Sweet Valley Twins Super Edition #2: Holiday Mischief

The Moral of the Story: It’s okay to sneak off into a strange city as long as you solve a crime while you’re at it.

The Big Deal: Choir competition in Washington, D.C.

Classmate with a Problem: Anna Barrett, can’t sing

Synopsis:

The Sweet Valley Middle School choral group is going to Washington, D.C. for a competition. Anna Barrett tells the twins she just HAS to go to Washington. Anna is adopted and she recently came across a letter to her adoptive parents from someone in Australia. The letter was about someone named Leslie. Anna thinks this must be her sister, and Leslie’s adoptive parents are in Washington with the Australian consulate. Rather than ask her parents about it, Anna decides she’ll just hop a plane to D.C. with the choir. The choir is looking for ten new members, but unfortunately, Anna can’t sing. Hey, no problem! Kids are being auditioned four at a time (why?) so Anna stands between the twins and mouths the words. Nobody can tell she’s not really singing, and she and the twins are on their way to Washington (even though we’ve been told numerous times that neither twin can carry a tune).

Everyone is excited on their first morning in Washington when they wake up and find it has snowed overnight. They go outside to play, and this bitch from another school hits Anna with a snowball. This is Sherrie Dunston from Grant Middle School in Columbus, Ohio. She’s such a good singer that Dana Larson has heard of her and is intimidated by the competition. Sherrie challenges the Sweet Valley kids to a sled race and everything is going well until Sherrie runs Jessica’s sled into a tree.

Sherrie really has it out for Anna. She says she knows Anna can’t sing and keeps trying to goad her into proving it, so Anna fakes laryngitis. To get back at Sherrie, Jessica gets a pack of fake bugs and puts them in a lozenge box. Sherrie is apparently addicted to throat lozenges and constantly has a box of them nearby. Jessica switches the boxes and Sherrie freaks out. (When I read this as a kid, I had no idea what the hell a lozenge was, which made a surprisingly large chunk of this book really confusing.)

Liz and Anna find out there’s going to be a big reception at the Australian embassy. Anna wants to sneak in but she’s hanging out with the wrong twin. Jessica decides to go instead. She and Anna get all dressed up and sneak out of the hotel. Sherrie sees them and tells Ms. McDonald, their chaperone. When the chaperones start talking about calling the police, Liz finally tells them about the party at the embassy.

Jessica and Anna manage to sneak into the reception by tagging along behind a couple, pretending to be their kids. They go upstairs and start snooping into bedrooms and find a secret office. The door starts opening so they hide behind a screen while some guy wearing a diamond ring rifles through the desk. The girls freak out a little when they discover a cute redheaded boy already in their hiding spot. He tells them to keep quiet and follow him through a panel in the wall. The bad guy hears them and starts chasing them through the secret passage. Along the way, CRB (cute redhead boy) says it was his father’s desk the spy was rummaging in. It doesn’t take long for the spy to fall behind, and the kids leave the secret passageway so CRB can tell his dad what’s going on.

CRB’s dad happens to be Mr. Linwood, the ambassador, and he lets the children lead the way while they search the embassy for this horrible spy. They don’t find him in any of the bedrooms, so they go to the kitchen. The chef walks in and Jessica recognizes his diamond ring. She makes a fuss until the guards catch him, and the real chef is found tied up and gagged in a pantry.

Once things calm down a little, Anna asks CRB if he has a sister named Leslie. CRB says he’s Leslie. He and the girls tell the ambassador everything. The Sweet Valley teachers come barging into the embassy to find their missing students, and the ambassador then explains everything to them. Nobody gets into any trouble, of course, and Jessica and Anna get their picture in the paper.

The ambassador calls Anna’s parents that night, and they flight out to D.C. the next morning so they can all have a family discussion. The parents explain that Leslie and Anna were kept secret from each other because Mr. Linwood was involved in some top secret government stuff at the time of the adoption and it was safer…or something. Anyway, Sweet Valley wins the choir competition and all is right with the world.

Quotes:

“Remember when Ms. McDonald told us we had great soprano voices and we should be in choir?” said Jessica.

No, but I remember in multiple other books that both twins are described as being utterly unable to sing.

[Jessica] sighed. “I could get used to this,” she said. “Dressing up every day and being waited on constantly. I want to stay here forever!”

“Jess, what’re you saying?” cried Elizabeth, feeling a little hurt. “You love Sweet Valley!”

Shut up, Liz.

Just as he pushed the bolt into place, they heard the man enter the nursery and curse. “Where are you? You can’t get away from me, you rotten kids!”

This entire book reads like a Scooby Doo episode.

“You mean you got into the choral group and you can’t sing?” Mrs. Isaacs practically screeched. Her face had turned beet red.

That’s this chaperone’s first reaction to hearing about Anna’s long lost brother and the fact that she just caught a spy.

The Cover: Anna kind of looks like Enid.

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Comments
  • pibetaalpha March 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I loved the description of the girls’ party dresses that they wear to the embassy.

    I also loved how the choir teacher sends twelve-year-old Jessica and Anna, unchaperoned, back to the hotel in a cab so that Anna can change her sweater. That wouldn’t have happened even back then when the book was actually published.

    [Reply]

  • Amiee March 29, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Wow you’d think with the Australia connection I would have lapped this up as a kid. But I barely even remember the cover let alone the plot. Nice recap though!

    [Reply]

  • Whallie April 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Sherrie’s going to have a hard core drug addiction by the time she’s 16. It always starts with a box of lozenges. LOL

    [Reply]

  • Suckie Stackhouse April 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    For reelz, why the hell is Enid in the twin’s middle school? Shouldn’t she be busy drugging it up and killing people? Hey – maybe Enid is Sherrie, got started on meth because of throad lozenges (as per Whallie’s post), and didn’t want anyone to remember her so she changed her name to Enid. And because the twins seem to remember anything from book to book (thanks, ghostwriters), she got to be a brand new person in high school.

    [Reply]

  • Busty St. Clair May 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I would have been super confused about the lozenge, too, when I was a kid. I can’t believe I never read this one. I mean it’s probably best for my brain I didn’t because I am convinced these books melted a little piece of brain matter every time I read one.

    That doesn’t bode well for me and the stack of Sweet Valley books I have back in Seattle.

    [Reply]

  • Kanna-Chan September 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

    In Jessica the Rockstar, it says that Jessica has a “pleasant” sounding voice when she isn’t doing her Melody Power imitation. It’s also brought up in “Who Will Be Miss Unicorn” when Mandy comments that she has a nice voice when she stays in her own range.

    [Reply]

  • Krista December 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It is possible that the twin’s had nicer singing voices when they were young than when they were older – I know because I had a lovely little soprano voice up until about 13/14. Then puberty hit, my voice deepened, and well, it’s best not to talk about my singing voice now.

    But I was also always pleased that both twins sucked at singing in the SVH (and I think it was mentioned in SVU as well), since it was apparently their ONE notable flaw (you know, beyond having undiagnosed personality disorders).

    [Reply]

  • Isabel E. December 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    This was one of my favorite twins books… I think I read it more than once.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous April 3, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Wow, I seriously think you’re onto something.

    [Reply]

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