Sweet Valley Twins #19: The Bully
The Big Deal: Nothing special happening this week.
Dennis Cookman is a jerk. He’s a great big seventh-grader who likes to pick on all the sixth-graders. In the last week, he’s punched Jimmy Underwood in the eye, ruined Olivia’s mural and gotten Lila to give him twenty-five dollars. The sixth-graders have a meeting – at some vacant lot that’s described as a favorite place for meetings even though we’ve never heard of it – to discuss what’s to be done about this Cookman slob. Steven Wakefield wanders by, and his sage advice is to tell a teacher.
This turns out to be a bad idea. Mr. Bowman tells Dennis to straighten up, so of course Dennis just terrorizes the kids more. They come up with a plan to scare Dennis. At this vacant lot where everyone’s been having secret meetings, there’s a cave. Right. This cave is called Dead Man’s Cave and all the kids are afraid of it. Aaron’s plan is to say, in front of Dennis, that he’s going to spend the night in the cave. He knows about a hidden pipe that leads out of the cave. I guess Dennis watching him go into a cave and then come out again in the morning is supposed to be some kind of payback. I don’t know why.
The Unicorns want Grace Oliver to join in their awesomeness. They’ve decided to bring back initiation rites. They make Grace stand up and recite a poem in the middle of English class and then get her to steal a bunch of people’s history homework. Then Jessica comes up with the grand idea to make Grace eat lunch with Dennis. Grace is terrified, but she does her best to be nice to Dennis, even when he tells her to get lost. Somehow, she actually does get Dennis to eat with her and she decides he’s really not so bad.
After Aaron comes out of the cave unscathed, Ken and Jimmy each spend a night there. They figure Dennis will want to show he’s tougher than them, but Dennis is scared to sleep in the cave and he says he can’t do it because he has a sore throat. The whole school taunts him until he agrees to do it. Everyone gathers at the cave that night and Dennis goes in. And then it starts to rain. Aaron panics because he knows the cave will flood, so he and Ken go running in to save Dennis. Dennis won’t listen to them and thinks they’re just trying to get him out of the cave so they can make fun of him for being scared. Then Grace comes along and convinces Dennis the boys are telling the truth. I don’t really get what happens next, but for some reason Ken, Aaron and Jimmy have to pull Dennis out of the cave because the water is rising and…I don’t know, Dennis can’t walk out on his own, I guess. Dennis stops being mean to everyone after they save his life.
This is a terrible book.
“Well, maybe this whole thing isn’t boring after all,” Jessica pronounced, tossing back her hair. “If it’s going to make Dennis look like a baby, it might just turn out to be fun.” Her eyes sparkled. “We better make it official Unicorn business to bug him today – and to be sure to be at Larson’s lot tonight!”
It’s good to have official business to take care of.
The Cover: I LOVE Lila hiding behind Jessica.
Tags: Body Image/Self Esteem