Monday, February 24, 2014

BSC 15: Little Miss Stoneybrook...and Dawn

By Ann M. Martin. Published August 1988.

I’ve always read the title a couple of different ways. As disappointment: Little Miss Stoneybrook!...and Dawn (yawn). Or creepy: Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn (Dun-dun-dun!). The ellipses just struck me as weird.

Kristy is making a big deal out of Mal and Jessi joining the club. She works up a whole induction ceremony. Dawn is totes jealous, because all she got when she joined was a crappy pizza toast. But then she, and everybody else, gets mad at Claudia, because Charlotte Johanssen asked for her specifically. Not the greatest meeting for Dawn.

But when she gets home that night, she wishes she could have stayed at the meeting. Jeff has gotten in trouble at school again; his teacher thinks he should go to a psychiatrist. But he explains right away that he’s got all this anger that bubbles up within him, and he thinks that might go away if he were allowed to go back to California. Sharon gives this some serious thought, then begins making phone calls to see if it could happen. Dawn is pissed at Jeff, and then just sad.

Before the next meeting, the girls read about The Little Miss Stoneybrook Pageant. Most of the girls agree that pageants are sexist, but would probably be fun for little girls. Then Mrs. Pike calls, and asks Dawn if she’ll help Claire and Margot prepare for the pageant. She says yes, and most of the other girls are pissed she got a special job. Mallory just gets melodramatic about her sisters being in it.

Then Kristy tells Karen about the pageant, and of course she wants to be in it. So now Kristy’s helping her.

Sharon gives the kids the news that everything has been worked out, and Jeff can go back to California. Dawn gets all upset again, but Jeff is thrilled.

Dawn has her first session with Claire and Margo. Margo just wants to wear a bathing suit. Dawn says that’s probably not appropriate. They figure out what their “talents” are going to be. Claire is going to sing the Popeye song. Margo is going to peel a banana with her feet, then recite The House That Jack Built while eating the banana. Dawn doesn’t think they’re pageant material.

But Myriah Perkins sure as hell is. She can dance ballet and tap, sing, act, you name it. And Mary Anne jumps all over the chance to help her with the pageant.

Claudia sits for Charlotte, and they talk about how much they both miss Stacey. Then Claudia has the idea of going over to her house and calling Stacey. Charlotte talks to her, and it’s pretty sweet. Then while Claudia talks, Charlotte pokes around her room. She’s finds the paper with the article about the pageant. Claudia asks her if she thinks it would be fun, and Charlotte says, “Not really. I’d rather read.” Rock on, Charlotte. But Claudia talks her into doing it anyway.

The older BSC girls get all competitive with each other at the next meeting. Dawn gets pissed because the other are all keeping their girls’ talents a secret. Then they start talking about how they have to prepare the girls for the question and answer part. Mallory and Jessi are disgusted.

It’s the day before the pageant, and Dawn’s having a dress rehearsal with the girls, and trying not to go crazy listening to Margo recite her poem yet again. Mary Anne calls to see what they’re doing, and Claudia and Charlotte just come over. Dawn says it’s gotten too competitive, and isn’t fun anymore.

That night, it’s time to take Jeff to the airport and say goodbye. It’s actually pretty sad, except for Jeff, he’s on top of the world. It’s insensitive, but he is a ten-year-old boy.

Fortunately, Dawn has the pageant the day to take her mind off it. It’s a madhouse backstage, and the girls are all nervous. We get to meet the infamous Sabrina Bouvier (the younger). Everyone laughs at Claire’s talent, and she really hams it up. Myriah kicks ass tap dancing and singing “Good Ship Lollipop”. Margo does fine. Karen sings fifteen damn verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”. And poor Charlotte. She gets onstage to recite from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but freezes up and runs crying offstage. She has to be taken home.

During the question and answer part, apparently a lot of girls bomb, but I think they just give cute, honest answers. That would score well with me. Of course, Myriah gives a perfect answer.

In the end, Sabrina Bouvier wins it all, and Myriah is first runner-up. She’s thrilled with this, because she gets a shopping spree to Toy City. Karen and Margo are crushed not to have won, but Claire seems all right with it. In fact, she wants to do it again next year.

Dawn finally gets to talk to on the phone to Jeff, and he sounds like the old Jeff. He even admits he misses Dawn. Aww. Dawn and Sharon agree that although letting him go was tough, it was the right thing to do.

Claire calls Dawn and asks her to her with a Beautiful Child contest at Bellair’s Department Store. Dawn actually agrees. Fortunately, it’s never mentioned again.

o   The pageant is for girls five to eight. Doesn’t that seem quite limited? But I guess it would be weird if there were girls the BSC’s age entering.

o   Dawn says she’d like to Toy City prize so she could get stuff for her Kid Kit. Shut up, Dawn, quit trying to come of as so mature. I’d be all over that prize for myself now.

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