Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eleven Kids, One Summer

The Rossos are back, and this time they're heading out to Fire Island for the summer. Here's what happens:

Abigail and the Train Trip Disaster

Abbie spends the whole ride from New Jersey to Fire Island being embarrassed by her family. When they finally get there, she goes exploring on her own and meets Justin, Lacey, and Mel, three kids about her age. The exciting part? Justin is not only a movie star, but all three kids are also main characters in Just a Summer Romance, by the famous author Ann M. Martin. ;)

Calandra and the Mystery Next Door

Candy managed to snag a room of her own in the house that the family is renting. She becomes convinced that the house next door, which has been abandoned for quite awhile, is haunted, and decides that she's going to solve the mystery that summer no matter what.

Faustine and the Great Fish Protest

Faustine is walking along the beach one morning when she happens upon some fishermen. She witnesses them catching and killing a fish, and is horrified by how inhumane the process is. Not only does Faustine stop eating and/or using any animal products at all, but she and Dinnie start picketing the fishermen. One of them gets so mad that he goes to the Rosso parents and complains.

Hannah and the Ghosts

Just like in the last book, Hannah feels like the odd one out in her family. She wants to make the summer a little more interesting for herself, so she decides to play jokes on her family. At first, it's just little stuff, like replacing the sugar in the sugar bowl with salt, and short sheeting people's beds. Then Hannah gets serious. She does her best to make Candy think that there really IS a ghost next door, and she tells Justin that Abbie has a crush on him. This makes Mel (Justin's girlfriend) mad, which makes Lacey mad, which means that Abbie suddenly has no friends. She manages to straighten things out with them, and Hannah never confesses her role in that little situation. Finally, Hannah makes a friend her own age, and she doesn't have as much time to torment her family.

Ira and the Hospital Adventure

Ira gets Lyme Disease. That's all.

Janthina and the Beauty Treatment

The Rossos have relatives staying with them for awhile, and Jan is feeling ignored. Not only is she not the baby in her own family anymore (that would be Keegan), but everyone is fussing over her little cousins. Jan wanders over to the set of the movie that Justin is filiming on Fire Island, and gets a full-on beauty treatment from the makeup person. She hurries back home, sure that her makeover will impress her family. When Jam gives herself one last look in the mirror, though, she decides she doesn't like her hair. So, she cuts it....right up to her ears. The family definitely notices that!

Dagwood and the Million Dollar Idea

Woody needs to make some extra money, so he makes little animals out of rocks and shells, and paints designs on other shells. He actually does pretty well for himself!

Gardenia and the Movie on the Beach

All the Rosso kids are asked to be extras for Justin's movie. Dinnie has a hard time just staying in the background and not showing off for the camera, so she's given a small role as a dog-walker. Suddenly, she's sure she's going to be a famous actress someday.

Bainbridge and the Case of the Curious Kidnapping

Bainbridge is looking after baby Keegan at Fire Island's craft fair when he spots a cute girl working at one of the booths. He's so busy flirting that he doesn't notice when Keegan goes missing. After a frantic search, he's found with Hannah, who gets a nice talking-to.

Eberhard and the House of the Cursed

It's almost the end of the summer, and Candy still hasn't solved the mystery of the house next door. So, she hires Hardy to investigate. The fishermen that Faustine and Dinnie had been harrassing earlier in the summer make up some crazy story about the people who lived there, and Hardy believes it at first. Then, Hannah tells him that she'd heard the same story at the beginning of the summer, which is what gave her the idea to play jokes on Candy and make her think the house was haunted. Mystery solved....

Keegan and the End of Summer

The Rossos go home. much action did you think there'd be in a chapter that focuses on a freaking baby?

