Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Graduation Day

(*I swear I didn't plan it this way, but in the book, the SMS graduation is on.....JUNE 23RD. Exactly 10 years ago today!!!*)

So...the big day is (finally...after 14 years) fast approaching: the BSC members and former members are getting ready to leave SMS for good and move on to high school. They're all busy with end-of-school stuff, including writing letters to themselves that will be sent back to them in four years, when high school graduation is on the horizon. Each BSC member has different thoughts, etc, about all the big changes that are happening. Here are the details:

Kristy, who's usually so brave about everything, is scared about the whole leaving middle school and going to high school thing. She doesn't like that her family is going to change, with Charlie leaving for school and she REALLY doesn't like that the BSC is going to change. She's determined to keep the BSC as busy as possible with big projects over the summer so they won't be able to slow down once school starts again, and she starts by creating a time capsule for the neighborhood. All the BSC members and former members, plus quite a few of the kids, add stuff to it. It's buried in Mary Anne's yard, and it's supposed to be opened in seven years, when the BSC oldest charges are getting ready to head to college.

Mary Anne, who's usually NOT brave, is really excited about moving on to high school. She does feel like she has some unfinished business, though, and that business is Logan. Mary Anne knew at the time that she made the right decision to break up with him, but she doesn't like that there's so much tension between them, and that they don't even really talk anymore. She's even having second thoughts about the breakup. She decides she needs to talk to them, and they eventually DO meet and clear the air. There's no romantic reunion or anything, but they leave their meeting on better terms.

Stacey is nervous about having both of her parents, plus Samantha, at graduation. She's convinced that they're going to fight (perhaps physically), and she's anticipating major embarrassment. She gets a notice in the mail one day, though, that makes her forget those issues. It's from the SMS library, asking her to return the copy of Ribsy that she borrowed, or she won't be able to graduate. Stacey freaks out; she doesn't remember checking that book out, and thinks it must have been back in 7th grade. She doesn't think the book survived two moves, so she's sure she won't be graduating with her friends. Stacey worries about this for a few days, and then realizes that she doesn't have to return the exact same copy of Ribsy that she checked out all that time ago; she just buys a new copy and hands that in instead. Also, no one in her family dukes it out at graduation.

Claudia, as usual, is worried about her grades. She needs to pass her finals in order to move on to high school, but she's awfully worried that she won't be able to make that happen in math. Stacey tutors her, and she ends up getting a C+. Unfortunately, she fails her science final. Since she'd also gotten a bad grade on an important project earlier in the year, she's definitely failed the class. It looks like she won't be graduating after all, but once again, summer school comes to the rescue (she'll be given her diploma if she passes science over the summer).

After graduation, Claudia has a party for all of the present and former BSC members in her bedroom. They talk a lot about their futures, and they make a pact to meet up for a reunion exactly 12 years from that day....and Kristy starts to feel a little bit better about the inevitable changes that are going to happen to all of them, and their friendships.....

Rating: 4

Thoughts and Things
  • Good lord....when I finished this book last night, I felt like someone had died or something! Can't believe I'm really done, except for The Summer Before....
  • Man, I SO sympathized with Kristy in this book. I've totally been the one that wasn't read to move on or to have things change, and I've definitely had to deal with the aftermath of something that I'd put my whole life into ending. The letter she wrote to herself nearly broke my little heart!
  • Charlie's letter to himself gets its own chapter, and it's pretty good. It explains a lot about who he is, and WHY he is the way he is....
  • Stacey really redeemed herself in this one, after being a witch for most of the FF series. In her letter to herself, she recognizes that their friendships are going to change, and that Ethan probably won't still hold the same place in her life that he does at that time. She's also the only BSC member to pick up on how Kristy's feeling about the end of the 8th grade, and the likely end of the BSC. Good going, reminded me why I liked you in the first place!
  • Would any middle school hold a student back for failing ONE class? In my middle school, you could fail everything and still move on to high school.
  • Is it really that common for middle schools to have full on graduations, complete with caps, gowns, a ceremony, and a valedictorian?
  • After the last book, I think we had decided that another school year happened between that one and this one, but I'm not so sure. Mary Anne states that her house had only been finished for a few months, and that the Logan split hadn't happened that long ago, either. I think the only reason that there was some summer in the last few FF books prior to this one was that they probably didn't know the series would end so soon. Otherwise, I think FF would have happened over one school year.


