Sleepover Friends #11- Stephanie’s Family Secret

Mrs.Mead has announced that there will be a fifth grade talent show. Karla Stamos, the boring girl who wears all brown, wants to do a ballet dance.  Mark Freedman says he will play drums. Lauren is reading a magazine article about her favorite TV actor, Kevin DeSpain, and then she realizes that Stephanie has said that she, Stephanie, Patti and Kate will be in the talent show!  Lauren tells Stephanie after class that she can’t believe that Stephanie would tell Mrs. Mead that the four girls will be in the talent show!  Lauren bets that Stephanie wants to be in the talent show to impress Steven Gitten, the boy she likes.  Lauren says that the Sleepover Friends have no talent,  and Stephanie suggests the four of them can dance and lip synch to a record and they can even call themselves the Four Aces.  It’s Friday so there will be a sleepover at Kate’s and they will be having Mexican food. Stephanie will bring over some tapes so that they can pick a song to lip sync to. Or synch? I dunno.

Stephanie is late to Kate’s sleepover party because Stephanie said her parents are whispering and acting weird and she wanted to have dinner with them to see what was going on.  When Stephanie arrives, she says that her parents refused to tell her what is going on and she’s worried.  They have been whispering a lot in the past week or so, and clam up when Stephanie walks into  a room.  Lauren asks if the girls remember a movie they saw 2 weeks ago about a man who had lost his job.  Stephanie decides that her father may have lost his job and that’s the big secret. He had a big meeting at work last week, and that is around the time her parents started whispering all the time.  Stephanie then tells Patti, Lauren and Kate that they are going to find out for sure that Stephanie’s dad lost her job. In the movie, the father would pretend to go to work and really stay at the library all day so his family wouldn’t know he lost his job. So Stephanie says on Monday, the girls are going to follow her father when he leaves the house to see where he is REALLY going!  During the sleepover, a song is picked for the talent show- ” Wanna Be Your Girl” by the Polka Dots. Then the girls listen to the request hour and find out that Jenny Carlin, the Sleepover Friends’ answer to Laura McCall of the Fabulous Five or Becky Dyson from the Gymnasts, dedicated  a song to Steven Gitten! The girls then decide that to find out for sure, they are going to prank call Jenny and pretend to be Steven’s third grade sister Marcy and ” Marcy” will be asking Jenny if she, in fact, dedicated a song to Steven.  Lauren decides to play Marcy, but Jenny knows it’s the Sleepover Friends calling and not Marcy Gitten, and then Jenny says ” I don’t get mad- I get EVEN!!”

The Sleepover Friends leave the house Monday at 8 am, all telling their parents they had to get to school early. Stephanie’s father usually leaves for work at 8:15 so that is when they are going to start trying to follow him.  Lauren hopes that following Mr. Green won’t make them late for school, or else they all have to eat lunch in the principal’s office. Long story short- the girls follow Stephanie’s dad to a bank, where he is taking out a big loan! Stephanie is convinced that Mr. Green taking out a big loan means that he needs money because he lost his job.  The girls decide to try to find ways to help Stephanie raise money to give to her dad. They decide to enter tons of contests where they could win things or money – I guess so if they won stuff they could sell it and give the profits to the Greens??? They also decide that Stephanie could hold a yard sale.  The girls end up being late to school and having to eat in the principal’s office after Jenny Carlin apparently told Mrs. Mead that she saw the Sleepover Friends bike right past school. I guess that is how Jenny gets even. 

The yard sale will be at Kate’s house on Saturday. On Tuesday, Patti and Lauren look through magazines and enter bunches of contests.  Meanwhile, Kate and Stephanie are at Stephanie’s looking through things Stephanie can sell. Stephanie ends up wanting to sell some of the new clothes she got in ” the city” and her black, red and white leather jacket! Lauren loves that jacket,  and Stephanie ends up selling it to her for 20 bucks. We learn that it fits Lauren because even though Lauren is tall- Stephanie is ummm wide?? and that is how the jacket fits Lauren. No wonder Stephanie always worries about weight with Lauren calling her wide and what not!  Patti and Kate buy 2 more clothing items from Steph.  Lauren, Kate and Patti are going to sell things for the yard sale too in order to help the Greens.  By the end of the week, some boys in Lauren’s class like Mark Freedman and Larry Jackson are going to sell things at a table at the yard sale, and so is Donald Foster, as well as Kate’s sister Melissa and a friend of Melissa’s.

The tag sale Saturday is a huge success for all and the clothes are selling quickly, especially Stephanie’s. Suddenly, Mrs. Beekman, Kate’s mom, and Lauren’s mom Mrs. Hunter ( Mrs. Beekman’s first name is Barbara and Mrs. Hunter’s is Ann so you kn0w) notice that the clothes Stephanie is selling look very new, and they get very suspicious. Mrs. Hunter asks Lauren if Mrs. Green knows that Stephanie is selling new clothes and Lauren says yes but the parents aren’t buying it. Mrs. Green comes over when Mrs. Beekman  calls her, and Mrs. Green notices that Stephanie’s closet are half empty!!! Mrs. Green demands to know why and says if Steph needed money she could ask her parents and Stephanie says she was trying to help because Mr. Green lost his job! Mrs. Green says no way, and says she was going to tell Stephanie the secret that night but she may as well say it now- Mr. and Mrs. Green are expecting a BABY!  Mr. Green took out a loan because they are building an addition to the house so that the baby can have his or her own room. The girls decide that their profits can go the Children’s Hospital.

It’s the night of the talent show.  Jenny Carlin FLOPS- her clarinet squeaks and squeaks, and when she blows really hard out flies a silk scarf that Henry Larkin stuck up her clarinet- Henry and Larry Jackson had it for  a magic act. The magic act is great, by the way, and Karla Stamos is actually a good ballet dancer. The Sleepover Friends lip sync and dance is a huge hit as well even though Jenny tried to sabotage it by putting in the wrong music.  The girls dance anyway to the wrong music and the audience loves it.

At the end of this book, guess what- Lauren got a winning prize in a contest- a FUCKING DONKEY! Yep a real fucking donkey! And you know Stephanie will get to keep it. And they are naming the donkey Sleepover. Oh, boy. And I thought Elvira the goat in the BSC was a silly plotline.

I loved this book as a kid, as an adult I realize that this book was pretty darn boring. And I feel the Sleepover Friends ” jumped the shark” once Stephanie’s twin brother and sister were born ( yep Stephanie’s mom ends up having twins- Emma and Jeremy- great names BTW). In terms of ” jumping the shark”- so kids when do you feel other YA novels jumped the shark? For me, I am not sure if SVH jumped the shark once Todd moved back from Vermont back to Sweet Valley, or with the Jungle Prom. I’d love everyone’s thoughts!

Coming up next week- Sweet Valley Twins 44 Amy Moves In.

Other books coming up ( not necessarily in that order) are SVH Super Special- Special Christmas, Sleepover Friends #26 The New Kate, BSC Little Sister Super Special Karen’s Wish, Sweet Valley Kids Super Snooper the Case of the Secret Santa, Sweet Valley High #13  Kidnapped and Sweet Valley High #3 Playing with Fire.

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One Response to “Sleepover Friends #11- Stephanie’s Family Secret”

  1. I think the BSC jumped the shark when the ghosties started writing. Though it may have been a little earlier, as I thought Kristy and the Mother’s Day Surprise was a totally worthless book.

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