This is a girls’ series about friendship and growing up written during the ’80s and ’90s. Four friends, Kate, Stephanie, Lauren, and Patti, love to have sleepovers. Lauren and Kate have known each other the longest, having gone to school together since they were in kindergarten. By the time the series starts, Stephanie has become their friend, having moved to their town, Riverhurst, from the city. In the first book, Patti has just moved to their town, also from the city, and Stephanie, realizing that she and Patti went to school together before, persuades the others to let her join their group of friends.
The four friends have different interests and personalities. Kate Beekman hates sports but loves movies of any kind, even the bad ones. She’s a very practical person. Lauren Hunter does like sports and is very imaginative and somewhat superstitious. Stephanie Green is very outgoing and sometimes misses the excitement and sophistication of living in a big city, but shy Patti Jenkins prefers living in a smaller town.
Their love of sleepovers ties the friends together as they help each other through changes in their lives and the trials and tribulations that preteen girls can go through with school, family, special projects, crushes, and other friends. They are all fifth graders.
#1 Patti’s Luck
Patti moves from the big city to the smaller town where the other girls live. Recognizing her as a former classmate, Stephanie invites her to join the group of friends she has sleepovers with. But, ever since Patti arrived, bad things have been happening. Is Patti bad luck?
#2 Starring Stephanie
Stephanie was hoping for a part in the school play, but Patti ends up getting it instead, even though she’s more shy. Stephanie worries that her dreams of being a video star are doomed.
#3 Kate’s Surprise
The other girls decide to throw a surprise party for Kate’s birthday, but when they get too wrapped up in the planning and keeping secrets, Kate gets mad at them for ignoring her.
#4 Patti’s New Look
A personality quiz convinces Patti that she’s too boring. When she tries changing herself to seem more exciting, she starts getting on her friends’ nerves.
#5 Lauren’s Big Mix-Up
The girls go to visit a friend in the city, but everything goes wrong, starting when Lauren accidentally picks up the wrong suitcase at the bus station.
#6 Kate’s Camp-Out
Kate’s family takes the girls camping, and at first, it seems like everything is going wrong. Then, ghost stories about the area inspire the girls to go on a ghost hunt.
#7 Stephanie Strikes Back
The friends join the school’s new video club, but when the club’s president won’t allow them to make videos because she wants the club to be for sixth graders only, Stephanie decides that she’s going to do something about it.
#8 Lauren’s Treasure
A class trip to a dig site leads to an important discovery by Lauren.
#9 No More Sleepovers, Patti?
Patti finds out that her family might have to move to another state, and the others worry about what will happen to their group if they lose one of their members.
#10 Lauren’s Sleepover Exchange
The friends are hoping to do something special for some exchange students from another school, but nothing is going quite the way they had hoped.
#11 Stephanie’s Family Secret
Stephanie isn’t sure what’s happening when her parents seem to be keeping secrets from her. Her friends are hopeful that they’re planning a special surprise for her, but Stephanie fears that the secret is something bad.
#12 Kate’s Sleepover Disaster
The girls become exchange students, going to visit a school in the country, but Kate isn’t happy at the home where she’s staying. Her new friend’s siblings are driving her crazy!
#13 Patti’s Secret Wish
Patti has been acting strange lately, avoiding her friends and giving false excuses. When the other girls catch her out with an older boy, they decide to find out what’s really going on.
#14 Lauren Takes Charge
Lauren’s mother gets a new job, so Lauren is on her own more at home. She likes some of the freedom that comes with the change, but the extra responsibilities are starting to get to her.
#15 Stephanie’s Big Story
#16 Kate’s Crush
Stephanie’s grandmother takes the girls to a dude ranch in Arizona, but Kate’s obsession with a strange guest causes problems.
#17 Patti Gets Even
The girls attempt to prove to a boy that girls aren’t stupid by winning contests at the Winter Carnival, but they may have gotten themselves in over their heads.
