All the points awarded for being just absolutely crazy.
This is the last of the novels and anthologies Random House published for Mattel. To my knowledge no other full-length chapter book has been produced since. Subsequent books in the '70s, '80s and on have a shorter page count and are geared towards a younger audience. Is it because children cease playing with dolls at a younger age than they used to? It's too bad these stopped, because they were just starting to get REALLY interesting.
Barbie and her family are spending a winter holiday with friends in California. They have plans to fly home to Willows for Christmas eve, but Mr. Roberts had business things to do and nicely invited his family along. The Murchisons have two boys: 18-year-old, beefy, goatee'd Pete who loves science and 14-year-old Larry whose characterization is that he's a boy.
At a backyard barbeque, Skipper and Barbie are challenged by the brothers on their ability to survive in the wilderness and are jokingly invited on a camping trip in the desert. The girls call their bluff and set out to the Mojave desert with them the next morning.
There's car trouble on a back road, but fortunately a town is just in site on the horizon. The four make the journey and discover its a ghost town.
They are then shot at. A prospector out of central casting is mighty suspicious of these suburban kids and their undoubted lust for his gold. They are rescued by a mute Hispanic boy, who leads them to an idyllic pueblo 'castle' built by an older couple.
The older couple, the Bonesteels, welcome the children, but they have no telehone and it seems like their car is out of order, too! Coincidence? Barbie and Skipper are stuck and risk missing their flight home for Christmas, which devastates Skipper.
This book is very hard to find and over 50 years old, but is so bonkers I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might get their hands on it. Things get really weird, but somehow it all works out in the end with a little help from guns, a mule named Mirabel, a cigar store Indian, and dress-up. There's a real mystery here and moments of real danger for Barbie, Skipper and their friends.
Skipper wears 'Day at the Fair' #1911, which included a miniature Barbie doll! Barbie is in the classic early outfit 'Sweater Girl' #976, complete with accessories. The necklace is not Mattel, but was issued by Cleinman and Sons as part of a matching set of jewelry for Barbie and owner and advertised in Christmas catalogs in the early '60s.
Barbie Random House Novels
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