Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

So I know this has nothing to do with Sleepover Friends... I hope you don't mind.

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a feature for bloggers to swoon over upcoming releases they can't wait to get their hands on.

My pick:

I am so excited about this book! I've really liked all her other books. I just saw this one on Goodreads today.

From Goodreads:

Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left. Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago! Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self? Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything? Fans of Sarah Mlynowski's Magic in Manhattan series will love this hilarious new novel with a high-concept premise .A new life is just a phone call away!

It comes out April 27th.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#32 A Valentine for Patti

Happy Valentine's Day!

The 5th and 6th grade teachers at Riverhurst Elementary have decided that the students deserve a break since it's been the coldest winter in 35 years, so they are having a Valentine's party. It's not just any party--it's a sock hop, since the last time they had a winter that cold was in 1956. Apparently no one in the class knows what a sock hop is, even though they had a sock hop in another book, #10 Lauren's Sleepover Exchange (when they hosted the kids from the other school). Stephanie gets picked to do decorations for the party.

Then a new girl shows up. Her name is Hope Lenski and they all think she is weird. They think her name is funny and she is wearing a tie-dyed shirt, an Indian-print skirt and leather mocassins. She has long blonde hair that goes past her waist, and she had it braided into about a 100 little braids. The Sleepover Friends all think it's weird that she started school in January. My parents moved when I was in 2nd grade, but since it was just to another part of our town, I got to finish the school year at my school. But I still don't get what the big deal is.

The Sleepover Friends decide they want to get to know Hope, even though they think she's weird. They go up to her in class and introduce themselves, but Hope doesn't seem too interested. Patti thinks she must be shy, but the other girls just think she is unfriendly. Turns out Hope is really good at science, so Patti is excited about that. Hope is also really good at art, so Stephanie hopes she'll want to help with the decorations for the party.

Their Friday night sleepover is at Patti's house this time. Patti is also the narrator of this book (Lauren is the narrator for most of the books, but towards the end of the series, the other girls narrate). They have cheese popcorn, Stephanie's mom's cookies, and Dr Pepper. They talk about what they can wear to the Valentine's party.

Patti is upset because her younger brother Horace skipped into the 2nd grade and he's having a hard time. The kids make fun of him because he's smart and the smallest kid in class.

Kate is convinced something is up with Hope. She thinks it's weird when Hope says her dad will be a chaperone at the party, not her mom. Patti feels bad for Hope, since Jenny and Angela make fun of her at lunch. They try again to be nice to Hope, suggesting she help with decorations for the party so she can meet some new friends. Hope says no. They find out she's from California, and figure she must really miss her old school. Kate isn't willing to give up yet, so she invites Hope for ice cream. Hope says no, because she doesn't like ice cream.

After school, Patti goes to pick up her brother. Some kids are making fun of him, so Patti tries to defend him. Horace gets all embarassed and mad, and Patti realizes she shouldn't have done that because now the kids will make fun of him even more.

It's time for another sleepover, this time at Lauren's house. They are trying on outfits for the dance. Lauren wears baggy jeans rolled up at the bottom, a white t-shirt, her brother Roger's jean jacket, and sunglasses. Stephanie suggests she asks her mom if she can borrow one of her cardigan sweaters so Lauren goes to get it. Stephanie shows Patti what she found for her to wear--a poodle skirt that is hot pink with a huge "P" stitched on it. Patti is a little embarassed to wear it, but doesn't want to hurt Stephanie's feelings. Instead of returning with the sweater, Lauren brings barbecue potato chips, her special onion dip, and a six-pack of pop. The girls are going to listen to a 50s tape and practice hopping in their socks, when they hear howling outside. It's some boys from class--Larry, Henry and Willie. They challenge the girls to a snowball fight. Patti has a little crush on Henry, so she's pretty excited. They are all having fun throwing snowballs when they see Hope across the street. They all yell out to her and invite her over, but she just runs off. Kate thinks it's kind of weird that Hope just stood there and watched them from across the street, and I have to agree with her. Although I also think it's a bit weird that they are trying SO hard to be friends with this girl. Anyway, they all go inside for some hot chocolate. Later that night, Kate suggests they all get together later that week and make Valentines.