Rating: 3

Thoughts and Things
  • Let's talk about the timeline of the Rosso books, shall we? At the beginning of Ten Kids, No Pets, the kids are 14, 13, 13 11,10, 9, 9, 8, 7, and 6. Since the book covers a whole year, they should all have been one year older at the end and two years older in this one. Nope; in this book, they're 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 months. I guess the Rossos got stuck in the same time warp that the BSC members did. ;)
  • Abbie's friend Lacey is blond, sophisticated, and from NYC. Now where have I heard that before?
  • Speaking of, has anyone ever read Just a Summer Romance?
  • Those fishermen were awfully patient with the twins. If some kid was picketing me like that, I would have gone to the parents first thing!
  • I totally used to envy how Candy got her own room! That was all I wanted growing up. Well, that and Claudia Kishi's dibble wardrobe....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ten Kids, No Pets

So....this book covers roughly a year in the life of the Rosso family; that would be mom, dad, and the ten kids. Mr. Rosso is an ad executive by day and an absentminded professor type when he's home, and Mrs. Rosso reminds me a bit of Kate Gosselin. She's got all sorts of neurotic rules for how things need to be done, and systems for EVERYTHING. How she named her children is a good example of that: Abbie, the oldest, got the first name on the A page of the girls' half of the baby names book. Bainbridge, the next kid in line, got the second name on the B page of the boys' half, and so on down the line. One of the Rossos' many house rules that no pets are allowed, because ten kids is enough, much to the dismay of the younger Rossos. They're especially upset about this when they leave their crowded apartment in New York City for a farm in New Jersey. Since each chapter in this book focuses on one of the kids and is more or less its own story, I'll recap chapter by chapter.

Abigail, or Abbie, is the oldest Rosso at 14. She's the only Rosso who DOESN'T want to move out to the farm. Abbie's entering high school in the fall, and she doesn't want to leave all her friends...and the boys. ;) She also feels responsible for her younger sibs, even though her family causes her embarrassment on a daily basis (she's totally Mallory). There are no major events in her chapter, other than the actual move to New Jersey.

Calandra (Candy) is twelve, and living in such a big family is tougher on her than it is on the others. She craves privacy, but even out on the farm, there isn't much of that to be found. One day, not long after the Rossos' move, Candy is putting sheets away in the family's big cedar linen closet. Candy happens to love the smell of cedar, so she leans against the back wall to enjoy it for a minute before finishing her chores. Much to her surprise, the wall gives way and Candy finds herself in a secret room! There's a chair in the room, along with a small table. In the table drawer, Candy finds a diary written at the turn of the 20th century by another 12 year old girl. Not only did Celia (the author of the diary) want a pet as badly as the Rosso kids do, she actually hid one in the secret room for a time. Candy decides to keep both the diary and the room to herself for the time being.

It's time for school to start for year, and Ira (7) is pretty nervous about starting second grade. He's worried about being teased for his huge family, some of whom have some pretty weird names thanks to his mother's little system. Sure enough, the kids think the whole idea of the Rossos is hilarious. Ira decides that he needs to do something to take their minds off of things, so when show and tell time comes around, he makes up all sorts of stuff about the exotic animals that his family keeps on their farm. Unfortunately, the kids all want to come over and see the animals, which worries Ira. What are they going to think of him when they find out the truth? Ira eventually confesses his lies to his parents, and then to his whole class. None of them really think any less of him because of it.

Halloween is 11-year-old Dagwood's (Woody's) favorite holiday. He usually goes all out, but this year, he's feeling down about the whole day. He and his sibs won't be able to go trick or treating like they have in the past, because there just aren't enough neighbors to make it worthwhile. Then, his siblings get the idea to have a Halloween party at their house for some of the other farm kids, which their parents quickly agree to. Woody decides to be a magician, but even though he's got a decent costume, he thinks it needs something more. Inspiration strikes when he finds out that one of the kids in his class has a rabbit who keeps having babies. Woody asks if he can borrow one for the party, and his costume is complete. The party itself goes well, but when the time comes to send the baby rabbit back where it came from, the owner can't take it (mama rabbit is pregnant yet again). The Rosso kids meet up to decide what to do, and Candy reluctantly tells everyone about the secret room. The kids hide the rabbit in there, but it becomes clear pretty fast that that arrangement is NOT going to work. The rabbit stops eating and hopping around, and the kids know that he won't be around much longer before they do something. They finally confess to their parents, who order them to find a new home for the bunny. Luckily (?), one of the kids in Woody's class lost his dog earlier in the school year, and is willing to take the rabbit on as his new pet.

