(*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.....
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, Stacey....you 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.