Sixth Grade Sleepover


I didn’t reread this one, but it totally popped into my mind. I got it from those book order catalogs that you would get in school. The other kids would get the sticker posters and the Dynamite magazines, but I would get a shitload of books. Because my parents were good like that. This was one. The sixth grade were having a sleepover (dur) and the main character is anxious about it because she is deathly afraid of the dark and doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Not going is apparently not an option, besides, why miss out on all the fun? She and her best friend go shopping for new pajamas, which they described in detail, which is a requirement for mentioning any clothes in a YA book. And then she goes to the sleepover and does ok, but spends half the night in the bathroom. I know there were other people to help her through it and she triumphs in the end.

I thought the idea of a school sleepover was fantastic, and I got my wish in eight grade when my jr high had an Awake-a-thon, where we all stayed awake for a whole night in the gym for charity. I don’t know whose bright idea that was, it is not really healthy for kids to stay up all night. I remember mostly dancing to Paula Abdul on someone’s boom box to pass the time. I came home and fell asleep in my breakfast, head first, just like on tv.

24 thoughts on “Sixth Grade Sleepover

  1. The Kuus says:

    I remember this book; I really liked it as a kid.

    We used to have a “lock-in dance” every year when I was in high school, which is sort of the same thing, but since no one appeared to be afraid of the dark, I guess it wasn’t really.

  2. Chris says:

    This is the one with R.A.B.B.I.T.S., right? Read a book, bring it to school? And wasn’t there a girl who couldn’t read, but carried books around anyway? I always always wanted a school sleepover after this!

  3. tinypants says:

    We totally had a school sleepover when I was in fourth grade! But we actually did sleep. It had something to do with reading … like the sleepover was our reward for completing some number of books maybe? I don’t remember. But the fact that I don’t remember it ending in or otherwise involving any kind of mental anguish or humiliation suggests to me that it was, indeed, pretty fun.

    Just seeing the little apple next to that triangle-shaped notch I will say makes my heart skip a beat when I see it now in used bookstores — like yes! I might remember/have totally loved this book!

  4. Merrie says:

    My entire fifth grade class went on an overnight field trip to Spirit Lake, which was fun, but we were divided into cabins, so it wasn’t like a large sleepover, but close enough!

    I had totally forgotten about this book until just now!

  5. BadKat says:

    I twisted the shit out of my knee trying to dance like Paula Abdul in Straight Up at a sleepover once. And I almost fell asleep (um, I mean passed out) in my dinner on vacation in February. Not from lack of sleep, but after an afternoon drinking double rum punches at the swim up bar. I have no excuses for myself…

  6. Shannon River says:

    I remember the description of the PJs. One was like the Yankee or Dodger baseball teams. I’m pretty sure it was the Dodgers. And the other one was pink.

    LOL. YAY for memories! I’m going to have to try to track some of these books down now.

  7. Melissa says:

    Wait, was this the one with the R.A.B.B.I.T.S? Is that where the girl who couldn’t read got the books on tape or something? Like her grandfather was blind and she would listen to the tapes with him? I keep thinking about that book but can’t remember what it was.

  8. fast times at sweet valley high says:

    This totally reminds me of 5th grade. I got mine from one of those book orders too; (my mom was teh coolness in getting me the books I wanted from there. I did wonder, though, how someone in sixth grade could still be so afraid of the dark (I never had a lot of problems with it myself).

    BadKat, that sounds like a great vacation. I’d have given my left … extremity .. to have been in a climate where I’d be toasty while hanging out at the swim-up bar.

  9. BadKat says:

    fast times at svh,
    Considering it was about 40 below zero for the month before and after I went, I almost gave my left arm, leg and eye. Seriously, I spent weeks looking for a cheap deal on Orbitz.

  10. Kristin says:

    I’m so jealous of all of you who got books from the book order. My dad would never let me get anything. Occasionally he would let me order something but ONLY if it had won the Newbery prize. No, I am not kidding.

    I had to get all my YA series fixes from the library.

  11. Andrea says:

    Wasn’t this where the girl was afraid of the dark because she had a babysitter who locked her in the closet? and she thought the vacuum cleaner was a witch or something? that freaked me the heck out.

  12. Robyn says:

    I loved this book, if it’s the one I think it is. The girl who can’t read, I think her name’s Patty, carries around kiddie books to teach herself to read but claims they are actually for her non-existent kid sister.

    And after breakfast, they release balloons that had the number of books that they read during their sleepover readathon and there was somethong apropos about the situation.

    And that’s when I learnt the word apropos.

    I don’t know why I remember this so vividly, but I know that I tots hearted this book!

  13. Rachel K says:

    Robyn, I learned “apropos” from this book too!
    I thought the author handled the child abuse subplot (fear of the dark from being locked in the closet) really well. I remember thinking if it had been a plot in SVH it would have happened to a minor character that Liz tried to “help” and would have somehow resulted in one of the twins getting kidnapped because the back-for-revenge babysitter was “blinded by their beauty” or something.

  14. athenasmom says:

    I loved this book! There was also an actual rabbit owned by the RABBITS faculty sponsor. The rabbit hid in Janie’s (the main character) sleeping bag while Janie was hiding out in the bathroom. The rabbit had babies, and Janie had to use the sleeping bag without the lining. Also, I think her pajamas were pink and white striped.

  15. Lemur says:

    Isn’t this the one where she has a major crush on some guy and wacks him in the nose while playing blindman’s bluff or something like that? The whole rabbit thing sounds so familiar …

    • Anonymous says:

      YES YES! Finally somebody hits in the ROMANCE aspect! No wonder I’m such a romance junkie, I learned it early. She finally finds out the he liked her too and their balloons. . .linked together. . .awww. How do I remember this? Also she WAS abused! I never put that together. I am 34 years old and it has been great reliving this! Thank you! I also learned about pinching your cheeks to make them blush from this book.

  16. pinkaardvark says:

    Her crush was Blake. Her best friend was Claudia, and she hooked up with some guy she was crushing on too, who always wore a Dodgers’ cap. There was this bitchy girl who put Vaseline on her eyelashes (which I tried, but never got any results from). I think the girl who couldn’t read’s name was Rosie.

    Janie had two little sisters, one of whom was named Oriana. They bought her some scented soap for the sleepover, and I remember the other sister saying, “Oriana wanted to get you Mint because the box was prettier, but I didn’t think you wanted to smell like Mint.”

    The next morning Blake picks the same color balloon as Janie to release (yellow)! Oooh, go Janie!

    And Janie’s dad put little nightlights all over the cafeteria so she wouldn’t be as scared, telling the teachers it was so the kids wouldn’t trip. Wow. I can’t believe I remember so much about a book I haven’t read in like 15 years!

    • misti says:

      I tried the Vaseline too! And you know what’s funny? My daughter came home from school the other day saying that a girl said something snotty about her shirt in the bathroom, my mind immediately went to that bitchy girl in the bathroom!

  17. Schatzi says:

    I’m another girl who picked up “apropos” from this book! I remember the teacher Goldie who wore all gold, and how people were worried about what pajamas to wear.

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