Gardenia, or Dinnie, is one of the 9-year-old twins. It's almost Thanksgiving, and when Mrs. Rosso announces that the family will be having an old fashioned holiday this year, Dinnie is just as excited as the rest of her siblings. All the Rossos head out to a nearby turkey farm to pick out their Thanksgiving meal, and when they do, Dinnie promptly names him Goliath. Pretty soon, she and Dinnie (the other twin) are visiting him after school, and they eventually decide that they don't want him killed for their meal. The other kids agree with the twins, so they stop at the turkey farm after school one day and tell Mr. Pritchard that they won't be needing Goliath after all. When Mr. Pritchard tells them he plans to sell Goliath to someone else for THEIR dinner, the kids change their minds again: they'll take him after all, but they'll take him alive. No one tells the Rosso parents this little fact, so when Thanksgiving arrives, the only turkey they have is a living one. Their meal that year consists of side dishes only, and Goliath eventually is given to a petting zoo.

Janthina (Jan) is the baby of the family, at 6 years old. Like most kids, she loves Christmas, and she's excited about the old fashioned Christmas that her family is going to have. They're cutting down their own tree, making their own decorations, cards, and gifts, and doing lots of baking. The house is full of secrets, and the biggest one is something called "Project X" that Mr. Rosso is working on in his workshop. No one knows what it is...until Jan overhears her parents talking about how the kids will never guess that it's a doghouse. She tells her siblings, who are all super excited that they'll finally get the pet they've been wanting. They buy supplies for the puppy, and even start talking about names. When Christmas morning arrives and all the presents have been opened, the Rosso kids are surprised that the puppy still hasn't made its appearance. Then, Mr. and Mrs. Rosso announce that there is, in fact, one more present. To Jan's surprise, "Project X" is brought into the room and set right in front of her. Is the puppy Jan's? Not quite: when she opens the present, she finds a DOLLHOUSE, not a DOGHOUSE. Oooops.

Eberhard (Hardy) is ten, and an amateur detective. Like his siblings, he loves snow, and when the weather report calls for a blizzard, he can't wait. The family ends up pretty much snowed in...AND they end up with a mystery on their hands. One evening while the whole Rosso crew is eating popcorn, they hear a noise outside. They investigate, and find that the trash cans have been knocked over. The next day, Hardy goes into full detective mode, but doesn't find any clues. That night, though, they hear more noise outside; someone or something has been into their bird feeder. The morning after THAT, hardy finds some thin, slender tracks around the feeder. Rather than come to any sort of logical conclusion, Hardy assumes that the tracks were made by an escaped criminal on stilts. Not so much; the tracks turn out to have been made by a fawn.

Hannah is 8, and often feels kind of lonely in her family. All the other kids are either too old for her to play with, or they have a sibling buddy that's their own special friend. She's also having some trouble getting along in school, since she likes to tease and pull pranks. Hannah decides that she's going to make her Valentines that year, for her family AND for her class at school. The ones for her class are pretty rude, and the ones for her family are all hints about getting a pet. On the morning of Valentine's Day, Hannah grabs one of the piles on the way out the door to school. Too bad she grabs the wrong one, and her classmates all get cards with poems about getting dogs and cats and stuff. As if that wasn't bad enough, she now has nothing to give her family later that evening when they exchange their own cards. Then, she gets the idea to give each of them an IOU note, promising things like bed-making or hair-braiding. Her notes are a big hit.