At lunch on Monday, Lauren talks to Hope and finds out she is a vegetarian. On Tuesday, there is a Quarks club meeting after school. Hope tells Patti she needs to leave early. When Patti goes out to meet her brother after the meeting, she finds Hope talking to Horace. Hope tells Horace she knows what he's going through, since she is new and different. She tells Horace it's ok to be weird. Hope suggests to Patti that next time kids make fun of Horace, he should just agree with what they say. When they see it doesn't bother him, they'll stop making fun of him. The next day, Patti invites Hope to go get a Dr Pepper (or fruit juice) with her, and Hope says sure--but suggests frozen yogurt instead. They go to Sweet Stuff and get Tofutti. Vanilla with nuts and raisins for Hope, raspberry for Patti. Hope asks Patti if she, Kate, Lauren and Stephanie do everything together. (ha) Patti says not everything, since they do different extracurricular activities. Hope admits she only had one best friend in California, and she misses her. She also tells Patti she has a younger brother, and that they moved to Riverhurst because her dad grew up there. He's a veterinarian. Patti gets all excited about this and invites herself over, but Hope gets all weird about it.

That night the girls get together to make their valentines, and Patti fills the girls in on Hope. They decide to ask her to sit with them at lunch the next day. These girls just do not give up. They are determined to be friends with Hope! They tease Patti about making a valentine for Henry. Patti is worried he might not like her, so she decides to cut out letters from magazines so he won't recognize her handwriting.

It's the day of the party! Henry is wearing a leather jacket, jeans with the cuffs rolled up, white socks, and black shoes. Patti thinks he's cute. She is all embarassed about her outfit--the pink poodle skirt, a white blouse and a cardigan sweater. I really don't get why she's all embarassed about her outfit, since they were supposed to dress up. Anyway, Lauren is wearing her regular jeans and "one of those sweater sets--you know, with one sweater on top of the other." (does she mean a twinset?) Patti thinks Lauren doesn't look very 50s--"She looked sort of confused, like the top half of her was in the fifties and the rest wasn't." Kate wore a 50s dress.

Stephanie had on a red shirt with big black polka dots, a pair of black pants that ended just abover her ankles, which she called "pedal pushers" and black flats (with no socks, even though it was February. She said sometimes you had to suffer to be fashionable). Her hair was pulled up into a ponytail with a red ribbon.

Hope wore her usual hippie clothing, which Jenny and Angela make fun of. They say Hope shouldn't be allowed to go to the party. Kate and Stephanie defend her. They invite her to have lunch with them. Hope eats sprouts and tofu-spread on whole grain bread (yuck). They ask Hope about the Valentine's Day party but she gets weird again and leaves. The girls rush back to class to put their Valentines in people's desks. Before the party, they go through their Valentines and Patti got one from Henry. She feels bad for not signing her name on the one she gave him. Stephanie gets 3 from secret admirers.

Then they head to the party. It's set up as a diner. The boys are one side of the room and the girls on the other. Stephanie gets them to play better music and finally people start to dance. Before the last dance, they announce winners for the best costumes. Stephanie loses to Christy Soames, which she is really pissed about. Henry asks Patti to dance, which she is really excited about.

The girls get a great idea. They invite Hope to hang out with them the next day for a tour of Riverhurst. She agrees. Patti goes home and her brother Horace is doing much better. He took Hope's advice and has made some friends.

Then it's time for another sleepover! That's 3 in one book. This one is in Stephanie's playhouse. She has planned a big Valentine's Day celebration for them. She gives them each a pair of white socks that she decorated with little black and red hearts (cute). Kate gives each of them a pair of shoelaces with little red hearts on them. Patti gives them each a little heart pin. Lauren brings cupcakes that she made herself. Then they play Truth or Dare. Patti admits she would pick dancing with Henry over dancing with their favorite celebrity, Kevin DeSpain. Patti dares Stephanie to call her crush, Taylor, to see if he was one of her secret admirers. They laugh about it but don't say if she actually does.

