Sweet Valley Kids Super Snooper #1- the Case of the Secret Santa

Jessica and Elizabeth are on the playground talking about the latest Amanda Howard book that Elizabeth has read. I had no idea Jessica had interest in anything Elizabeth has read. Jessica says being a detective would be fun.  Jessica sees Lila and Ellen coming over to play, and Elizabeth says that Amy and Eva are also playing on the playground, and all of them should be detectives.  The kids all talk about what they should do over Christmas vacation. Elizabeth says that the kids should all form a secret club- a detective club! Todd and Winston also want to join the detective club.  The club will have a secret handshake, and since Jessica and Elizabeth both thought up the club, they will be co-presidents.  Elizabeth says that now all they have to do is find a mystery to solve. To solve a mystery, Elizabeth explains that the kids have to find clues, like mysterious footprints.  Elizabeth tells the others to think of a mystery to solve, and the club decides to call themselves the Super Snoopers. Elizabeth is very Kristy Thomas in this book.  Jessica tells Elizabeth as they leave the playground that they can look for their Christmas gifts, but then Jessica says there’d be no point to that as most of the gifts don’t come from Santa Clause until Christmas Eve.  Elizabeth tells Jessica that at age seven, they are too old to believe in Santa. Jessica insists that Santa is real. How old were all of you ( any of you that ever believed in Santa, that is?) when you stopped believing in Santa? I was about 8 years old, almost nine actually. I believe my friend Curt said he was eight years old as well.  Jessica says she wants Santa to bring her a Little Linda doll, some leotards,  a stuffed pony, ( OMG Juicy Couture’s website has the CUTEST one), and a watch that glows in the dark like Lila’s.  Elizabeth says if there is a real Santa she’d want him to bring her a real pony that she’d keep in the backyard and name him Lightening.  But Elizabeth says Santa is not real anyway. Jessica insists that Santa IS real all the way back to their home.

The next day at school,  Mrs. Otis announces that the class is putting up decorations for the holiday party next week.  Mrs. Otis needs a volunteer to get the large key from the supply closet from the  janitor, and Jessica volunteers to go see the janitor.  When Jessica gets to the custodian’s office, she doesn’t see Jim, the usual custodian. She sees an elderly male with a long white beard and a big tummy.  The man is looking at  a piece of paper, and he tells Jessica he is making presents for some special friends.  The janitor explains that he is filling in for Jim for awhile, and his name is Chris.  Chris gives Jessica the key, and then calls her Jessica! Jessica asks Chris how he knew her name, and Chris says it was a good guess. Chris also guesses that Jessica has a sister named Elizabeth!  Chris then gives Jessica a  candy cane and tells her it’s an early Christmas present. Jessica tells Chris he looks like Santa Claus, and Chris says mysteriously ” maybe I am Santa Claus!”

 At the playground at recess, Jess tells the other Snoopers that they should investigate whether or not the janitor Chris is really Santa.  Everyone starts to laugh at Jessica, and  Jessica says that Chris had a long list of people to give presents to. Lila says her dad always has a long Christmas list, and he’s not Santa!  Then Jessica asks how did Chris know her name? Elizabeth says he probably noticed her name bracelet.  Jessica then asks Elizabeth how Chris knew about her when he didn’t even meet Elizabeth.  Todd says that all of their names are on their cubbies and Elizabeth’s cubby is next to Jessica’s so maybe that’s how Chris figured it out.  Jessica is still convinced Chris could be Santa.  Elizabeth says there is no Santa anyway, and Todd agrees.  Eva and Ellen say they both believe in Santa Claus, and so does Amy. Lila does not believe in Santa Claus. Winston is pretty sure he believes in Santa Claus. So the Snoopers are going to find out if Chris the custodian is the real Santa!