Faustine is as big an animal lover as her twin, so when the two of them find an injured bird, they bring it back home to get well. Unfortunately, the bird dies. They give the bird a funeral, which keeps getting interrupted by a nest full of noisy baby sparrows. The family watches and watches, but no mother bird comes to the nest to take care of them. They take the baby birds in and care for them until they're old enough to be released. Faustine wants to keep one of them, but (of course) the no pets rule still applies.

Bainbridge (13) is looking forward to being out of school for the year (sort of). There just isn't much to do way out on the farm, so he decides to start a football team with some of the other farm kids. Bainbridge is making some progress with getting a team together when his mother drops a bomb on the family: she's pregnant. Everyone is excited, but the whole thing gives Bainbridge an idea. The family rule had always been no pets since ten kids were enough. Since there was going to be an 11th kid, shouldn't a pet be allowed? The Rosso parents agree, and the kids decide to get a dog.

The Rossos are just about to leave for the pound to get their dog when the twins find a kitten in the ditch by the mailbox. They unanimously decide to keep the kitten instead, and they also decide to use Mrs. Rosso's baby naming system to give the kitten a name. Since they really have no way of knowing how many kids they'll end up with, they choose the last names on the Z pages as possbilities. That would make the kitten Zsa Zsa or Zuriel; we never actually find out if it's a boy or girl.

Rating: 3

Thoughts and Things
  • This book doesn't hold up as well for me as some of the others I read as a kid. That being said, I LOVE the descriptions of the farm, and all the old-fashioned, holiday, crafty stuff the family does. It makes me want to go live on a farm! :)
  • I think this may be one of Ann's only books that's not written in the first person.
  • I so identified with Candy's need for privacy when I was growing up. My family wasn't nearly as big, but I shared a room in our tiny house with my sister, and there was NEVER anywhere I could go to be on my own.
  • Speaking of Candy, why didn't she shorten her name to Callie instead? Candy=stripper name!
  • Mr. Rosso was kind of a non-entity; it's pretty clear who wore the pants in that family.....
  • My mom was the SAME way about pets when I was a kid! My siblings and I all loved animals, but because she didn't want one, we didn't get to have one, either.
  • This cover picture is definitely not the one I grew up with. Did they come out with a new edition at some point?
  • Are turkeys really friendly enough to be a part of a petting zoo? I would have guessed not....

Friday, July 23, 2010


I just Googled Me and Katie (the Pest) and my last blog entry was the 6th listing it gave me. I'm Googlable! :)

That's all....Ten Kids, No Pets coming soon. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Me and Katie (the Pest)


Wendy's little sister, Katie, is a total Ms. Perfect. She's good at everything: piano, art, writing, etc, and she knows just how to push Wendy's buttons. Katie spies on her, teases her, and even lords her accomplishments over her on occasion. Wendy vents to her best friend, Sara, about the situation, and Sara suggests that Wendy do something to win an award of her own. The idea comes to Wendy as she, Sara, and Sara's cousin Carol are working on their epic poem about Barbie and Ken (yes, really). Wendy could take horseback riding lessons! She's sure that riding is something that she can shine at; Katie isn't very coordinated, and she's scared of horses. Wendy's parents are into the idea, and they buy her a completely new riding outfit in honor of the lessons. This makes Katie jealous.

Wendy's first lesson goes really well. She's kind of nervous at first, but everyone's really nice and her instructor says that she's got potential as a rider. Wendy even bonds with Peanuts, one of the horses. At dinner that night, she can't stop talking about how great her lesson was. Then, disaster strikes: Katie wants riding lessons, too. Wendy is upset; she really wanted riding to be something that she could be good at, and since Katie succeeds at everything she tries to do, Wendy is afraid that riding will end up being no different. She asks her parents to at least try to get Katie into a different class.

After dinner, Wendy goes to Sara's house and fills her in on everything. She also tells Sara that she fully intends to get revenge on Katie, and that she expects Sara to help. Sara, who sometimes thinks that Wendy is a little too mean to Katie, reluctantly agrees.

