Halloween is coming, and Dawn and her friends in the we love Kids Club are almost as excited as the kids they baby-sit. Then, just before the big night, a masked robber holds up a store in Dawn's neighborhood -- and Dawn witnesses the getaway!...
|Title||:||Dawn and the Halloween Mystery|
|Number of Pages||:||160 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Dawn and the Halloween Mystery Reviews
another stupid dawn-in-california book. remember the first time dawn was 13 & in the eighth grade, when she & the other members of the babysitters club teamed up to help mary anne get revenge on cokie mason for making her think that she had to wear a bad luck charm? & then the year after that, kristy got creepy notes & thought they were from bart taylor, but it was actually just cokie again & she & bart attended a school dance dressed as lobsters? anyway, this time, dawn is in california. this book starts off really slow. lots of back story about dawn's involvement with the we <3 kids club & jack (dawn's dad) planning to marry his girlfriend, carol & how dawn hated carol for a while but now she's over it. the book strings us along for about six chapters with tedious discussions of the halloween party the we <3 kids club is planning to throw for some of their charges. there will be snacks, a rousing game of pin-the-broom-on-the-witch, prizes for the kids' costumes, etc. finally, in like chapter seven, we get to the real plot.dawn & carol have run over to the local shopping plaza to run a few errands. dawn is sitting in the car waiting for carol when a crime happens. the local mini-mart was robbed at gunpoint. dawn actually sees the robber, whose identity is obscured with a rubber clown mask featuring clouds of pink hair. the robber runs out of the store holding a bag of money & stumbles a bit on the curb. while the robber straightens up, dawn gets a long, lingering look (without the robber realizing), & is therefore questioned a lot by the cops.everyone in palo alto is freaking out. how could an armed robbery have occurred in their dreary little burg? in the middle of the day? all the adults completely overreact & decide that haloween trick or treating is canceled unless the robber is caught. because surely someone who wears a clown mask to rob a minimart at 11am is going to have a motherfucking field day on halloween. the children's bodies will pile up like cordwood. it's ridiculous. the robbery happened in broad daylight. why not keep the kids inside when the sun is out? oh, i know. then we wouldn't have a tiresome plot contrivance.anyway, the cops aren't really having any luck finding the robber. so dawn & the other members of the we <3 kids club decide they're going to break the case themselves. they are inspired by their sad sitting charges, who want nothing more than to go out & shake adults down for candy & then lapse into sugar comas. dawn is especially concerned about a new charge named timmy, who lives across the street from the dewiit family. he is being looked after by his freshly-divorced father & they don't have a lot of money. & timmy is kind of shy. his mom had custody but she lost it when she lost her job. which isn't ACTUALLY the way custody works. lots of divorced parents actually don't work at all & live on their divorce settlements so they can remain full-time parents. lots of other divorced parents lose their jobs & it doesn't impact their custody arrangements. just more legal crap the the ghostwriters don't understand. anyway, dawn wants timmy to be able to trick or treat.she recalls that the mask the robber wore had a tag on it from the jolly roger costume company. an employee at dawn's favorite costume shop tells her that jolly roger masks are only sold at one costume shop in town. dawn & her friends go to this one shop & look for a copy of the mask, but an employee explains that it's sold out. dawn asks him how many they had. he says they had three & sold them all relatively recently. dawn asks him to describe the people who bought them, & shockingly enough, he complies. look, i have worked in retail. sometimes i will remember something a customer buys if i think it's really strange or goofy or notable. but i don't actually remember the customers if they are total strangers to me. i barely even looked at them, between ringing up their purchases, making change, & bagging. maybe i'm biased because my last retail job was at powell's books, which obviously does brisker business than some transient seasonal costume shop. but come on. plot contrivance.anyway, the cashier described a brown-haired woman of about 5'8", a teenage boy with long hair & a skateboard, & another dude who is an adult. dawn & the we <3 kids club immediately rule out the woman. dawn has convinced herself that the robber she saw was definitely a man. they stake out the older man first by figuring out where he works & stopping by, pretending to be browsing customers. they see a little girl behind the counter playing with the mask. she the little girl sees dawn looking, she explains that her father bought her the mask for her halloween costume. the man chuckles & pats his daughter's head. the we<3 kids club decide that he is innocent; the mask is for his daughter, not him, & if he had used the mask to commit a crime, he wouldn't let his daughter play with it out where everyone could see her. this is faulty logic at best, but...let's go with it.they move on to the teenage boy. they discover he is on the track team at the local high school, so they spy on him at practice. it turns out that he's the nicest, sweetest teenage boy in the world. he is arranging some kind of charity thing for the elderly or something, he rescues a kitten from a tree, he helps an old woman cross the street, he gives a child a balloon...i mean, i might be making some of this shit up, but he's basically a long-haired skateboarding track-running saint & they decide there's no way he's the robber. never mind that the bad guy in "stacey & the mystery at the mall" was committing crimes BECAUSE HE WAS TOO NICE.so now the girls are back at square one. dawn recalls that the robber's getaway car had a bumper sticker advertising a local hot dog place, so they head over to see if