Then next day they all hang out with Hope. They go to Pizza Palace for lunch and Hope asks Patti if she has ever had pineapple on pizza. Patti says no. I LOVE pineapple on pizza! However, I will admit I probably wouldn't have eaten it when I was in 5th grade. I really don't even remember it being an option for pizza back then. Maybe just in California. They eat lunch and do some shopping, and then Hope invites them over to her house for lunch the next day.

Hope makes them tacos (without meat, of course). When they ask her where her mom is, she says she's at work. Hope's dad overhears and asks to speak with Hope. She then admits the truth--her parents got divorced and her mom, a lawyer, stayed in California.

After lunch, they have fruit bars (healthy and sweet) and then watch a movie. Patti says it feels funny to be a fivesome instead of a foursome, but it felt nice, too.

I have to admit, I'm not crazy about Hope. I guess they needed a new friend eventually, but she just doesn't seem to fit in that well. And I don't get why they were so determined to be friends with her! I guess they were just trying to be nice. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the recap!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Update and Sleepover Squad #1 Sleeping Over

Hey everyone! I am back. I've missed this blog and the Sleepover Friends. I hope some of my former readers are still around! I am going to try my hardest to update on a regular basis. I've decided I'm not going to do the books in order. I think that is why I stopped the recaps. I just didn't feel like doing the books in order. So now I am going to just pick random ones.

I am back in school now for speech language pathology, which I really enjoy. Last summer I took a sign language class, which I loved. For our final project, we had to videotape ourselves signing along to a song or a children's book. I thought a song would be much more fun, but since I had only taken one semester of ASL, I just didn't know enough signs. So I started looking at kids' books. Then I got a great idea--the Sleepover Friends! I signed the part where Lauren talks about the Sleepover Friends. You know... My name is Lauren Hunter and I like sports. My best friend is Kate. She likes movies. Stephanie's favorite colors are black, red and white. Patti is really smart... Only one problem though--apparently there is no sign in ASL for sleepover! I looked online and asked my instructor. Apparently you can't just sign "sleep" + "over" because that translates as "oversleep." Since sleepover is such a long word, I couldn't keep spelling it out every time. So what I finally ended up doing was spelling it out the first time and then just signing "sleep" the rest of the time. I got an A on the project and an A in the class! :)

Yesterday I started reading "Queen of Babble" and came across this.

"Shari's boyfriend, Chaz, comes over to us and scoops up some onion dip with a barbecue-flavored potato chip."

Has Meg Cabot read the Sleepover Friends?! I know it's not Lauren's special onion soup-olives-and-bacon bits dip, but still, I have never heard of eating onion dip with barbecue potato chips--except in the Sleepover Friends books!

