Sweet Valley Twins #10: One of the Gang
The Big Deal: Mini Olympics
New Kid with a Problem: Pamela Jacobson, heart condition
Liz’s new friend this week is Pamela Jacobson. Pamela is a recent transfer to Sweet Valley Middle School. She has a heart condition and was attending the “special” school, but all she wants is to be a normal kid! So she’s gotten her parents to let her transfer, but at the first sign of fatigue or depression, it’s back to Ridgedale.
Steven Wakefield has been annoying the twins by saying he has ESP. They want him to STFU, so they tell him people with ESP have visions. That night Jessica puts on a ghost costume and climbs a ladder up to Steve’s window. Steve opens the shade and starts screaming, and he scares Jessica so much that she falls off the ladder and sprains her ankle. She has a fun time getting fawned over at school the next day, but by the second day she’s sick of her crutches and she just wants her old life back, dammit.
Jessica has been put in charge of the Mini Olympics at school. Ever since Liz started getting to know Pamela, she’s been trying to get Jessica to change the Olympics and put in more activities for kids who can’t do athletic stuff. Jessica thought it was a lame idea, but now that she’s handicapped herself, she thinks Liz just might be on to something. She doesn’t care anything about Pamela, but Lila’s been trying to take over her job as chairman and Jessica thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get the power back.
Pamela’s parents don’t think she’s progressing very well at normal school, and they’ve decided that she’ll go back to Ridgedale next month if things don’t improve. They seem convinced that since she can’t do anything athletic, she’s totally isolated from the rest of the kids. I don’t get it. I never did anything athletic in school and I don’t feel like I was ever lacking in friends. But whatever…Pamela says she’d like to stay at Sweet Valley Middle, and her eighth-grade brother is pissed because he’s embarrassed of her. Pamela starts thinking they’re right, that the fact that she can’t participate in the Mini Olympics means she shouldn’t have even tried to go to a normal school.
Jessica goes to Pamela’s house and tells her she needs her advice about what kind of special activities can be added to the Mini Olympics, and she convinces Pamela to go to that night’s committee meeting with her. She figures that if Pamela is there, the faculty advisers won’t put up too much of a fight about changing things around. She also figures that Lila will argue and end up looking like a jerk. Who needs enemies, right?
Pamela and Jessica spend many long hours reorganizing the plans for the Olympics. What they come up with is ridiculous. One of the new events is a bed-making contest, which is just, like, what? But okay, fine. Let’s say there’s someone on your team who is awesome at making beds. You can’t just put that person in the bed-making contest. Names will be drawn at random to decide who will participate in each event. I think this is really dumb. Only Lila agrees with me.
The day is broken up into three parts. First, the talent competition. Each team puts on a skit and performs a song. Next, Brainpower. Spelling bees and such. Then, the bed-making and wheelchair races, along with Crutch Croquet and junk like that. So, no actual sports at all. I thought this new version was supposed to accommodate everyone?
Pamela and Jessica both end up on the blue team, and they’re tied with Lila and the red team at the end of the day. The last event is the wheelchair race, and Pamela wins it for the blue team. Way to go, Pam. I’m a little confused, though. The entire book, we’re told she can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to rest her weak heart, but she can exert herself enough to win a wheelchair race? Whatever, good job, blue team. Pamela’s father sees how much everyone loves her now that she’s won something, and he decides she can stay at Sweet Valley.
Setup for the next book: Ellen and Jessica find a mysterious box buried in Ellen’s back yard.
“Unless you’re really pretty, or really good at sports, or really smart, no one notices you.”
That’s right, Liz. If you’re not doing anything terribly noticeable, you probably won’t get noticed.
Lila frowned. “It sounds ridiculous,” she said. “Who ever heard of a bed-making contest in a Mini Olympics?”
Indeed, Lila. I hear you, sister.
The Cover: I don’t really know what the tag line has to do with anything. “Is Jessica really as perfect as she thinks she is?” I guess? Pamela’s cute, but I hate her 80s hair. Jessica seems to be swimming in that huge pink sweatshirt.