the robber will just, you know, hang out there wearing the mask & counting up his millions. they even ask the woman behind the counter if she has seen anything suspicious, but she says no & they see nothing suspicious themselves. except for the woman at the counter staring at them intently. dawn figures she's an undercover cop planted at the hot dog place in case the robber decides to have a hot dog & does something incriminating. because that happens.dawn is sad that the kids won't be having trick or treating after all. but on halloween morning, she walks past timmy's house & sees the robber's getaway vehicle parked in the garage! she knows it's the same vehicle...somehow. she runs across the street & tells mrs. dewitt, who calls the police. timmy's dad is arrested, but somehow & for some reason, dawn & mrs. dewitt hide this fact from timmy. with his dad in police custody, trick or treating is reinstated & mrs. dewiit asks dawn to take her two children & timmy out around the neighborhood.dawn does so, but toward the end of the night, she notices a shadowy figure dressed in black running through the lawns on the street where the kids are trick or treating. she is convinced that it's the robber, even though she thinks the robber is in jail. she hustles the kids back to mrs. dewitt's house & notices the figure across the street, digging in timmy's flowerbeds. she calls the police & they come & arrest...timmy's mom! apparently she was stealing timmy's dad's car to commit her crimes, & had buried her gun in the dad's flowerbed for safekeeping. she was also the woman working at the hot dog place & was staring because she was worried that dawn was on to her. timmy's dad is released from custody & mrs. dewitt is all, "he's a good dad. she'll find a non-traumatizing way to explain to timmy that his mom has been committing armed robberies all over southern california in order to sock away enough money to win back custody." & of course, the fact that the robber is WOMAN is supposed to be a huge twist. remember in the second logan special request, where the B-plot is all about the children of stoneybrook being terrorized by a bully named EJ? & then it turns out that EJ stands for "eleanor jane"? DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING, HUH? the way these books turn the myth of perfect womanhood on its head is just so revolutionary...& idiotic.
Thought this would be a throwback to my childhood and the days I used to read children’s mysteries. Dawn is 13 and is too old for trick-or-treating, always turns her little brother down when he offers her his Halloween candy. Because she’s too healthy to ever eat candy of junk food and is excited about dessert from a natural bakery, like most 13 year olds. Yeah, right. Who is this author trying to kid? “But I hate the idea of putting refined sugars and weird chemicals in my body.”I can’t believe she had a 13 year old refer to refined sugars and chemicals, as if they know the first thing about either of those things, that they can pronounce them, or that they care. What a joke.She didn’t sound like a 13 year old at all, which is a huge pet peeve of mine when authors write children like they’re adults. Her parents are divorced. Her dad lives in California, and her mom in Connecticut. She missed her dad and brother “tremendously.”“We had our ups and downs at first, to put it mildly” and “bi-coastal life.” 13 year old do not talk like this. Their vocabulary isn’t this expanded. She’s going on and on about the kinds of healthy food she’s eating, apple-raisin turnovers from the Natural Baker, five-grain tortilla chips and freshly made organic salsa. Who cares? And all the other members of the We love kids club are natural-food lovers too. Of course! Because the odds of finding a whole league of thirteen-year-old, babysitting girls in the eighth grade forgoing sweets for all-natural foodstuffs are really high. This is so ludicrous. Not that kids can't cook or eat healthy, but I find it very unbelievable that it just so happens that every member of the babysitting "club" are exactly the same about their food preferences. And it goes on and on. Is this a mystery or a natural-foods pushing agenda? By pg. 9 I was already sick of hearing about what foods they were eating, but the author wasn’t done, and my irritation mounted. The girls are sharing guacamole recipes, putting it into their health-food cookbook as well as their personal recipe files, because they believe natural food is good for adults and kids. And we’re to believe that a teenager created a babysitting club that operates on the east and the west coast. One that parents entrust their kids to 13 year old girls. Quite an entrepreneurial spirit there. At 13 I wasn’t responsible enough to take care of myself, much less capable of caring for another person. But then again, I wasn’t a natural food eater with a zest for babysitting.Dawn witnesses a robber, or the leaving of a robber. A guy in a clown mask ran out of a store, with the clerk coming out after him yelling he’s robbed them. He stops at the car beside Dawn’s, she sees his entire outfit, shoes, and the label on the mask. The BSC convenes in an emergency meeting, and Dawn hatches the plan to catch the thief on their own. Everyone’s game, because apparently these 13 year olds are mature beyond their years—and experienced in catching bad guys and helping out the law. It’s whatever at that point. You have to suspend your disbelief, especially considering they’re all just barely teenagers and they can’t drive. I wondered how they were going to handle their babysitting jobs being so young.I kept confusing characters, because there’s a whole slew of them, and just had to give up trying to tell them apart. There’s her parents and step-mom and step-dad and step-sibling and brother and the east coast babysitting club and the west coast babysitting club and her friends’ siblings and step-parents and step-siblings and the children she babysits and their parents and their siblings and step-parents and step-siblings. Because every kid in here has parents that are divorced and a passel of kids from their new family, everyone forming their own blended family, reminiscent of the Brady Bunch. Her