The Night the Whole Class Slept Over Author:Stella Pevsner Grade 5-7 — Dan Wakefield is tired of being dragged from home to home by his hippie mother, ever in search of settings to spark her artistic creativity. His father, a college professor, has sacrificed his career to support her wishes; neither parent seems to realize the hidden emotional costs of the frequent moves. The boy feels inadequate and re... more »sents being deprived of long-term friends, while his younger sister simply refuses to talk.
When Dan confides in his grandmother, his life begins to change in positive ways. He finds himself in a real school with a new best friend, Felix; a most attractive love interest, Amanda; and eccentric B. J., a girl who plagues him. When the annual sixth-grade sleep over is held at the library, all of these elements collide in a cyclone of ice, power outages, and hilarity.
Through careful characterization and plot development, Pevsner allows readers to examine various dynamics: the grandparents believe that family is paramount and almost smother his mother; in reaction, she espouses "do your own thing" ideals; while Felix must function with an indifferent, yuppie set of parents. Through the sympathetic intervention of other adults, Dan's life is set to rights in a satisfying way.« less