Saturday, February 20, 2010

#84 Dawn and the School Spirit War


The SMS baseball team has been winning big time, and in honor of the occasion, April has been named Spirit Month. Each day is going to have some special theme or activity. Dawn likes some of them (Clean Up Your School Day, and Garden Day), but she's not so thrilled about some of the others, like Pajama Day. She just doesn't see how stuff like that will prove that a person has school spirit. Dawn's also not the only one who's unhappy; Mary Anne is practically hyperventilating over the thought of having everyone in school see her pajamas. Mallory isn't thrilled with all the Spirit Month stuff, either, but all the rest of the BSC members are pretty into it. *cue foreboding music*

When Class Color Day rolls around, Dawn totally forgets that all the 8th graders are supposed to wear yellow. She scrambles around at the last minute to find something, but only comes up with a pair of yellow socks. When Dawn gets to school, she gets one crack after another from the other students about her lack of yellow. The local news is even there, and THEY single her out for her lack of spirit. Sharon ends up calling the station to complain about the way they treated her daughter,and she encourages Dawn and Mary Anne to write a petition protesting Spirit Month. Plenty of kids are ready and willing to sign it, but there are just as many who aren't too thriled with what Dawn and Mary Anne are doing. One of them writes a mean message on Dawn's locker, and later, Alan Gray throws a water balloon at the girls. Then, a few days later, and actual food fight breaks out in the cafeteria. As a result, the school holds a meeting for anyone who has anything to say about Spirit Month, but everyone who's against it just gets harrassed.

From then on, things go from bad to worse. A mural of Claudia's is destroyed, kick me signs are being taped to people's backs, and lockers are being glued shut. The members of the BSC are at each other's throats; no one who's against Spirit Month (Dawn, Mal, and Mary Anne) wants to work with anyone who's for it (Kristy, Claudia, and Jessi). There's a town meeting that parents are invited to, and it gets even uglier than the one that was just students. Finally, the school administration cancels Spirit Month. Dawn is surprised that she isn't happier about the new turn of events. So, Dawn and Mary Anne go back to the drawing board and come up with a proposal: Spirit Month should be strictly voluntary, and no one should be made to feel bad for not participating. The principal allows her to read it over the loudspeaker at school, and the new and improved Spirit Month is reinstated.

In other news, the Barrett-DeWitt house is way too small for all those people. The kids have overheard their parents talking, and they're convinced that they'll have to move out of Stoneybrook after all. Nope; they're just going to be building an addition onto the house.

Rating: 0

Thoughts and Things

  • This book is crap. It's only the second time I've read it, and there's a very good chance that it'll be the last.
  • It's funny that two out of my three favorite books in the series (#9 and #50) and my two LEAST favorites (this one and #57) are all Dawn books.
  • Dawn and Mary Anne eventually get 300 signatures for their petition. In Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation, it states that there are 382 students in the school. If that were true, the vast majority of students hated Spirit Month and there shouldn't have been much of a fight.
  • I can't freaking believe that it took them until the end of this stupid book to just make the Spirit activities optional. Geez!


  1. I always thought it was super out of character for Claudia of all people to be pro School Spirit. Isn't she supposed to be artsy/move to her own beat?

  2. And if Dawn is so happy to be an individual, shouldn't she just be like "Yeah, I'm not wearing yellow? So what?"

  3. I hate when my kids' school has PJ Day. It's such a pain.

  4. Why was it such a big deal in the first place? My middle and high school had Spirit Week, and nobody HAD to participate. Isn't that the case at most schools? And if you don't want to participate, why make a big thing out of it? Honestly, did kids at SMS get DETENTION for not wearing yellow on Color Day?

  5. Sadie - My schools were the same way...and I'd day less than half the kids actually dressed up.

  6. Im so glad that you rated the book as 0.
    that book is so horrible that it's not even mentioned in the later books.

    man was everyone such a bitch,not only the bsc, but the whole town of stoneybrook, the kids at sms, etc.

    stacey was the only one who actually acted decent in the book.

    still the book was horrible.

    why couldnt they just keep this as school spirit week than month. its ridiculous.

  7. Sigh, I haven't reread this book, and the first time I read it, I was nine, but I actually liked it because it was so ridiculously silly!
    I can actually understand why people got so riled up about spirit month, because when I lived in India, my classmates got riled up about the smallest things. I was shy, like Mary Anne, so you can see how that affected me.
    However, I moved back here in eighth grade, and I had tons of spirit weeks in high school, and no one cared whether I didn't participate in them or not. Most people just figured I didn't want to look foolish, or that I plain forgot about the spirit days in the face of homework/projects :).

  8. Sheesh this book was horrible. I thought Mary Anne was such a little baby and and entire school made such a big deal about Spirit Month. I never really liked Dawn anyway

  9. I read this book for the first time just recently, about a couple of months ago, and about a few weeks before school spirit week at the school where I work. I thought that everyone was outrageously immature in this book, especially the parents. That Cindy Sherwood lady was AWFUL, and so was the newslady. Now that I think about it, it surprises me that they named the newslady Mimi, being the name of such a beloved character in the series.
    Last year, during school spirit week, one of my students got teased a little for not wearing pajamas on pajama day, but they didn't make a huge deal either... I mean, gluing lockers shut?????????? I mean, kids getting teased a little is normal, but everyone went WAY TOO FAR. And Claudia and the others being angry at those who didn't want to participate? Ridiculous.

  10. There were no such things as lockers or school spirit where I went to school. I went to a mainstream catholic school in the UK so of course it was as much of a snorefest as this book!