friend (back in the east coast) even compares her baby-sitting family to the TV family. There were like 50 characters in here, way too much for anyone to remember. And I didn’t like that her friend’s family was taking up so much of the story. They wrote letters to each other about what was going on in their lives, and then Dawn would call her to get more details. The family—divorced, with 7 kids, were moving into a new house and for some reason the kids didn’t like it and her friend didn’t think anything could be done about it. It was just a side plot going on that didn’t need to be. And looking back I didn't know why the author took so much time to describe characters that weren't even in here, the members back in Connecticut, their races and personalities and looks and their dream careers and everything. A waste of time.Since the robber got away, the parents get together and decide to call off trick-or-treating if he’s still on the loose, and the holiday is a week away. The girls came up with the idea to have a Halloween party at the elementary school for the kids so they won’t miss out on Halloween altogether. They plan out all the activities, like bobbing for apples, pinning the broom on the witch, disappearing chairs and scary stories. And the moment she knows the party is going to be a hit is when one of them suggested having toasted pumpkin seeds to eat…When Dawn was babysitting and decided to take the kids out for costume shopping, she said “the four of us headed for Ellie’s” and I was like what? How did this girl get herself and her young charges into the city to a Halloween store? Did they walk? Just the other day when we went to that store, her almost step-mom had driven her, now she’s just going there with no explanation. That needed to be explained. She watches two little boys and their friend. Their friend’s parents are, you guessed it, divorced, and he’s living with his dad. They’re poor and the kid can’t afford a costume, have no car, and his dad gets mad at a dog in his yard, too mad. So it’s clear he’s a suspect in the robbery; he had motive. She questions shopkeepers about where a clown mask with a skull logo would be sold; she gets the name of the story and goes there with a lie that her cousin wants to buy the mask off of the people (because they’re sold out). The teenaged guy working there knows the exact customers that bought them. Very convenient. There are 3 choices, one she declines because it’s a woman, and being older I realized she shouldn’t discount it just because it’s a woman, the other are 2 high school guys that are in the same grade and on the same track team. So her and her friend can go to the high school and spy on them at the same time. How handy. They immediately count out one of the boys, who congratulated the other on winning the race. The other guy doesn’t say anything, because he’s winded, so it could be a sign of guilt that he’s not a nice person. The other they follow all the way home in which he does one good deed after another, eliminating him from the suspect list. The other guy is forgotten about for some reason and they push the whole thing aside and agree to talk about it at lunch while they plan their party out. They had gone to the hot dog joint, because the get-away car had a bumper sticker with the name of a hot dog place. They stake it out for anyone wearing Fly-High shoes, because not many people have the shoes yet. There are “all kinds of junk food”, so none of them order anything, because you know what they put in hot dogs? Pig ears and other gross stuff. They all order sodas and scope out the clientele. They finally go up and ask the woman working there and ask for help in finding someone, a man or a teenage boy. They know he wears Fly Highs, drives a black Chevy and it has one of their stickers on it. She doesn’t know but she watches them the whole time they’re there. A giveaway, but they chalk it up to her being a cop undercover. She’s planning on making pumpkin granola nut cookies for the party. One year her mom handed out raisins and apples, and her dad teases her brother saying their almost step-mom is going to give away carrots, and Dawn says she’d rather have those. Dawn made oatmeal raisin toast all by herself for breakfast. It just made me roll my eyes over and over with all of the health food being crammed down my throat. On the way to babysit one day, Dawn sees a black Chevy in the garage of Timmy’s house, with a Frank’s Frank bumper sticker on it, and Fly High imprints in the dirt leading to their gate. So she goes to her babysitting house and tells the mom, and they call the cops who immediately come over and pick up Timmy’s dad for the robberies. Trick-or-treating is back on, and they’re having their party later, so she’s taking her young charges out through the neighborhood. She spots a figure all in black with the same clown mask on in Timmy’s backyard, and the person is digging in the dirt. She goes to her babysitting house and the mom tells her there’s been another robbery, so Timmy’s dad obviously isn’t the robber. They call the cops and they come, and it turns out to be the woman at the hot dog stand that had been staring at them, Timmy’s mom. She wanted money to get custody of her son, and just like that the whole “mystery” is over and it’s time for the party.They eat Fruit Chewies and she thinks about giving away her chocolate trophy that she won for best last-minute costume. And the book is over with a “Happy Halloween!”A pretty tame, lame mystery. It seemed to be more about healthy foods than an actual mystery. It was definitely lacking in that department, and despite there being several suspects which is standard for any mystery, there was no great sense of urgency or, well, mystery to it. I don’t know if I would have liked this as a kid. I loved mysteries but I think I may have even been disappointed with this as a kid, because the book didn’t have a lot to offer. The only funny thing was when her and her friend were following one of the teenagers to see if he could be guilty or not, and they make a joke that he’s going to make some girl a good husband, and that scene struck me as humorous, but other than that nothing was funny or interesting.
