Lobotomized 1980s/1990s children's/young adult book
May 11, 2013 2:23 PM   Subscribe

This one has been driving me nuts for years, and I'm going to turn to the hive mind. When I was a kid, around 10 or 11 (making it around 1992-1993), I got a book that was something akin to the Babysitters' Club books: targeted at young girls, about a group of young girls all doing something together. The first of a potential series, although I don't know if I read any more. I remember very few details of this book other than the fact that it was mentioned that the main character/narrator's mother had had A LOBOTOMY. She had been depressed or had some other mental problem before, so she had a voluntary lobotomy and was now fun and freewheeling and wore cowboy hats in the kitchen. This wasn't an important plot point, just a throwaway character detail. If anyone has any memory or clue to what this book or book series could have been, I'd be thrilled. I'd just like to know that I'm not just making it up, for one thing.
posted by whitneyarner to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds a lot like the mother character on the Nickelodeon show Pete & Pete which came on TV around that same time.

I don't know that it's stated that she had a lobotomy specifically, but she has a (visible!) metal plate on her head and is super wacky.

Could you be conflating this with a series of books?
posted by Sara C. at 4:49 PM on May 11, 2013

Response by poster: Definitely not. Very specifically a lobotomy, very specifically a pink-covered, BSC-style book. It may have even been where I learned the word!
posted by whitneyarner at 4:59 PM on May 11, 2013

This sounds a little familiar to me also, although I can't place it. Some googling is not helping, I mostly just find links back to this post.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:56 PM on May 11, 2013

I wonder whether it was one of the Sleepover Friends books. I can't find anything with a search, though.
posted by limeonaire at 8:28 PM on May 11, 2013

Best answer: I think it's Sonya Begonia and the Eleventh Birthday Blues (Best Friends #1) by Susan Smith. Google Books will only show you a snippet but it fits.
posted by (alice) at 8:53 PM on May 11, 2013 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: OH. MY. GOD. THAT IS IT.

You are amazing.
posted by whitneyarner at 8:58 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I purchased this book for $4 on Amazon and will as soon as possible post the passage that has haunted me here.
posted by whitneyarner at 9:58 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm so disappointed. It was not as literal as I remembered.
"Your mom looks different," Angela said after the adults left.

"Yeah, I think she had a lobotomy while I was in New York," said Sonya. "She's turned into a cowgirl."

"What's a 'lobotomy'?" asked Angela.

"It's when doctors sever these nerves in your brain to make you change," Sonya explained. "They've tried it out on murderers, I think, but they aren't allowed to do it to just anyone."

"Oh. Well, your mom isn't that different," said Angela.
Twenty years! Twenty years I thought that mom had an actual lobotomy. Damn. Damn.
posted by whitneyarner at 5:32 PM on May 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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