8 x 2 = Sweet Sixteen is an original short story about Karen Brewer by Ann M. Martin first published in the book It's Great to be Eight, which is a compilations of short stories by various authors about being eight years old. The story is narrated by Karen, who will be eight in three weeks. Throughout the Baby-Sitters Little Sister she is seven years old, so this story is set after that series ends.
Back Cover SummaryEdit
Ramona Quimby is happy to be in her new school, until the yucky yard apes come along.
Poor Charlie Bucket can't wait to tear open a Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. Will there be a golden ticket inside?
Q: What should you do if it is your birthday and everyone in town has the measles? A: Have a measles birthday party!
Jimmy and his friends call themselves the Third Grade Thonkers. But is there room in the club for Jimmy's second grade cousin David?
Eight-year-old Angeline is in the sixth grade. But that doesn't make being a genius any easier.
In this collection of stories, there's a lot about being eight that is funny, exciting, sometimes hard, but mostly pretty great!
It's Great to be Eight book IntroductionEdit
“Everybody old had once been young. That was a fact. Everyone in the world — even people older than Grandfather — had started out as a baby. Of course Thomas knew this, but it was one of those things he knew, and could not make himself believe.” This is how Thomas, the main character of Mary Soltz’s book Go Fish, feels, and probably how you feel sometimes. Believe it or not, even your parents were once eight years old! And so were all of the authors of these stories. There are certain things that almost everyone experiences, such as the first day of school, fighting with your best friend, getting the measles, and even losing someone you love.
In this book you’ll meet twelve incredible characters, such as Charlie Bucket, the hero of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by the World’s Most Scrumdiddlyumptious Storyteller, Roald Dahl. Charlie is just a regular, honest kid who experiences something he will never forget when he meets the amazing Willy Wonka; and the very messy, but lovable Amber from Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger. Amber’s got just one problem — she’s about to lose her best friend. You’ll meet kids that can’t seem to stay out of trouble, such as Katie from Patricia Hermes’ Christmas Magic and Ramona from Beverly Cleary’s book [sic]. And many more courageous characters from authors such as the very funny Louis Sachar and Newbery Medal–winner [sic] Patricia MacLachlan.
Also included are two original, never-before-published stories by the best-selling author of The Baby-sitters Club series, Ann M. Martin, and by Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award–winning [sic] writer Patricia McKissack.
These stories will remind you that being eight can be magical and wonderful, sometimes lonely and hard, but also an incredible adventure. Collected here are twelve great authors known for their humor and warmth. Twelve great stories to remind you: It’s great to be eight!
8 x 2 = 16 Short StoryEdit
Many readers know Karen Brewster [sic] as the star of the Baby-sitters Little Sister, Ann M. Martin’s best-selling series. When Karen is planning to have two parties for her eighth birthday, she decides that she’s not really turning eight, but sweet sixteen. Surely sixteen is better than plain old eight. …
My name is Karen Brewer. I have freckles and I wear glasses. I live in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. I am seven years old. But not for long. Very soon I will turn eight. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I have been waiting since I turned seven.
My birthday will be in three weeks. I am going to have two parties. This is because my little brother, Andrew, and I live in two houses. Every other month we live with our mother and stepfather, Seth, in one house. In between, we live with our father, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrothers, adopted sister, and stepgrandmother across town in another house. Sometimes having two homes and two families is confusing. Mostly, I like it very much.
Guess what. Yesterday I told Andrew that since I am going to have two parties that means I will turn eighth twice. This makes me sixteen. Sixteen is a very wonderful age. I asked my mother if I could have a sweet sixteen party, and she said no, not until I am actually sixteen. I pointed out that when I am sixteen and have two sweet sixteen parties I will turn thirty-two, and Mommy said, “Just think. When you are seventy-nine, you will turn one hundred and fifty-eight. Won’t that be something?” Mommy does not always take me seriously. I knew then that she would not let me have a sweet sixteen party. Not yet. So I just planed two regular eight-year-old parties. But I could not stop thinking about being sixteen years old.
“Karen,” said Mommy one morning, “have you made your birthday list yet? I would like to get your presents. Your father would probably like a list too.”
Well, for heaven’s sake. Do you know what? I had not even thought about my birthday lists. I had been too busy thinking about turning sixteen.
“I have not made them yet!” I cried. “I forgot. But I will make them right now.”
I ran upstairs to my room. I sat down at my desk. I found a pad of paper and my pen that writes in three colors. I chose pink. I decided to make the list for Mommy first.
I made a list of things I was pretty sure Mommy could get for me — a scrapbook, a sweatshirt, a glitter-art kit. It is always better to make a list like that. One year I asked for a go-cart, a playhouse, a kitten, and my own TV. That was silly. Mommy could not get me those things, so then she just had to guess what I wanted.
I put Mommy’s list aside and started Daddy’s. The last two things on Daddy’s list were:
swing set for the backyard? (we could all enjoy it) bedtime 1/2 hour later
I looked at my two lists. I thought about them for awhile [sic]. Then I started a third list. I just could not stop thinking about turning sixteen. On top of that third piece of paper I wrote:
WHAT I WANT FOR MY 16TH BIRTHDAY
I stared out the window and thought for awhile [sic]. Bedtime one-half hour later was fine, but what I really wanted was to stay up all night.