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The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki

Dawn's Book is the third of the six Portrait Collection books published by Scholastic from 1994-1997.


Dawn thought she had escaped the Stoneybrook Middle School assignment of writing her autobiography, only to find that Janet Granger, her first period English teacher at Vista Private School had assigned the same assignment. Dawn recollects some of the most important parts of her life not chronicled in the BSC series. Dawn received an A- for content and a B for presentation on her finished project.

Back Cover Summary

I thought I had escaped having to write my autobiography at SMS. But no! I move all the way back to California, and what do I find? My English teacher assigned the very same project.

So here I am with lots of memories of both California and Connecticut. There was the time I met my future best friend Sunny and thought she was a weirdo. And there were baby-sitting adventures, like the day I was a hero, and the day I really blew it.

Now that I'm finished, I'm kind of glad I had to write my autobiography. You know what? I've had a pretty interesting life!

Chapter 1

Summary Dawn narrates who her friends and family are while she got ready for her day and heads over to Sunny's house.


  • Schafer House
  • Winslow House


Part 1: West Coast Beginnings

Dawn 3 years old with parents and baby brother

The birth of Dawn's brother, Jeff Schafer.

Dawn details her life from birth until age seven in this section. She recalls how she seemed to be born for the beach. Her most potent memories from this time are the moment Jeff is born (when she becomes rather jealous of him for taking her parents' affections away from her) and when she was in nursery school with her friend Ruthie Robillard. Dawn and Ruthie both loved the Madeline books and playing with blocks. Each day they would build a block model of Paris only to have two boys Harry and Jackie come kick it over. One day they used their school glue on the blocks so when the boys came to kick it over, the blocks didn't crash everywhere. Dawn and Ruthie had to wash off all the blocks, which Dawn didn't consider punishment because she got to play in the water.


  • Schafer House
  • Unnamed nursery school


Part 2: The New Girl on the Block

Sunny Winslow and Dawn age 6

Dawn and Sunny Winslow.

When Dawn was six, a new girl, Sunny Winslow, moved into the house two doors down from her. Dawn remembers that the family seemed rather strange with hippie clothing, flowers painted on their car, etc. Sunny and Dawn end up playing together a little bit every day but Dawn is wary of the strange new girl and her strange ways. For instance, Sunny didn't have a TV nor did she play with Barbies (or anything made out of plastic). One day, their mothers take the girls shopping at Bamberger's Department store. Dawn decides to take Sunny to the second floor to look at Barbies while their mothers look at housewares on the sixth floor. Suddenly a storm comes and the power goes out but Sunny is rather calm about the entire situation. Sunny takes charge of the situation and helps Dawn find their mothers, who were stuck in an elevator due to the storm. From that moment on, Sunny and Dawn considered themselves best friends.



Part 3: Golden Anniversary

Granny Pop-Pop 50th wedding anniversary

Granny and Pop-Pop's 50th wedding anniversary.

When Dawn was about ten years old, her grandparents, Rita & Charles Porter (Granny & Pop-pop), celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Dawn's family decides to surprise them by taking a family vacation to San Francisco. Dawn remembers seeing her grandparents bicker about different things and worrying that they weren't in love anymore. She also recalls her parents acting very happy and very much in love with kisses and hand holding. She and her family tour the city, including Chinatown, Fishermans Wharf, and Steinhart Aquarium. On the night of the anniversary party, the family eats dinner at the revolving Equinox restaurant on the top of the Hyatt Regency hotel. Dawn and Jeff give their grandparents frames with their school pictures, Jack & Sharon give them the trip to San Francisco and tickets to see the opera in New York, Rita gives her husband an engraved watch and Charles gives Rita a ring, mimicking the time he asked her to marry him. Dawn doesn't say it specifically, but this seems to be one of the last times she can recall seeing her parents so happy and in love.


  • Schafer House
  • San Francisco


Part 4: Fire!

Dawn Palo City newspaper community hero

Dawn was awarded a community hero medal for quick action during a fire.

