Sweet Valley Twins #27: Teamwork

The Moral of the Story: Even a Sweet Valley book about a sad dog makes me want to cry. ALL DOGS SHOULD BE HAPPY.


The twins are bored and they want to do something special. They ask their parents if they can throw a dinner party and make a bunch of fancy food for all their friends, but the Wakefield parents think that will cost too much money and it’s not an age appropriate activity. The twins’ next big idea is to take a bus to Sandy Harbor to visit Great-Aunt Helen during an upcoming four-day weekend. Their parents tell them they can go as long as they can show they’re responsible and earn the eighty dollars or so it will cost for bus fare. Seems like it would be cheaper and safer to just let them have a dinner party.

Elizabeth decides to start a dog-walking business. Jessica doesn’t like the idea because she still hates dogs, but Liz tells her to suck it up if she wants to go to Sandy Harbor. As you’d expect, Jessica does the job for about two days and then she starts ditching Liz. On Friday afternoon, an old lady with a couple of Yorkies asks Liz if she’ll keep the dogs at her house while she goes out of town for the weekend. Ugh, didn’t we just do this? Liz manages to get Jessica to agree to watch the dogs on Saturday while she goes roller skating, but Lila and Ellen come by and invite her to the mall. Jessica is super depressed that she can’t go, but Ken Matthews comes along and says he’ll watch the dogs if she wants to go have fun. What a really nice guy.

Later that day, a man and a dog show up at the Wakefields’ house. The man introduces himself as Mr. Quincy and says he’s on his way to the airport and he needs someone to watch his dog Joe for a week. The guy is a total ass, but he’s offering forty bucks so the twins agree. The dog is dirty and skinny and nervous. Ken bathes him and notices he’s covered in cuts and bruises. The kids figure Mr. Quincy is abusing Joe, but they don’t want to tell an adult because that would show they’re not responsible enough to go to Sandy Harbor. BLARG.

Ken and the twins take excellent care of Joe, giving him good food and putting medicine on his cuts. By Thursday, Joe is acting like a pretty normal dog. The kids decide they have to think of a way to keep Mr. Quincy from taking Joe home with him. They decide to cut Joe’s fur and dye it black and tell Mr. Quincy that Joe ran away. Ken tries to convince his parents that Joe should come live with him, but they say no. The next best thing is for Joe to go live on Ken’s cousin’s ranch ten miles outside of Sweet Valley. The kids take Joe there on the bus and luckily, Ken’s cousin agrees to keep him. So that’s great, but Mr. Quincy is at the Wakefield house when the kids get there.

They tell the man his dog ran away and he gets angry and says the Wakefields will be hearing from his lawyers. *eye roll* The twins still don’t want to tell their parents what really happened, so their parents are mad at them now for being so irresponsible. The next morning, Joe shows up at the Wakefields’ house. He’s run away from the ranch and it’s raining so all the dye has washed out of his fur. The stupid Wakefield parents call Mr. Quincy (how did they get his number?) and he comes for his dog. Ken won’t let Joe go and he tells Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield about the abuse. Mr. Quincy reacts as you’d expect. “That’s an outrageous lie! Release my dog!” Joe refuses to go to him and he eventually leaves, declaring he never wants to see another dog again.

Ken’s parents show up (for some reason) just in time for the kids to explain everything that’s been happening. His parents see how responsible he’s been and they agree to let him keep Joe. The Wakefield parents think the twins should have told them about the abuse, but they agree to cover the last twenty dollars toward the trip to Sandy Harbor. Then they all eat some cake.


“I think this calls for a celebration,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “Jessica, could you help me in the kitchen?”

They returned a few minutes later with a cake Mrs. Wakefield had baked that morning.

Why in the world did she bake a cake that morning? And when? There was dog stuff going on all day.

The Cover: That dog is sad and it makes me sad.



  • Caitlin May 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I read this one several times as a kid, and it always left me bawling. Poor Joe 🙁


  • Shantel May 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Samoyeds are so beautiful!

    “Why in the world did she bake a cake that morning? And when? There was dog stuff going on all day.”
    Maybe she woke up at 3AM from a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep and decided to make a cake for dessert for the family’s next supper. Or Francine likes having characters somehow possessing a creation they claim they made during a busy schedule and the schedule offered them no time to have made the creation.


  • Amiee May 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I’d like to think this book had such an effect on me it was why I started fostering animals. But in truth I barely remembered this one. And usually anything with animals getting mistreated makes me bawl.


  • Whallie May 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Wow! Mathews is a really responsible kid, and super nice too. Probably the only one in SV. I can’t believe he got a bad rep as the dumb jock in HS. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and a good heart. It infuriates me to no end that the twins have always lied and never tell an adult about serious issues since grade school. Really bad parenting.


  • Amber May 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t really remember this one–maybe I blocked it from my memory.
    It’s so irritating how the twins and others do the stupidest things, and never get punished or any negative consequences. Shouldn’t books for kids at least have some sort of valuable lesson in them??


  • Pbellyup May 30, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Shannon, I’ve missed your updates! I always get excited when I see a new one:)
    Now after having dogs (I love love love my dogs), this story does make me sad because you hear about it so many times. What I never got when I was younger, was why Mr. Quincy paid to have someone else care for his dog when he didn’t. Wouldn’t he just leave it at his house alone for a week if he was so abusive?
    As for the cake, I thought Mrs. Wakefield always made the twins make dinner, set the table, and do the dishes, how did she have time to make a cake??


  • Krista December 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Maybe Alice is one of those women who tries to pass store-bought as her own baking.


  • Sweet Valley Forever April 21, 2017 at 7:22 am

    They think that the party will cost too much money? Have they had their operations yet? The operation to remove the sticks from their collective a$$es? Come on, Ned is a lawyer and Alice is an interior designer. They need to make up in some way for not really noticing their children and making them cook dinner all the time. For a dog which has been abused, Joe looks okay in the cover.


  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.