  1. congrats on finishing! im a bit sad it's over, too...

  2. I am definitely going to have to re-read this book again! It's been a long time, and being that it's "graduation season" it would be appropriate to do.

    You mentioned "Is it really that common for middle schools to have full on graduations, complete with caps, gowns, a ceremony, and a valedictorian?" and I just wanted to say that around here in northern NJ, it is. My sister (who is 10 years younger than me) went to public school and I went to private, and at both of our eighth grade graduations there was the whole works from caps and gowns to speeches.

  3. I think the other school in my school district had a big graduation with caps and gowns ect. But my junior high just had an awards ceremony after school. If I remember correctly I don't think parents were invited either.

    Congrats on finishing the series! Just out of curiously what's your favorite sitter/book?

    1. MY favorite sitter is stacey. Always has been always will be

  4. Believe it or not, this is one of the few FF books I didn't read! I can sympathize with how you feel.

    I hope you find another blog project! I'll definitely read it


  5. My library never held the Friends Forever books (and to be honest, I was fourteen and losing interest in books I had read since I was a five-year-old), so I never got to finish this series! It's wonderful that you took the time and effort to blog it all out!
    In response to some of your comments at the end (the bullet ones), it is possible to hold you back for failing one class in middle school. My friend failed Social Studies and got held back because of it (actually, she wasn't the best student, but I believe that was the only class she outright failed).
    And no, I didn't have the caps/gowns/valedictorian stuff for my middle school graduation. We had a small awards ceremony a week before graduation, but that was for stuff like Honor Roll and exemplary awards. Then again, I live in Alaska...things are different here. :P

  6. This book was the perfect finale to the series. Interesting fact: Where I live, we don't have middle school graduation.

  7. i think its stupid tht stacey might be held back for a BOOK. honestly, do schools really do that?

    1. I know it must be a pretty crap school if it is

    2. My mom said at her school, a book could affect your grades.

  8. I don't know if you still read these, but your blogs are amazing! I was just wondering does Dawn appear in this book? She was always my favourite! :)

  9. I can't believe its all over *sob*

  10. Hi there. You probably won't read this, but I wanted to write it anyway. I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to do all this, my library doesn't hold many BSC books, and though I've read quite a few, I've never read most of the ones from #100 and up. This is definitely my favorite series in the world, and I was so glad to be able to know what happens.
    Thanks again, but I am really sad its over, I feel connected to all of the BSC in a way...

  11. Yes, it is not uncommon for middle schools and junior highs to hold formal graduations; growing up, my sisters and I attended different schools, and every single one had a graduation ceremony. It is also not uncommon for schools to threaten to not let you graduate if you don't return school property -- I had to return an item to my library before my college would give me a diploma.
    Thanks for writing out synopses of all the books, so that I could finally find out everything that happened after I gave up on them, without having to actually read them all. :)

  12. My middle school had a full graduation ceremony with caps, gowns and it was held in the auditorium of a public college.

    Did anyone feel kinda weird with the inclusion of emails? I'm so used to the handwritten notes and letter writing, the emails felt weird to me. I know they wanted to update it for younger readers, but it wasn't the format I grew up with. It felt strange to me.

  13. Can't really speak on the middle school thing...we have only primary and high school where I live...we start high school at 12 and graduate at 17. But when I was graduating primary school we did a little ceremony- no caps or gowns or anything, but our parents came to watch and we did a dance etc.
    as for the book in the library- that is so ridiculous, I have never heard of anything like that happening where I live, and what a stupid, petty thing to hold over someone about to graduate!

  14. If only 12-14 year olds were still like this. Yesterday I was at my cousin's 13th birthday party and she was mad that this girl in her school was flirting with her boyfriend so she was talking to her best friend and I heard her say, "OMG that slu* is going to fu***** pay for this bull sh** that she caused! What a sl**! I hope she rots in he**!! That b****! Die, b****! Die in h***! You s***!" I was like, "Whoa." But that's not all. This child has a facebook and always puts things that are VERY, VERY, VERY inappropriate. Seriously, she has the mouth of a sailor! She also dresses in short clothes and shows off her skin way too much. Ahh, if only 13yos were like the BSC... (I am 22 btw, don't judge)