The BSC members have yet another convenient two week vacation from school, so they head to New York City with Stacey. Here are everyone's plots:
Claudia and Mallory take art lessons at some fancy art school. Claud is pretty confident that she'll ace it, since the assignments are pretty basic. She's especially sure her work is better than Mallory's amateurish, sloppy drawings. Imagine Claudia's surprise when Mac (their teacher) praises Mal's work, but constantly tells Claudia to work slower or start over. Claud kind of turns into a witch towards Mallory (presumably out of jealousy), and begins to think that she's not as good at art as she thought. On the last day of classes, Mac pulls Claudia aside and apologizes for being so hard on her. He explains that he only did it because she has potential and talent, but is lacking discipline, which he thinks she can develop. Mallory, meanwhile, hasn't been enjoying the classes all that much. She'd rather learn to draw cute, cartoony animals than study serious art techniques, like Claudia. Also, after Claud tells Mal about her conversation with Mac (and apologizes for her behavior), Mal asks him if she's as good as Claudia. He tells her no; Mal has the discipline that Claudia needs, but not her talent.
Stacey and Mary Anne get a job sitting for two of the most stereotypically British children in YA literature. Seriously; their names are Alistaire and Rowena Harrington, they dress in sailor suits, and they're always saying things like "hullo" and "brilliant." At least they didn't spend the whole book asking for tea and crunpets or something. The girls show the kids the city, but quickly realize they're being followed by a mysterious man in sunglasses and a rain hat. They're convinced that he wants to kidnap the children; their parents are very wealthy, and also involved in international politics. On their last day of sitting, Stacey finally tells Mr. and Mrs. Harrington about the man. It turns out that the Harringtons knew about him all along; he's the childrens' bodyguard. They didn't want Alistaire and Rowena to know he was following them, so they could feel like regular kids during their vacation.
Kristy finds a stray dog in Central Park. She sneaks him back to Laine's apartment at the Dakota (where she, Jessi, Mary Anne, and Mallory are staying) and plans to take him home at the end of the trip. Watson says no to keeping Sonny, and when Mrs. Cummings finds him one day when the girls are all out, Kristy realizes that she'll need to find a new home for him. She puts up fliers, and one of the only calls she gets is from a 9 year old boy who loves Sonny at first sight.
Jessi meets Quint, a boy dancer, while attending a performance of Swan Lake at Lincoln Center (they're sitting next to each other). He's good enough to get into Julliard, but isn't sure he wants to audition. The other guys in his neighborhood tease him for taking ballet, and he doesn't want to deal with how much worse it would get if he went to classes every day. Jessi encourages him to audition anyway, and he gets in. He also gives Jessi her first real, chin-tipping kiss before she goes back home. Ahh, young love. :)
Dawn is terrified of the city. For the first few days, she won't even leave the Mc Gills' apartment. Then, she meets Richie, who lives in the same building, and he shows her a different side of the city. Dawn sees that New York is more than just the murders, danger, and crime that she's been hearing about, and actually manages to have a good time.
Thoughts and Things
- I'd forgotten how much I like this Super Special; it might actually be my favorite!
- I sympathize with Claudia a lot more than I used to. Being mean to Mal wasn't right, of course, but I understand why she was acting out. Art is really the only thing she was good at, and to face the possibility of losing that was probably pretty rough.
- When Stacey and Mary Anne take Alistaire and Rowena to the petting zoo in Central Park, Stacey says that the admission is ten cents and always will be. Can any New Yorkers out there (or someone who's been recently) confirm or deny that? Also, is the Metropolitain Museum of Art really on a "pay what you can" admission plan?
- I used to think that "Rowena" was pronounced as if it rhymed with "Brenna." I was grown up before I realized that it's actually pronounced "Roweena."
- The Cloisters sound awesome. If I ever make it to New York, you better believe I'm going there!
- Dawn and Richie's friendship is really cute. I wish he'd made another appearance in the series...minus the mullet.
- If Jessi and Quint weren't 11, I'd really like them together. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think 11 is too young to date.
- Kristy's mother actually cries before putting her on the train to NYC. Elizabeth doesn't seem like the type to lose it like that.