Maria just got a video camera after her dad upgraded to a new model. Even though she has no experience using a camera, she agrees to tape the Boosters doing a new routine at the opening of the mall's food court. Elizabeth comes over to give her some advice and show her what to do.
The next day, they arrive at the mall and start shooting. Just as Jessica goes to jump on the top of the pyramid, there's a loud noise and some shouts. Someone broke into the jewelry store and stole some money. Though Elizabeth wants to investigate, Ned and Alice finally grow a pair. They tell her to stay out of it and let the police handle the robbery.
When the Boosters get together to look at the video, they find out that Maria had no clue what she was doing. The whole video is out of focus or doesn't show the Boosters at all. They all make fun of her, which somehow leads to them fighting among themselves. Jessica makes a comment about how she's the best and the only one worthy of being on the top of the pyramid. Lila challenges her to a contest to see who really is the best. They do a bunch of random contests that are completely ridiculous.
Since the opening of the food court is such a big deal, Elizabeth has to cover it for the Sixers. This is really just an excuse for her to constantly go to the mall and look for evidence. Even Maria and Amy don't want to take part because they're a little too scared. Liz tells MacDuff, the head of security, that her friend filmed on the day of the robbery. Someone then breaks into Maria's house but couldn't find the tape. They watch it and see that whoever did the robbery had a hand tattoo.
There are a series of other robberies at the mall. Jessica and Elizabeth decide that the thief was MacDuff. While all this is going on, Jessica and Lila do their contests. Lila wins a few times, Jess wins a few times, and they finally tie. They wind up going head to head in a hot dog eating contest, which Lila actually wins. Not only does she get to be on the top of the pyramid, but she gets first choice when the Boosters pick their costumes for a grand gala for the food court. Yes, I'm serious. Liz gets caught sneaking around the security area. Ned and Alice have to come and pick up Liz and Jessica who is literally green from eating so much.
Cut to the big gala night. Elizabeth, Amy, and Maria show up and get inside. Liz thinks it's weird that there's a guy hanging around and working as a waiter because she saw him at all the places that were robbed. Jessica picks her costume last and keeps trying to hide from people because she's so embarrassed. There is another robbery and to no surprise, it's not the security guard but the weird guy who keeps hanging around. He rushes off, Jessica hears people shouting, and she tackles him. We then find out that she had to dress up like a giant hot dog.
The next day there is a story in the newspaper about the twins. Jessica hates it because they published a picture of her in her hot dog costume. Ned and Alice suddenly have no problem with the twins doing dangerous things, and even Steven is relatively proud of them.
*Jessica wins a bike race on an obstacle course and wins at a how many grapes can you fit in your mouth contest. Lila wins at walking around the top of a fence and the hot dog eating contest, which is weird.
*They literally have to walk across the top of a four foot high fence on a three inch wide plank. Jessica falls off and somehow doesn't hurt herself. That seems really dangerous.
*Reading this book was like watching Master Chef Junior. They keep going into all this depth and detail about each restaurant, like sixth graders care about that.
*The hot dog eating contest is really not fair. They don't just eat hot dogs, they pick things off the menu. There's a hot dog with fries all around it, a sausage stuffed inside a hot dog, a hot dog wrapped in a big biscuit, and stuff like that. How do you decide who ate more? Not all are exactly the same size.
*There's also a turkey dog served on a bed of noodles with a side of stir fried vegetables. That sounds disgusting.
*The “new” restaurants include a Mexican place, a Chinese place, a hot dog place, a potato place, and a smoothie place. Liz writes in her review that the mall never had a Mexican restaurant before, which I find hard to believe.
*She also writes an article with something like, “the mall always ignored our friends south of the border, which, in this writer's opinion, is sad” and later writes about Todd in a way like, “one diner, who this writer finds has a bottomless stomach.” Yet in other books she's all about how writers never use their own opinions and should always be impartial.
*The gala is ridiculous! The food court opens and then weeks later has some big fancy party. Ned wears a tuxedo, and Alice wears a blue evening gown. All the food served at the party comes from the food court. Nothing says fancy dress party like mashed potatoes and hot dogs!
*Lila's dad actually shows up in this one to take care of her! He makes her drink water with Alka Seltzer and is worried that the hot dogs made her sick.
*Elizabeth looks like a man on the cover. That is all.