Jessica and Lila go to Chris’s office to see if they can find out more about him.  Jessica tells the secretary she had questions about Chris, and the secretary says ” oh the new janitor Chris Kreeger?” Jessica is astonished- Chris Kreeger sounds like Kris Kringle, which is a nickname for Santa!  The secretary then says Chris is from Alaska and he’s a nice man.  Jessica is all ” Alaska is the North Pole” and even Lila is getting more excited.   After Jessica and Lila tell the Snoopers what they found out, Amy Sutton feels that if Chris Kreeger is from the North Pole and looks like Santa, he must be Santa.  Elizabeth thinks they still need more clues.  The Snoopers all run to the custodian’s office to look for more clues, and the office is empty.  Hanging in a closet is a Santa Claus suit!  Winston tries on the suit, and Elizabeth notices a piece of paper in the pocket that says ” Charles Department Store”. Elizabeth says that just proves that Chris Kreeger was hired to play a Santa in a department store.  Jessica says that doesn’t mean he isn’t the real Santa. Winston says the only way to find out is to go to Charles Dept Store the next day to ask Chris if he knows what all the kids want for Christmas.

Mr. Wakefield drops Elizabeth and Jess off at the department store the next day and Mr. Wakefield tells the girls they need more evidence to ” prove beyond a shadow of a doubt” that Chris is the real Santa. Do lawyers really speak that way to their seven year olds?  Jessica notices that the Snooper kids are definitely the oldest in line to see Santa but she doesn’t care because she is determined to prove that Chris is the real Santa.  Chris notices the kids from school and tells them to come on up!  Jessica sits on Chris’s lap. Chris says he knew Jessica would come to see him- ooooh. Then Jessica whispers that she believes in Santa, but her sister doesn’t. Then Chris says that he bets Liz wants a pony for Christmas this year!  And he also guesses that Jess wants the Little Linda doll!  Jessica runs to the other kids to tell them that Santa knew what she wanted and Elizabeth says it’s a lucky guess as Little Linda is the doll of the moment.  Jessica doesn’t want to hear Liz.  She’s now certain that Chris Kreeger is Santa, and nothing is going to change her mind.   At dinner, Jessica tells her parents and Steven that Chris knew what she and Liz,  and Ellen, and Winston and everyone wanted for Christmas. Mr. Wakefield remarks he was the most realistic Santa he ever saw. Jessica says that is because he is the real Santa!  Jessica then says the kids are going to invite Chris to the party and that Mrs. Otis wondered if Mrs. Wakefield would be a room mother for the day and volunteer to help at the party. Why couldn’t Mrs. Otis call Mrs. Wakefield herself? Why rely on kids to ask? Mrs. Wakefield is happy to do it and then tells Jess she hopes she realizes that Chris is not really Santa.  Jessica keeps insisting to her family that YES Mr. Kreeger IS the real Santa!

At school, Jessica and Liz go to ask Mr. Kreeger to the class party. Winston comes along.  The kids see Mr. Kreeger looking at a large world map, and he remarks that he is ” planning his route.”  Chris ” takes a big trip every year, and he likes to go a different way each time.” oooooohhhhh  Chris then asks Elizabeth about what the spirit of Christmas means to her, as he hears Liz doesn’t believe in Santa.  Elizabeth says the spirit of Christmas to her means that everyone is supposed to be nice and love one another.  And they show their love by giving presents.  Chris asks what is wrong with believing in Santa, and Jessica is all ” I believe.” Elizabeth asks Chris to name the reindeer, and he sure does.  Elizabeth is all bratty and goes ” I know them all too.” Liz is being sort of Karen Brewer like  in this book.  Chris tells Liz that he can’t make her believe in Santa, but if she has the spirit of Christmas, that is what counts.  He then asks what brought the children there, and Winston invites him to the class party. Chris says he would love to attend.

Jess and Elizabeth wear their matching red dresses with white lace collars to the holiday party- standard kid Christmas wear.  As the Snoopers discuss the clues, Liz sees that even LILA now believes Chris is Santa! Liz can’t believe it!  The kids play driedel and Blind Man’s Bluff until Chris comes to the party.  Chris comes in dressed as Santa.  Caroline Pearce and Ken Matthews never saw Chris before and marvel that he looks just like Santa.  Jessica drags Mrs. Wakefield over to meet Chris and Mrs. Wakefield tells Chris she wishes he’d tell Jessica he’s not really Santa. Chris just tells Mrs. Wakefield you are never too old to believe in Santa.  The party goes on until lunch and Chris says he has to leave, but not before he gives gifts to the kids and his hostesses. Now this part is very ” The Santa Claus” as in the kick- ass movie starring Tim Allen that I watch every year.  Each child gets a small carved wooden animal that Chris made in his workshop.  Mrs. Otis gets a globe, and Mrs, Otis said she wanted to get one for the classroom and wonders how Mr. Kreeger knew she wanted a globe!  Mrs. Wakefield gets a small carved wooden box with snowflakes and stars carved on it. Mrs. Wakefield is astonished- she saw a box just like that as a little girl and always wanted one- how did Mr. Kreeger know….  The Snoopers all look at each other knowingly… only Santa would know.  Mrs. Otis and Mrs. Wakefield agree that Mr. Kreeger is a very special person. I so HEART him I really do.