The next day, Wendy's mom comes home from work with some bad news: the other beginner's riding class was very full, so Katie is going to be in Wendy's class after all. Wendy is not thrilled to have to drag Katie along to their next lesson. She's even less thrilled when all the other kids on the bus think Katie is just adorable. When they arrive at the stable, Wendy decides to put her plan of revenge into action. She pretends that she wants to show Katie the ropes, and suggests that she ride Sky High for her first lesson. Sky High, unfortunately, is a very difficult horse. Katie insists on riding him, though, and it's a disaster. She doesn't get very far into the lesson before the instructors make her switch with another student who's riding a tamer horse. Even after the switch, though, Katie is TERRIBLE, which makes Wendy happy. She's sure that Katie won't want to continue riding lessons after such a rotten first day. Instead, Katie's back for the next lesson and she manages to snag Peanuts, giving Wendy another reason to want to get even with her sister.

Wendy's 10th birthday happens not long after that. Katie surprises her by giving a really nice picture she drew of Peanuts, but kind of ruins the gift by asking if she can come to the sleepover that Wendy's having with Sara, Carol, and Jennifer (another friend of theirs). Wendy won't let Katie come, so Katie gets back at her by calling her to the phone when no one's actually on the other end of the line. Wendy decides to retaliate, so she and the other girls pour water onto Katie's sheets so she'll climb into a soggy bed later. Wendy and Katie both get punished after all that. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse after that. When Wendy arrives at the stable for her next lesson, she finds that Peanuts has been injured and can no longer be ridden. They can't afford to keep a horse that can't be ridden in lessons, so the stable plans to find a good home for her. Wendy is convinced that she and her family should get Peanuts and keep her in the garage, but her parents aren't into that suggestion. Much to Wendy's surprise, though, Katie IS. She even writes up a list of reasons why they should keep Peanuts. Wendy's impressed,...but not enough to forget all the crummy stuff Katie has done. Eventually, though, the girls show their parents the list. Unfortunately, it doesn't do any good.

Riding lessons are still happening in spite of the whole Peanuts thing, and they have their ups and downs for Wendy. On one hand, the stable is going to hold a show at the end of the summer, and Wendy is sure that this is her chance to win a prize. On the other hand, Katie's riding has improved big time. Wendy does NOT want to compete against her sister and lose, whatever else happens. Then, Wendy discovers that Katie has been reading her diary. To get back at her, Wendy writes some stuff about what a pest Katie is and how she'll need braces for years. When the girls' parents want to know why Katie is walking around with her mouth closed and her teeth hidden, the truth comes out and Katie is punished. She's pretty mad about it, so Wendy has no trouble convincing her to run away. The parents are frantic when they discover that Katie's gone, but they find her pretty quickly. Unfortunately, she's not in more trouble, which was Wendy's whole intention; instead, she gets fussed over and treated like a princess.

Not long after Katie's ill-fated attempt at running away, Peanuts is sent to her new home. Wendy is sad to see her go, but Peanuts will be close enough that Wendy can visit. Wendy doesn't have much time to focus on Peanuts' move, though; the show is rapidly approaching. Wendy's planning to ride Mr. Chips, her second favorite horse, and she's pretty confident that the two of them make a good team. She decides to concentrate on that and not worry anymore about the possibility of being beaten out by Katie. On the day of the show, though, things get a bit complicated. By the time that Wendy's class shows, Mr. Chips has been ridden to much and is overheated. The only horse left available to Wendy? Sky High. Wendy decides to make the best of a bad situation, and she does the best she can with Sky High. He proves to be pretty hard to control, and Wendy is sure that she's not going to win. When the prizes are announced, though....she gets third! To make matters even better, Katie doesn't win anything at all, and announces that she's quitting riding. Wendy couldn't be more thrilled at the idea of lessons without her sister.