#18 Stephanie and the Magician
A new magician in town who always wears a mask poses a threat to the friends’ party business, but when they try to learn his real identity, it proves harder than they expected.
#19 The Great Kate
Kate tells the others that she doesn’t believe in things like telekinesis, and they decide to play a joke to convince her that it’s real.
#20 Lauren in the Middle
Lauren makes friends with the new girl in class, Ginger, but it causes problems with the friends she already has.
#21 Starstruck Stephanie
When the girls’ favorite tv star comes to town, they try to think of ways that they can meet him. Unfortunately, Stephanie takes things way too far.
#22 The Trouble With Patti
Patti’s uncle is staying with her while her parents are out of town, but he’s depressed about his girlfriend leaving him. Can Patti and her friends find him another to cheer him up?
#23 Kate’s Surprise Visitor
The girls are trying to help plan a costume party at their school, but crushes on a couple of older boys end up getting in their way.
#24 Lauren’s New Friend
The girls end up sharing a cabin with a girl named Bitsy on a class trip. Bitsy always seemed a little strange to them, but they learn some surprising things about her, especially after they get lost on a hike.
#25 Stephanie and the Wedding
The girls are excited about being in Patti’s uncle’s wedding, but something’s upsetting Stephanie. Does it have something to do with the owner of that old class ring they found?
#26 The New Kate
Kate comes back from a trip with the Video Club with a new look and an attitude to go with it. Why has she changed, and what can her friends do to get her to change back?
#27 Where’s Patti?
Stephanie’s grandmother takes the friends to Crab Island for a weekend so they can go to the festival there. At first, the girls are having fun and competing against the Tyler twins in all the contests, but soon the other girls notice that Patti keeps slipping away on them. Where is she going and what is bothering her?
Lauren’s family moves to a new house, and not only is it farther away from her friends, but it also looks haunted! But, while Lauren is worrying about the new house, the girls come to believe that one of her new neighbors may actually be a princess!
#29 Kate the Boss
The girls end up having to work with obnoxious Ginger on a float for the homecoming parade. To their surprise, Ginger actually has some pretty good ideas for the float, and Kate gets on their nerves by becoming too bossy.
#30 Big Sister Stephanie
Stephanie’s baby siblings are driving her crazy with their constant crying. But, for some reason, then Stephanie starts hanging around with Kate’s little sister, Melissa. She acts like she wants to be Melissa’s big sister instead.
#31 Lauren’s Afterschool Job
Lauren takes an afterschool job in an antiques store but realizes that Ginger works nearby. Then, for some reason, Ginger seems to be unusually friendly with Patti. Why?
#32 A Valentine for Patti
Patti tries to make friends with a new girl in class who is very shy and to help her brother fit in after he moves up a grade in school.
#33 Lauren’s Double Disaster
Lauren hates it when she finds out that her teacher wants everyone to participate in the school’s art fair because she doesn’t think that she’s any good at art, but a new friend helps her to change her mind.
#34 Kate the Winner!
When Kate wins six tickets to Wilderness World in a raffle, she has a problem: she can’t take her whole family and all of her friends at once because they are short one ticket. The girls decide that they will just have to earn the money to buy the extra ticket, but that turns out to be complicated.
#35 The New Stephanie
After a magazine quiz convinces Stephanie that she isn’t nice enough, she goes overboard in her efforts to be nicer.
#36 Presenting Patti
The girls are attending a conference at a college when Patti discovers that Lauren entered her essay in a contest without telling her. Now that Patti has won the contest, she’s going to have to read her essay in public before a large audience, and she’s terrified!
#37 Lauren Saves the Day
Lauren becomes concerned when a new teacher expects them to dissect animals. When she leads a campaign against dissection, she ends up getting caught up in other causes, too.
#38 Patti’s City Adventure
The girls go on a trip to the city for Patti’s birthday, but then they become separated. Surprisingly, this disaster works out for the best.