Anyway, onto the Sleepover Squad. I came across this book while I was at the library picking up some Sarah Dessen books. I couldn't believe how similar the book is to the Sleepover Friends! I always thought it would have been fun to do an updated version of the Sleepover Friends, but I would have gone older, like middle school or high school. See how the sleepovers progressed as the girls got older or something. The girls in Sleepover Squad are in 2nd grade. What kind of adventures can a bunch of 2nd graders get into? Also, the pictures in this book are pretty awful. They remind me of the Babysitter's Little Sister books. And the worst part? No fun descriptions of clothes! Oh well.
It's the first day of the last week of school. Emily, the main character of the book (but not the narrator, since it's told in 3rd person) is smart and shy. Her 3 best friends are Kara, Jo and Taylor. Kara has red curly hair and is loud. Jo is latina and notices things, like when her friends are upset. Taylor is African American and has trouble paying attention. That is about all that we find out about these girls. I guess there's not much to say about them yet.
Emily, also called Emmers and Em, has big news for her friends. Her parents are going to let her sleep without her night light!
Um, ok. For some reason I had no problems reading about a bunch of 5th graders. Change it to 2nd graders and it just seems... weird. Especially since I don't even have any kids of my own. But anyway.
Taylor has bigger news, but she makes her friends wait til lunch before she'll tell them. Her parents are letting her have a party that Friday night. And it's not just any party--it's a sleepover party! Everyone is excited to stay up late, play Truth or Dare, eat lots of junk food (of course!) and watch scary movies on tv. Then they get a great idea--they will have sleepovers every weekend!
"It's perfect!" Taylor cried. "We could be the Sleepover Friends!"
"No--the Sleepover Squad." Kara smiled. "That means the same thing, but it sounds better."
Um, whatever. I like the Sleepover Friends better.
Emily is all nervous and crying because she knows her parents will say no. She's right. When she asks her parents that day after school, they say no. She's too young. Emily cries and calls Kara to tell her. That night at dinner, she acts like a total brat and then goes up to her room.
The next day at school, her friends help her come up with a plan. Instead of continuing to act like a brat, she'll apologize to her parents for the way she acted. They'll be so impressed with how grown-up she is, that they'll let her go. It works!
Emily's dad makes some cupcakes for her to take to the sleepover party. When everyone gets there, they all change into their pjs. Oh, we do get some outfit descriptions!
Taylor was wearing her frog pajamas and a pair of fuzzy, neon green slippers. Emily had put on her favorite nightgown, which had a pretty blue and yellow flower pattern and lace around the collar. Kara was dressed in a flouncy, bright pink nightie with ruffles. And Jo had on a pair of plaid flannel shorts, a baggy T-shirt, and dark blue slippers.
Jo's outfit is the only one I would have ever worn to a sleepover.
The girls play ping-pong and other games. Then they have dinner--salad, spaghetti, and garlic bread. Then they decorate the cupcakes that Emily brought. They each decorate three, topping them with stuff like strawberries, mint leaves (why?), mini gum drops, pineapple slices, etc.
Sounds like Kara is the Lauren of the group: Kara picked up one of her cupcakes and stared at it hungrily. "So can I eat it now?" The other girls laughed. Kara was always hungry.
They take pictures of their cupcakes and then each eat two. Then they get in their sleeping bags and tell scary stories. They decide to eat the last cupcakes but Emily is too full to eat hers. So they decide whoever falls asleep first will get the cupcake smashed on their forehead. After some Truth or Dare, Kara falls asleep. As Taylor goes over to her with the cupcake, Kara wakes up, grabs the cupcake and eats it. Then they all go to sleep, saying "Long live the Sleepover Squad!"
Seriously? Sound familiar? The Sleepover Friends would always end with "Sleepover Friends forever!" (the inspiration for the name of this blog).
The next morning they wake up and have pancakes. They tell Kara how she ate the cupcake in her sleep. Then Emily's parents come to take her home. She is happy to see them but excited about the next sleepover.
The book includes a "free activity" at the end. Slumber Party Project: Frosting Frenzy. Basically what the girls did in the
story. Make or buy some plain cupcakes. (I have never seen plain cupcakes at the grocery store, but then again I only ever shop at Jewel so I don't know). Then make or buy some frosting and find stuff to use as toppings, like candy and fruit, and again with the mint leaves. What 2nd grader wants to eat mint leaves on their cupcake?! The only thing I like with mint leaves is mojitos. Anyway, then take pictures with your cupcakes and eat them.
So what did you think? Doesn't this book sound a lot like the Sleepover Friends?? Is it too childish? Should I pick up a few more in the series and recap them? Does anyone still read this blog?!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sleepover Squad?!

I found this book at the library today. Sleepover Squad #1 Sleeping Over by P.J. Denton. It looks like a ripoff of the Sleepover Friends!! It was written in 2007. It is about 4 best friends who have sleepovers every weekend. Sound familiar?? The one girl even says, "We could be the Sleepover Friends." Her friend says, "No--the Sleepover Squad. That means the same thing, but it sounds better." I'm going to read a few of these books and see how similar they are. I just can't get over it and I can't believe they'd publish a series that is so similar. If I would have know, I would have written my own sleepover books!