It's the last day of summer vaction, and Wendy is enjoying her last few hours of freedom before school starts again. All of a sudden, she feels like she's being watched. Sure enough, Katie is spying on her again. Wendy asks why, and Katie tells her that it's because Wendy never talks to her like a normal person. They both agree to try harder to get along. Also, the family gets a puppy and the Barbie and Ken poem that Wendy, Sara, and Carol were writing lands them in the Guinness Book of World Records. :)

Rating: 4

Thoughts and Things
  • This was my first Ann book...I guess it was kind of my gateway drug to the BSC. :)
  • Wendy's middle name is Matthews...same as Ann's.
  • This book was published less than a year before Kristy's Great Idea, and there's an awful lot of BSCishness to it. The guy who drives the kids to lessons is a teenager named Charlie, and Sara is a definite Mary Anne type (she's even wearing pigtails in the illustrations). The book is also dedicated to Myriah Leigh Perkins and Gabrielle Ann Perkins. :)
  • Wendy and Katie's dad didn't want to call the police when it was discovered that Katie was missing; he just wanted to let her come home on her own. She's 8, for Pete's sake!
  • It still bugs me that the parents let Katie take riding lessons. They totally should have put their foot down on that. Not only was Katie already taking every kind of lesson under the sun, but Wendy really should have gotten something that she and only she could do. When you have a sibling that's that close in age to you, people tend to lump you together. Having things that are just yours means a lot.
  • My best friend, siblings, and I used to act this book out. I was Wendy, my best friend was Katie, and my younger sister (who actually was named Katie) played all the other characters. I don't think we ever made it all the way through the book...
  • I still wish I'd gotten riding lessons as a kid!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bummer Summer

I'm going to recap all the non-BSC Ann books that I own...this is the book that won the poll I posted awhile back. :)


12 year old Kammy Whitlock is having a tough time of it. Her dad has just gotten remarried (her mom died when Kammy was four), and she's just not adjusting to the new family situation particularly well. Kate (the stepmother) is not only MUCH younger than Kammy's dad, but she comes complete with a 3 year old daughter, Muffin, and a baby son who (I kid you not) hasn't been named yet. The baby is colicky, Muffin gets into Kammy's stuff, and Kammy is embarrassed to be seen in public with her new family. The idea of summer camp had been brought up a few times, but Kammy's not into that kind of thing. Finally, though, she agrees to give it a try for two weeks; if she doesn't like it, she'll be free to come back home rather than stay for the rest of the summer.

Camp Arrowhead is decent, as camps go. Kammy's counselor, Nancy, is pretty nice, and she makes friends with her bunkie (Emily) right off the bat. Kammy's also excited to start horseback riding, and spending time in the arts and crafts cabin. There are more cons than pros to Kammy's initial camp experience, though. She can't find her way to the bathroom on her first night, and has to go in the woods. The next morning, Kammy realizes that she's going to have to change in front of the other girls, which is not something she's okay with doing. Swimming is also a problem; Kammy is actually a good swimmer, but she's scared of the lake. She claims she can't swim at all in the hopes of avoiding it entirely, but her plan doesn't work; she's placed in a beginners' class with a bunch of six year olds. Mealtimes prove to be another issue. The girls aren't allowed to sit with their cabinmates, and each person is supposed to take turns serving the meal. Kammy is terrified at the thought of doing this, and just heads back to her cabin instead of to the mess hall when her first turn serving comes. Her counselor and the camp director make a frantic search for her, and when they find her, Kammy's in trouble.

While Kammy is busy dealing with all her issues, she's also dealing with Susie, one of her cabinmates. Susie is a total Miss Perfect type, and she's taken a serious dislike to Kammy. Kammy decides that she needs to "get" Susie, so she enlists Emily's help after swimming one day. When Susie is the shower, they take her clothes and run them back to the cabin. Susie is frantic, of course, and Emily volunteers to go back to the cabin to see if maybe Susie forgot that she'd changed up there. Emily finds the clothes, and it looks like she and Kammy are going to get away with their little trick. Not so much; not only did they take Susie's swimsuit up to the cabin along with the clothes, but Susie herself catches the two girls celebrating their success. Both girls are put on dish washing duty that night, and Mrs. Wright, the camp director, calls Kammy's parents. Kammy gets to talk to them too, and she tells them some of what's been going on. They're pretty understanding, and Kammy promises to try harder.

