The Early Years
Stacey's first clear memory comes from when she was three, and her family moved from Greenwich Village to the Upper East Side. Next comes preschool, where some other kid put his muddy boots on top of Stacey's copy of Eloise in her cubby (she ends up friends with that kid later on). Mr. and Mrs. McGill take Stacey to the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel for her 4th birthday, and everyone in the restaurant (including Luciano Pavarotti) sings "Happy Birthday" to her. After the meal, Stacey runs around the hotel pretending to be Eloise, and finally, her parents take her for a carriage ride.
When I Was Five
Stacey's now in kindergarten, and she's just getting to be good friends with Laine Cummings. She's also obsessed with Cinderella, so when her mom (a Macy's employee at that time) signs her up to ride on the Cinderella float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Stacey is thrilled. She tells all of her little friends that she's going to be on tv. Just as her float is entering Herald Square and the presence of the tv cameras, Cinderella's crown falls off. Stacey reaches down to pick it up, and doesn't appear on tv at all. When she finds out that no one could see her, she worries that the other kids at school won't believe that she was even IN the parade. Luckily, Cinderella gave Stacey her crown after the parade, so Stace at least has that much proof.
When I Was Eight
Stacey and Laine aren't really allowed to walk around the city on their own, but there's this little store nearby where the girls are allowed to go alone when they want ice cream. They go one day, and without their parents' permission, walk a little bit further than they should to look in some other stores. They decide to get an apartment together, and the list they made of stuff they would need includes such useful items as a giant red crayon and a gumball machine. Not long after, Stacey's mom has news for her. Stacey is sure that her mom is going to tell her that she and Laine are going to be allowed to get their own place right then, but that's not it. Mrs. McGill and Mrs. Cummings have enrolled their daughters in a 6 week ballroom dancing class. Neither girl wants to go, so they ditch. They spend the first class in the cloakroom, laughing at the other kids and the goofy stuff they have to do. During the next class, though, they get a little adventurous. They head out to Madision Avenue, and get some candy at a deli. They go to Park Avenue as well, but neither of them find it all that interesting. They make it back to the dance school by the end of class. They successfully ditch two more dance classes, but things don't go so well during the one that follows. They decide to go to FAO Schwarz, but since it's so far, they take the bus. Traffic is so bad that they have to turn around and go back without even seeing the store, and they end up half an hour late. The police are there, and the girls are in major trouble. Not only that, but they're forced to see the dance class through to the end.
When I Was Ten
Stacey's family takes a vacation to Pine Island, Maine. It's really rustic there, and Stacey doesn't expect to have a good time. There's only one other girl there her age, Mara O'Connell, and they don't exactly get along at first. Then, Mara and her family help the McGills out of a jam when Mr. McGill falls and kreaks his ankle. Things are better between Stacey and Mara after that, and they end up having a good time together. They promise to write, but neither one of them ever does.
When I Was Twelve
Stacey is living back in New York again, and she's invited Claudia for a visit. Stacey goes out of the way to show Claud a good time, but Claud seems cranky and bored. Stace starts to think that her best friend doesn't really want to be her best friend anymore, but Claudia is just feeling bad because she doesn't think she belongs in Stacey's new life in New York. She's afraid Stacey doesn't need or want her anymore, since she's got so many great friends in the city. Stacey confesses that her "great friends" in the city really aren't so great, and that she's missing Stoneybrook. The girls patch things up just in time to have a nice day together before Claudia goes back home.
Thoughts and Things
- The "When I Was Twelve" chapter should technically be titled, "When I Was Thirteen." Stacey's move back to New York happened during 8th grade, and she was definitely thirteen then.
- Someone in BSC land really likes the name Mara. First, there was Mara, the oldest of the kids living in the mall. Then there was Mara Semple, a classmate of Jessi's in Jessi's Horrible Prank, followed by the Mara in this book.
- The Portrait books aren't half bad; I'm glad I've gotten to that point in the series!
- Those pictures of Stacey in the "When I Was Twelve" chapter? Eeesh. Especially the one on page 160.
- Stacey gets an A on her autobiography, in case you were wondering. :)