Dawn's parents were on the downward slide of their marriage the year she turned twelve. That also happened to be the year that Dawn was terrified of her house burning down. Dawn spent a lot of time going over fire safety with her family, including one middle of the night impromptu fire drill. One day, she baby-sat for her next door neighbors Clover & Daffodil Austin when she noticed the smell of smoke in the Austin kitchen. Dawn calmly took charge of the situation and got the girls out of the house and to her house next door. She called the fire department and Mrs. Austin while keeping the girls calm. The fire department came and put out the fire, confining damage only to the kitchen. The fire was caused by a faulty wiring circuit. As a result of her efforts, Palo City awarded Dawn with a Community Hero medal.


  • Austin House
  • Schafer House
  • City hall reception room


Part 5: A New Life on the East Coast

Dawn with the BSC

Dawn with her new friends, the Baby-sitters Club.

After her parents divorce, Dawn moves with her mother and brother to Stoneybrook. Dawn hadn't been a member of the The Baby-Sitters Club for very long when she takes a job baby-sitting for Sandra Lazar. Dawn baby-sat for the Lazar family twice but did something she was not proud of. On her first day baby-sitting for the family, Dawn finds a letter from Stoneybrook Elementary School stating Sandra will have to repeat second grade. Dawn inadvertently tells Sandra this. Mrs. Lazar finds out that Dawn had been reading their mail and never calls the BSC again for a sitter. Dawn is not proud of this. In fact, her autobiography is the first time Dawn has spoken of the situation. Ironically, the incident at the Lazars happens after a BSC meeting where Kristy goes over basic rules for baby-sitting, and she specifically mentions a no-snooping rule.


  • Kishi House
  • Lazar House


Chapter 15

Summary Dawn summarizes how she feels about her autobiography as she talks to Sunny on her way to school. She receives her final grade on her assignment.



Pop Culture and Real-Life References

  • Madeleine books
  • Sesame Street
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Gameboy

Continuity and Inconsistencies



  • Dawn suggests going to New York City for her grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. But in Stacey's Mistake, New York City makes her nervous.
  • In the section "The Golden Anniversary", Pop-Pop mentions that Sharon and Jack have been married for 15 years. However, in Dawn's Wicked Stepsister, Dawn says that her parents divorced after being married for 14 years.
  • In The Ghost at Dawn's House, Dawn mentions that her grandparents are about 60 or 63. Here Sharon mentions that her parents are pushing 80.
  • Granny's first name is Rita in this book but Grace in Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret.
  • Dawn mentions multiple times that Sunny and her mother wore long dresses that looked like nightgowns when they first moved to Palo City, including in the chapter where they go to Bamberger's Department Store. However, in the illustration of Dawn and Sunny together in that same chapter, Sunny is depicted wearing a shorter dress that comes to just below her knees.
  • In chapter 13, Mrs. Saunders calls while Dawn is babysitting. Dawn says that Mrs. Lazar isn’t there. But in other books, the club members know to never say the parents aren’t home; they say the parent can’t come to the phone at that time.


  • Dawn's first baby-sitting job was for Clover and Daffodil Austin.
  • Dawn was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Anaheim California, she was originally due on January 28 but didn't come until a week later.
  • It is suggested that Dawn got her name because that is the time of day she was born.
  • Sharon took a long walk on the beach in the hope of inducing labor, as she was a week overdue. It worked, and she thinks this is where Dawn's love of the ocean comes from.
  • Dawn was friends with Jill and Maggie before she met Sunny. But in other books, Dawn says Sunny is her oldest friend.
  • Dawn was good friends with Jill and Maggie as a kid, but in Dawn on the Coast when Sunny surprises Dawn with her babysitting club Dawn says she wasn’t really great friends with Jill and Maggie before she moved to Stoneybrook.
  • The Winslows didn't own a TV when they moved in, because they thought it rotted people's minds.
  • Some neighbors on Dawn's streets are Mrs. Stevenson and Mr. Landers.
  • Dawn eats chicken tacos at the department store, chicken divan at the anniversary party, and chicken at a barbecue.
  • She finishes writing her autobiography by ten o'clock on a Thursday night.
  • Dawn gets an A- for content in her paper and a B for presentation.
  • The section titled A New Life on the East Coast is set between the events of Dawn and the Impossible Three and Kristy's Big Day.
  • Buddy, Suzi, and Marnie are never seen and only mentioned in chapters 14 and 12.


Baby-Sitters Club Books
The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House
Super Specials
#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
Portrait Collection
Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021) | The Official Coloring Book (2023)