Making an effort when it comes to Susie continues to be tough. No matter how much Kammy ignores her nemesis, Susie continues to tease. Kamy decides that revenge is probably a better option than the silent treatment, so she and Emily scare Susie stiff with "Three Fingered Willie." Kammy gets more dish duty for THAT stunt. Overall, though, Camp Arrowhead is improving upon further acquaintance. Kammy's gotten involved with the camp drama group, and she's in advanced horseback riding. Mrs. Wright even calls her into her office again for a friendly chat, and when Kammy is completely honest about all the fears and issues she has, Mrs. Wright is totally willing to work with her to come up with compromises. It looks like the summer might not be so bad after all...until Kammy heads to the arts and crafts cabin one day. She'd been working on a quilt for her baby stepbrother, and when she opens the box that it's being kept in, she finds it shredded. Kammy can't even think; she runs back to her cabin in tears and spills the whole story to Nancy, who's the only one there at the time. Kammy calms down by the time the other girls in her cabin get back from their activities. They can see that she's upset, but before she can tell them what happened, Susie tells her that she's sorry to hear what happened to the quilt. This is odd, considering that Kammy had told NO ONE except Nancy about it. Kammy knows that it was Susie who ruined her project, but she doesn't let it show. As soon as she can, she pulls Emily aside and tells her what's going on. They decide that they REALLY need to get revenge on Susie, so they arrange for all the girls in the cabin to get invites to a pajama party by the lake at midnight. Susie's invitation is for 11:45pm, though. Kammy is planning to scare her silly with a reenactment of "Three Fingered Willie," so Susie will be freaking out when the other girls get there. When the big night arrives, Kammy can't go through with it. She tells Susie about the trick, and explains that she knows about the quilt. Kammy asks her why she did what she did, and Susie admits that she's been jealous of Kammy all along. Susie tries so hard to do things right and be perfect, and no one likes her. On the other hand, Kammy has gotten in trouble and had all these issues, and EVERYONE likes her. Kammy agrees to keep quiet about the quilt as long as Susie leaves her alone for the rest of camp. Susie agrees. The girls don't exactly become friends, but they're much more cordial than before.

Parents' Day arrives. Kammy is really surprised that she's excited to see her dad, Kate, Muffin, and the baby. The play that the drama group has been rehearsing goes really well, and Kammy's family likes seeing the rest of the camp. In spite of all this, Kammy is ready to go back home when she's asked what her final decision is. Then, she gets to thinking. She has a lot of unfinished business at camp: she doesn't want to desert Emily, and she wants to start on a new quilt for the baby. So, Kammy decides to stay after all. She also comes up with a name for the baby as her dad and Kate as they're leaving: he's going to be Robert, after Kammy's dad.

Rating: 3.5

Thoughts and Things
  • Ann's first book! :D
  • Camp Arrowhead is supposed to be Kammy's uncle's sister in law's camp. I'm assuming that that's Mrs. Wright, but there's NO mention of a connection between the two at any point during camp.
  • Kammy really does get a raw deal at home. Muffin is coddled and spoiled, and gets away with everything, while Kammy is blamed and punished. Not fair!
  • Why in the world are all the girls in Kammy's cabin going off in different directions all day long? Don't cabinmates usually do all their activities together?
  • I'm really surprised that Kammy got along with everyone at camp as well as she did. In my experience, the one who causes trouble and has a lot of weird issues is the one who gets excluded.
  • At the end of the book, after Kammy decides to stay at camp, she says she has to go tell her cabinmates the news. The weird part? She never told them that she might leave after two weeks.
  • They totally need summer camps for adults. I miss camp!
  • I am so writing a camp-related novel one day. Maybe multiple camp novels. :)