The next day is the last day of school before vacation.  Elizabeth says they must find out once and for all if Chris is Santa. Eva suggests just asking him.  As the kids run to the custodian’s office, Jim is sitting there eating a sandwich. Elizabeth asks where Chris is.  Jim says as soon as he came back, Chris said he had to leave right away to go on a big  job coming up that just couldn’t wait.  Jess asks if Chris is coming back and Jim says no Chris was just there to take over while Jim was sick. Then, on the shelf, Liz notices horn-rimmed glasses and a pipe. Jim says they aren’t his.  Elizabeth says she guesses this mystery will go unsolved. Then the kids hear ” ho, ho, ho” and see Chris just disappearing around a corner.  The Snoopers go running, but then see a taxi pull away with Chris sitting in the back.  Elizabeth says Santa wouldn’t leave in a taxi, would he? Jess says Liz knows that’s the real Santa. Elizabeth decides that Chris is such a nice man and she can never be sure if he was the real Santa, but he sure had the spirit of Christmas in him.  She doesn’t know if she believes in Santa, now but it doesn’t much matter.

Out of the three Christmas books I chose to read, this one was my favorite. I loved the kids having so much Christmas spirit and Jess being determined that Chris was the real Santa, and Chris Kreeger just rocks. Plus I loved that whole ” Santa Clause” angle. If only Bernard were featured.  For next week, I will recap ” Special Christmas” a dud Super Special from Sweet Valley High. Just wait. Then from about December 16 until the 29th or 3oth, maybe the 31st I will be on a short break- and I will come back with a recap of ” Dawn’s Big Date” BSC #50. In the next few weeks after that, there will be a lot of SV and BSC reading, mostly because those are most of the books I have, although yes the spirit of this blog is to recap books that others really don’t. well not to worry I will do that too!

Soooo the next 8 or so books for the New Year are-

Sweet Valley Twins #42 Jessica’s Secret

Freshman Dorm #20- Freshman Affair

Sweet Valley Twins #68- The Middle School Gets Married

BSC #87- Stacey and the Bad Girls

Freshman Dorm #12- Freshman Rivals

Sleepover Friends #27- Where’s Patti?

Sweet Valley Kids #39- Ellen is Home Alone

Sweet Valley High #13- Kidnapped!!!! ( this is one that I read WAY too many times in 5th grade!)

I believe Hannukah starts this weekend? If I am right Happy Hannukah to anyone who celebrates that. In honor of Karen Brewer, play tons of driedel games.


6 Responses to “Sweet Valley Kids Super Snooper #1- the Case of the Secret Santa”

  1. Lindsay a.k.a Busty St. Clair Says:

    I read Kidnapped! a bajillion times, too.

    This book is so sweet. Too bad the twins had to grow up.

    • girltalkread Says:

      I question why I would keep reading a book about Liz being kidnapped- the first time I read it ( and I was 8!) I was convinced she’d get raped- and she didn’t!! I was one sick 8 year old!!! And yes the twins were soooo sweet in this book- and yep then they grow up. I just wish they only had the SV Kids series- they were actually likable!

  2. I think I remember this as a kid! heh. Mrs. Wakefield reminds me of Natalie Wood’s mom in Miracle on 34th.

  3. You not going to believe this but I have wasted all day researching for some information about this. I wish I knew of this site earlier, it was a fantastic read and really helped me out. this is my site by the way (if you are interested) – <a href="http://ezinearticles.com/?Funny-Christmas-Songs-For-Children—Groove-King-Senseless

  4. I also loved Kidnapped! I remember reading that and Crash Landing (where Enid’s plane ends up in the lake) a bazillion times. I guess my younger self was slightly sadistic? Or I just LOVED the drama of it all. When I re-read Kidnapped a few months ago, I could recall passages almost by heart.

    Frozen pancakes!

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