Dawn and the Big Sleepover

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Dawn and the Big Sleepover
Author Peter Lerangis
Series Regular
Tagline This was going to be one long night!
Number of Pages 138
Date Published May 1991
Number in Series 44

Dawn and the Big Sleepover is the forty-fourth book in the Baby-sitters Club series.


Plot synopsis

Main plot

All the second- through fifth-grade students at Stoneybrook Elementary School have been exchanging letters with children of the Zuni American Indian tribe in New Mexico, as part of the Pens Across America program. When they find out that the Zuni children's school, and some of their homes, have been destroyed by a fire, the kids are devastated. Dawn wants to help the BSC's charges feel better, and also help the Zuni people, and comes up with an idea to involve SES in a giant fundraiser and food and clothing drive.

Dawn contacts her brother Jeff's old teacher at SES, Ms. Besser, who brings up the plan at SES and immediately gets the school's support. The rest of the BSC gets involved in planning, and they decide to hold a giant sleepover at SES at the end of the fundraiser for all the kids who participate. They're not sure how to spread the word to SES students, until Charlotte Johanssen suggests they have a school assembly, which they do.

To raise money, many charges of the BSC come up with creative ideas. Dawn and Mary Anne collect food and clothing donations in the Schafers' barn, but find that many kids have made "unauthorized donations," at which point they start requiring permission slips with every drop-off.

The sleepover finally arrives, with a few hitches. Almost a hundred kids sign up. Mr. Morton, the owner of Pizza Express, almost has to cancel his delivery, but is able to make it with some pizzas made with whole-wheat flour. A Stoneybrook News reporter and photographer come by and interview some children. Dawn hands out prizes to the kids for their fundraising efforts, donated by The Toy Chest. The BSC leads the kids in games and then reads aloud to them. Dawn reveals the amount of money that was raised ("a phenomenonal total"). They manage to get all the kids to bed, but spend a restless evening helping with homesickness and bathroom disasters. In the morning, volunteers make pancakes for everyone in the SES cafeteria.

Later that day, the BSC packs up the food and clothing donations and sends them, along with a check, to the Zuni reservation. A week later they receive a letter from the principal of the Zuni elementary school, who thanks them for their efforts and tells them that many of the Zuni children have been inspired to do their own fundraising.

Secondary plot

To raise money for their pen-pals, the Pikes hold a carnival in their backyard. Adam and Byron set up a free throw contest using the Pike's basketball hoop for a quarter a try. Nicky and Jordan create a grab bag with little prizes. Vanessa and Margo create a fishing pond out of a wading pool and plastic ducks, and Jessi and Keisha take pictures of people in a pretty spot in the garden for a fee, as well as selling candid shots. Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold organize a ringtoss, David Michael Thomas sells plastic name tags, and Linny Papadakis runs a magic show

Haley Braddock runs a fortune-telling booth on the sidewalk under the name Madame Leveaux. The Rodowskys host a garage sale, where it's discovered that several neighborhood kids have donated their parents' possessions without asking permission (the parents are good-spirited about the mistake and either let their stuff be sold or buy it back). Charlotte Johanssen and Haley receive letters from their pen pals about how much the donations were appreciated.

Other plot information

Clients in this book

Other characters

Places in this book

Things in this book

Notable fashion

A pink, off-the-shoulder blouse with huge polka dots and a ragged bottom over black tights. Her hair is in a ponytail of top of her head held up by a barrette in the shape of a bone. - Claudia


  • The Zuni reservation and its people make another appearance in SS14, BSC in the USA.
  • This book was translated in French by Héritages Jeunesse and its title is "Diane et la super pyjamade".
  • This is the first book in the series written by Peter Lerangis.
  • This book is dedicated to Harry and Sandy Colt for "their information on Zuni culture".

Back cover

A bunch of kids at Stoneybrook Elementary have pen pals at a school in New Mexico. The Baby-sitters love hearing the letters that Charlotte, Becca and the Pike children get from their new friends.

Then the bad news reaches Stoneybrook: their pen pals' school has been destroyed by a fire. Dawn is so upset that she organizes a fund-raiser for them. And as a reward to all the kids who help out, she is going to throw a gigantic sleepover!

A hundred kids, thirty pizzas - will Dawn survive her biggest baby-sitting job ever?

The Baby-sitters Club
Preceded by
Stacey's Emergency

Dawn and the Big Sleepover Followed by
Kristy and the Baby Parade
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