sea City (that's why they ask Mary Anne and Stacey to go with them on this little excursion). I suppose taking both trips in one summer is possible, but Sea City happened the first two weeks of August. Did they just turn around and leave on another trip right after? I've thought about this WAY too's the rundown of what happened in the book:

Mr. Pike won a contest at work, and the prize is an all expenses paid cruise through the Bahamas, plus three days in Disney World. Someone must have had a heart attack when they found out that Mr. Pike was the winner, and that they'd have to pay for ten people to go on the trip. Actually, make that 12 people, since Stacey and Mary Anne go along as mother's helpers. Watson hears about the trip and decides to take his family as well, along with Claudia and Dawn, since they just can't leave any club members behind. I wonder how the Kishi and Schafer parents felt about Watson paying for this. After all, the Kishis didn't want Mr. Schafer to pay for Claudia's plane ticket out to CA for his wedding later on. If I were a parent, I'd love it if my daughter's friend's rich dad wanted to take her on a fabulous vacation at no cost to me. If I had a daughter, that is. :) Here's what everyone was up to during the trip:

Kristy befriends an old man who's grieving the loss of his wife. It's actually a pretty sweet friendship, although I do think Kristy trying to fix up Mr. Staples with Nannie so soon after his wife's death is a little insensitive. When she's not hanging out with her new friend, Kristy is feuding with Dawn over the cleanliness of their ship cabin and hotel room in Florida. Dawn likes things neater than Kristy does, and Kristy dials up the sloppiness just to get to her.

Dawn gets to experience the very first Super Special romance! She (literally) runs into Parker Harris, her very own dream boy, at the beginning of the cruise. Back in the day, I thought Parker sounded pretty awesome myself, but now, I just think he's a jerk. He talks Dawn out of snorkeling (Something she wanted to do) and he has all these nasty things to say about his step family, who seem perfectly nice. Oh, well. At least Dawn wore a dibble outfit on their Disney World date: a white tank top under lavender overalls, lavender push-down socks, lavender high top sneakers, and a beaded Indian belt. There were bird clips, too. I totally wanted that entire outfit when I was younger! One interesting thing to note about Dawn: in her first chapter, she claims she's flown back and forth across the country 11 times, since both sets of grandparents live on the East Coast. First of all, would that mean that Jack Schafer grew up in the East? For some reason, I just can't see that. Second, wouldn't Dawn have been to Stoneybrook before moving there? I find it hard to believe that she'd come across the country to see her dad's parents, but not Granny and Pop Pop.

Mary Anne pretty much just sits for the Pike girls. She also develops a weird sort of friendship with Alexandra Carmody, a "sophisticated" compulsive liar who claims to be an orphan, a movie star, and the niece to a countess. As it turns out, she's really just the daughter of celebrities, and tells lies to get attention. I guess no one's perfect; at least Alex fills out her bikini top, as Mary Anne is so kind to inform us. :)

Mallory decides to play Harriet the Spy. She takes a lot of notes about the people she sees, and though she doesn't get caught, her observations do kind of make the sitters suspicious. Mallory is actually the one who finds out the truth about Alex Carmody's lies. I know a lot gets said in fandom about how silly is for Mallory to go off alone in a place like Disney World, but I can see where that might be fun. I went to Disneyland and California Adventure with my family last fall, and I definitely needed time away from them, just to walk around and shop. I wouldn't blame Mal for needing her space, even if spying wasn't her motive!

Karen uses contractions! Seriously; her chapters are actually legible for people who like grammar. Other than that, she gets a manicure in a beauty parlor and Coke in one of the ship's cafes when she's just supposed to be getting her earplugs for a swim. Kristy should never have sent her off alone, but I digress. :) Karen also becomes convinced that the ghost hologram that was projected into her carriage in the Haunted Mansion is following her around, but don't worry...he's friendly! Finally, she announces during a breakfast with Disney characters that it's her birthday, just so everyone will sing to her. That little episode makes me see why so many people hate Karen. Sheesh!

Claudia has a secret admirer. He keeps leaving her little notes and present, but he doesn't reveal himself. Partway through the cruise, as she's chasing him out of an ice cream parlor, she runs into a boy her age who introduces himself as Timothy. He claims to have seen Mr. Secrets run by, but Mr. Secrets is actually Timothy. He's outed at the parade on their last night in Disney World by his sister, the infamous Alex Carmody. It looks like lies run in that family. Also, Timothy mentions that their high school teams will be playing each other, and that they're destined to meet again. I smell a fan fic, for anyone who's good at that sort of thing!

Stacey meets and bonds with Marc Kubacki, a boy confined to a wheelchair because of a heart problem. He's due for major heart surgery not long after the trip ends, and his parents wanted to take him on it so they'd have something good to remember him by. Normally, I'm not into the sick or "special" kid storylines (I know, I'm horrible), but I really like this one and I've always thought it was well done. All's well that ends well, though; Stacey receives a card from the Kubackis after the trip is over, telling that Marc is fine and will eventually be totally healthy.

The Pike Boys and David Michael Thomas are obsessed with all things pirate. They find a piece of paper on a beach and convince themselves that it's a treasue map. They search all over the cruise ship and in Disney World, but they don't find a thing (except a bracelet that Dawn Schafer lost). It turns out that the paper was a Dutch copy machine diagram, not a treasure map.

What were Sam and Charlie doing during this trip? They're only mentioned in passing...


  1. Huh...I've read the whole series in publication order* and never noticed just how wierd and out of time this seems. Not that the series time-line makes too much sense, but usually it's fall for a few books, then winter, etc; not vacation(#8)-school starts(#10)-school continues(#12)-vacation(this one)-school continues again (#14). Bizarre, especially this early on.

    *BTW, I've contemplated starting a blog to go through the books similar to you, but with a different take on the recaps. I wouldn't be able to start for a while, but would that be encroaching too much?

  2. I don't own the idea. :) Go ahead!

  3. Sam and Charlie-smartly escaped their idiot family by going off and hitting on the girls playing Snow White. Probably Charlie lost his virginity.

    Did you say Claudia/Timothy fanfic? I'm all over it like a fly on shit.

  4. I'll wait a little while to let you get ahead of me. :)

  5. Has anyone noticed that Mr. Pike is a lawer in Poor Mallory but in this book he names a company product ? Is that possible?

  6. Pretty sure the Pikes are the reason why people put limits on prizes for vacations such as these.

  7. Actually, it couldn't have been the same summer as the Sea City trip because the last two weeks of that summer is about Dawns finding of the secret passage and she was on the cruise.