It’s our first regular episode recorded remotely post-quarantine and we’re discussing what we’ve agreed to be one of the best BSC books to-date in the series. This one tackles two potentially difficult topics – child pageants generally and Jeff’s long-imminent return to California – with nuance and consideration and we’re here for it. Dawn gets dramatic about the induction ceremony for Jessi and Mallory and uses an invitation by Mrs. Pike to help Claire and Margo prepare for the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant to distract from Club-related jealousies and the difficult situation at home with the Schafer parents working out an arrangement for Jeff’s temporary return to California to see how it goes. The rest of the BSC (aside from Mallory and Jessi, who are opposed to pageants) gets into the competitive aspect and each get their own girl to help prepare. As always, the girls learn from their mistakes and realize they don’t need to compete or be jealous of each other. We discuss the “best” talent at the pageant (Margo’s poem recitation while opening and eating a banana with her feet), our past and current feelings on pageants in general (and how the book presents a balanced take), Dawn’s dramatic nature, Mrs. Schafer’s shockingly (to Lauryn) on-point advice and knowledge drops to Dawn, Mrs. Perkins thoughtful commentary on competition generally, and the world of big cat owners. We also touch on the significant number of instances where the BSC members take their charges to other locations, frequently without any kind of note or other notice for the parents, and again note how rich the people in Stoneybrook seem to be.
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