Oh the mysteries. They are always so cheesy, but I gotta always give points to a BSC book that features a, gasp, gun! You mean violence and crime exists in the world? Though, to be fair, this is Palo City! So dangerous!
I'll add review later cause got more books post.
in this penultimate book portraying dawn's way-longer-than-promised "few months" in california by ghostwriter Ellen Miles, someone robs a convenience store wearing a clown mask. the parents in palo city are so horrified by the crime that they cancel halloween--that is, they enact a curfew for kids and won't let them trick or treat. the we love kids club hosts a halloween party to compensate, but they also attempt to catch the perp so the kids will be able to trick or treat too. turns out it's the mom of an introduced-in-this-book poor kid, timmy. she is committing armed robbery in an attempt to have enough money to take care of timmy (note: this could have been handled in a cool social commentary-y way, but it's absolutely not -- this isn't a stacey book, after all). meanwhile back in stoneybrook the barrett-dewitts find a house that's perfect for them, but it's nowhere near stoneybrook, so they decide to settle for a small cramped house that means they don't have to make new friends/go to new schools.highlights:-okay I know it's a clown mask and not an ex-president mask but where california armed robbery in a funny mask is concerned I'm still picturing point break:-I love lucy alert! mrs. stevens from the store where they buy halloween stuff is dressed as her as a halloween week costume (I'm keeping a running tally of all I love lucy/lucille ball references in these books)lowlights/nitpicks:-officer garcia says that when dawn describes the robber as being 5'8 or 5'9, that that is "short for a man." no it's not!-neighbor kid timmy is staying with the dewitts right now (ryan and erick/california dewitts, no relation to the barrett-dewitts in stoneybrook). his parents don't have much money and the dad lost his job and is looking for a new one. it is VERY OBVIOUS the moment this is mentioned that one of his parents is the robber. because when people are poor that automatically makes them armed robbers.-the we love kids club girls find out all the people who bought the clown mask in question (because the shop clerk gives them information about them...shyeah, right). there is a teenage boy suspect named tom (one of the people who bought the mask) who is a regular gallant: helps an old lady cross the street, ties a child's shoe while his mother is holding groceries, etc.-faulty logic: they think tom couldn't rob the store since he's such a nice guy-weird premise, because why would one armed robbery make them not let the kids trick or treat? how freakin' small can a town be that they think that someone who commits a robbery of a store would necessarily want to hurt kids? they need money, DUH.-timmy's dad gets arrested for the robbery, because dawn thinks it's him (signs point to him, but actually it's his ex-wife, timmy's mom). after he is arrested timmy's mom is seen digging in timmy's backyard wearing the clown mask, even after her ex husband was arrested. what an idiot!-direct quote from officer garcia (the police officer working on the case, who is in fact a woman): "none of us thought that the robber might be a woman." WHY? AAAAAGHHHHHHHHoutfits:carol:-"Also, I thought grown-ups shouldn't wear sunglasses with neon-orange frames, or ripped jeans and MTV T-shirts, which is what Carol had on."cynthia dewitt:-"She was wearing this dowdy housedress with a tacky daffodil print. On her feet were clunky brown shoes that looked like something my grandmother might wear. She had on a pair of turquoise cat's-eye glasses, and she'd thrown a yellow cardigan over her shoulders."
I was in the mood for a fun Halloween story, so I couldn't resist pulling this off my bookshelf. I always loved this book, even though it's ridiculous, and I still love it now. I own a few more Halloween-centric BSC books, so I'll probably be re-reading those in the next week or so, too. 4 stars for nostalgia's sake.
Still building my collection and finding ones I hadn't read back in the day. The California stories are never as good as the Stoneybrook ones. Not entirely worth the $0.01 price plus $12.95 for shipping. New rule: only buy the California books from yard sales.