Original Publication Date: 1987
Claudia and Janine have a tense relationship. I think they're both intimidated by each other. Claudia is popular, Janine is brilliant. They're also very short with each other, somewhat watching for each other to screw up. After a particular fight, Mimi goes to bed early and has a stroke. Claudia blames herself, a theme that will recur with her story lines. Mimi starts a slow road to recovery, her right hand and leg partially paralyzed. There's a part I've always found sad, more since I learned (and love) to knit, where Claudia finds Mimi's knitting needles and yarn in a bag stashed in a closet.
Meanwhile, the BSC is hosting a summer play group, charging a whopping $3 per morning for each kid. Had I any kids, I'd take advantage of that steal for a morning or two.
Claudia and Janine do end talking about how they both feel like the other is the family's favorite. They are getting along by the end of the book, but don't expect their new-found understanding to last.
Established or continued in this book:
Claudia candy: cupcakes in her desk drawer, licorice in her pencil case, M&Ms in her jewelry box, gumdrops.
Claudia still seems insecure: she thinks her mom finds her difficult to deal with and describes herself as a pain when going over her family dynamic. She thinks she's a disappointment to her parents.
Claudia had an enemy in fourth grade named Beverly McManiman.
Mary Anne wants to be a teacher.
According to the book, Janine makes fun of Claudia for not being smart, but I don't think we actually read about particular instances very often. It seems more like both are impatient with each other: Claudia doesn't want to admit that doesn't understand what Janine says and will finally say something like "Speak English!" and Janine gets upset at Claudia's reaction. And Janine does come off sounding like a show off. I speak (and try to write) with proper grammar, but I also avoid purposely using words that people don't understand. It's important to remember that you should never use a large word when a diminutive one will suffice.
Claudia's grandfather still died before she was born; good continuity.
Claudia's father is a partner at an investment firm and her mother is the head librarian, but she doesn't like Claudia to read Nancy Drew. I like the theory that her parents let her think that so she would be more encouraged to read, for the thrill of sneaking it around, you know?
Aunt Peaches and Uncle Russ don't visit Mimi. I thought they lived close-ish? Close enough to visit if Peaches's mother is in a coma.
The Club: Nothing new
SMS: Summer vacation!
PSA time (yes, new category):
Very, very smart, Janine. It's a brilliant idea to send someone to wait for the ambulance. Even though it may be obvious which house, how will they know which room?
They do a good job "introducing" us to the idea of Mallory being in the BSC. She helps with the playgroup in this book, and she'll also help in #8.
Is it accurate that Mimi would be "white as a sheet" after having a stroke? My dad said his mom was grey. This might sound racist, but I am curious, because Mimi is Japanese and my grandmother was Scots-Irish (like Stacey, if I recall).
The kids in the play group make get well cards for Mimi. I wonder if Claudia realizes how badly misspelled they are.
BSC Fights: 2
Teachers: 4 (3 7th grade, 1 elective)
Students: seventeen 7th graders, four 8th graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 17 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, Ding-Dongs, cupcakes, gumdrops, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M$Ms, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Twinkies, Lifesavers)
Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Stacey-2 (Pete Black, Sam Thomas)