Claudia’s doing much better the second time around in seventh grade, and has amassed a loyal group of friends. Her friends nominate her for seventh grade queen, which, of course, she wins. Her king is Mark Jaffe, who’s a cute slacker. Claudia plans this epic, ambitious ‘prom’ complete with a food and clothing drive. She and Mark squabble a bit but of course, they end up dating. Claudia also feels pulled between her (eighth-grade) BSC friends, who are kind of pissy about her queendom because ‘you’re really an eighth grader,’ and her seventh grade friends. Each group seems to be a little jealous of the other.
The Addisons are looking for a sitter for the first time since Sean caught the pyromaniac bug back in Mystery #13, and Sean is one angry kid. He’s being teased at school, and decides he’s too old for a sitter. You know how I love dysfunctional families. J
The cover: All hail Claudia! I’m surprised no one is salaaming.
Aaaaaand…the book begins with Claudia helping her classmates with their homework because she ‘gets’ it better than they do. Although, I do love her mnemonic device for remembering the classification for living things: Kindly Pass Claudia Oreos, For Goodness Sakes. (We always used King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti…because we weren’t allowed to use the original version. “No Spaghetti Before Marriage!”)
I like Russ, who says he was meant to be a pioneer in the Wild West but was born in the wrong era.
This says so much about Josh, right here. Everyone—Claudia, Josh, and their other friends Jeannie and Shira—are in Joanna’s room. Shira reminds Joanna that she’s not allowed to have boys in her room, and Joanna says, “Josh doesn’t count.” I can take that one of two ways. Either Joanna and Josh have been friends since they were in diapers, so she just considers him one of the girls, or Josh is feminine or non-threatening…and probably gay. Hell, he even briefly considers running for seventh grade queen before stating he’s the wrong gender.
By this point in the series, Claudia’s fashion is considered ‘found fashion’ and she’s described as shopping in thrift stores a lot. I guess that was the mid-nineties version of funky clothes.
Real book, one that makes MA cry (natch): Mrs. Fish, Ape, and Me, the Dump Queen (I’ve never read that. it sounds…odd.)
Babysitters Club, the Musical. Coming to Broadway next spring!
More real books, these ones for seventh graders: Call of the Wild (I read that in eighth grade and hated it, but I think that had more to do with hating the teacher than the material…) and Hatchet.
Shira’s mom is apparently an adult Dawn. She has a car covered in environmental group bumper stickers and she wants Shira to start a food drive at school. Although Dawn would probably have a bike instead of a car, because it’s more environmentally friendly.
What kind of name is Duryan? I understand that, after a while, the authors ran out of names and started digging deeper and repeating names. I’ve always loved Shira and Shiri, which is Hebrew for song or tune, and Joanna and Jeannie are pretty normal names. But the two other candidates for seventh grade queen are Abigail and Duryan. I know a Darian, and a durian is a southeastern Asian fruit, but what is Duryan?
Either Kristy thinks the ‘graduation song’ is Pumpin’ Circumstance or she knows the correct name and Claudia misheard her. I’m leaning toward the second.
The title quote is Claudia’s take after talking to Mark for the first time.
This is soooooo Mary Anne: When she takes her first job for the Addisons, the Addison parents ask to talk to her before the job begins, and she thinks they’re going to fire her before she even starts the job. I was always paranoid like that growing up: The teacher wants to talk to me, so I must be in trouble.
Later, Claudia describes Mary Anne’s emotions after discovering the truth about the Addisons as her ‘internally having a cow.’ (Okay, she didn’t say internally; that was my word. But it’s what she meant.) 1. I can’t imagine MA having a cow…unless she was fighting with Dawn. 2. I’m totally going to use that every time I pissy and don’t display it.
First Claudia confuses scepter with septic—suggesting she doesn’t need one because she can use the public restroom—then she wonders what the purpose of a scepter is for. Shira: Hitting peasants over the head, I think.
I really don’t like Mark. I can’t decide if it’s because he reminds me of too many boys I knew in school, or because the fighting is too obviously setting Mark and Claudia up to date, or the fact that I know she breaks up for him in favor of Josh later…I just want to skip all the pages with Mark on them….
Ooh, I can see why Claudia would (eventually) want to date Josh: “Under his green woolen watch cap, his ears stuck out at an odd angle. He looked like an earnest little chipmunk.” Sezzy.
Ha. After Mrs. Addison calls and wants to set up further sitting jobs with the BSC, where they are sitting for Corrie but supervising Sean, Abby ‘looks green.’ She’s never met the Addisons, just heard about Sean setting fires and heard how the two kids verbally assaulted each other throughout Mary Anne’s job, so I don’t blame her. She demands a police escort for her job with them, but honestly. It’s no different than the setup the BSC has with the Pikes at this point, where they only have one sitter because the triplets are considered to need less supervision.
Jessi’s take on this is spot-on: She suggests that the sitter will be sitting for both Addison kids, but will have to make Sean feel like he’s not being sat for. It’s kind of a precarious position. Remember the problems Dawn had when she babysat for Whitney but didn’t/couldn’t tell Whitney she was her sitter?
Sean is reading My Side of the Mountain. Don’t worry; he didn’t set the book on fire.
Josh signed up for every committee for the dance, but he signed up for the food committee as Ronald McDonald and the music committee as E. Presley and so on.
Mark has a friend who goes by Spud. I think that says everything you need to know about Mark.
I like that Mal and Jessi are actually really nice to Claudia throughout this whole book. Abby, Stacey and Kristy keep teasing Claudia about Josh, Mark and the seventh grade, but Mal and Jessi want to know all about her whole committee meeting and whether or not Mark’s being an ass (answer: yes, of course he is.)
OOH! Mr. X is back! When Abby sat for Corrie (and supervised Sean), she wound up at the grocery store with both kids, because Sean decided to buy steak for dinner but didn’t bring enough money. He spotted a blond boy and refused to be spotted with Abby because he didn’t want the boy to realize he had a sitter. After Sean convinces his parents to let him stay home alone one afternoon, he has an accident and calls the BSC for help. Stacey discovers that that boy was Mel, aka Mr. X. Mel’s been making fun of Sean, claiming he doesn’t have to have a sitter—which turns out to be a lie.
Come to think of it, Mel and Sean should get along pretty well. They both had to get counseling after being the culprit in a BSC mystery.
The dance isn’t coming together exactly the way Claudia planned, but she’s trying to keep everything together…until she starts laughing hysterically over something really stupid.
Ha. Jeannie calls Mark Markie-poo. I might only find this funny because I hate Mark so much, but I don’t even care.
Claudia gets mad at Kristy because Kristy keep suggesting that all the seventh graders are babies…so she throws Milk Duds at her and points out how that makes her (and Mal and Jessi) feel. Kristy pauses for a moment…then tells her how to improve her aim. And admits she’s been acting like a jerk! That may not be a first, but it’s close to it.
I think Josh is the only person more surprised that Claudia kissed Mark than Claudia is. Obviously, he’s got a little crush on her. Aww, so sweet. (I like Josh and liked Claudia with him, even if I think he’s gay.)
The end. BLECH!
Claudia: leopard print blouse, hip huggers, headband, flats, ankle socks; foulard dress (wearing Queen Elizabeth’s clothes); spandex pants, Hawaiian shirt with ‘Ed’s diner’ on it, and Doc Martens (actually QE wearing Claudia’s clothes)
Next: Back to Abby…