Original Publication Date: 1988
There's a new girl at school, Ashley Wyeth. She's a very serious artist with little time for other activities. She and Claudia connect (I wouldn't say they bond) over art and start hanging at art museum, looking for inspiration for a sculpture contest, that sort of thing. The BSC is concerned when Ashley seems to take over Claudia's life, causing her miss meetings and taking away time with her other friends. They're also overly concerned that she's hanging out with a "weirdo" but that's another issue...
Claudia and Ashley get in a fight over priorities: Claudia wants to do art but also hang out with her other friends and babysit, Ashley thinks art is the only important part of her life. Claudia ends up back in the BSC's good graces, though Kristy seems a little insulted by the event, and she and Ashley are able to discuss art sometimes, but remain somewhat distant from each other.
Established or continued in this book:
Claudia candy: Doritos, bubblegum in her hollow book, cookies under her pillow, crackers in her Monopoly box, licorice under her mattress, marshmallows in her shoe box, pretzels in her pajama bag, Twinkies in her sock drawer
Kristy's uniform of jeans and a turtleneck is born in this book.
Claudia mentions that Ashley doesn't mind explaining things to her, which must be nice since Claudia often feels so slow.
Claudia makes a callback to the mountain resort that she and her family went to while Stacey and Mary Anne were in Sea City. I have a hard time thinking of New England or anywhere on the East Coast as having mountains. I'm used the Cascades and Olympics, so driving around the East Coast just seemed hilly at times.
More issues with Jeff wanting to move back to CA.
Since Kristy depends on Charlie to get to meetings, she's often early or late, Claudia says. Hmm.
Students: Mari Drabeck (8th), spelled "Mary" a few chapters later, Fiona McRae (8th), John Steiner (8th), Seth Turbin (8th), Ashley Wyeth (8th)
Staff: Ms. Baehr (art), Mrs. Hall (8th English), Ms. Downey (school secretary)
SMS won't let students put tape on the lockers, so, as Mary Anne told us in RS#10, students use gum. Claudia tells us it barely holds for a day. Now, all school lockers I've seen are metal. Magnets, anyone?
Ms. Baehr is kind of a horrible art teacher if she's not letting students express themselves. So what if Ashley is sculpting a fire hydrant?
You can undo most bathroom door locks from the outside with a small flat-head screwdriver. There's a slit the screwdriver will fit into. When you manipulate the screwdriver in that slot the "button" on the other side should pop open. I know because my younger brother locked himself in the bathroom when he was too little to unlock it, but some variety of repair man was in the house and showed us that trick.
I have to agree with Ashley that sculpture doesn't have to be of living things. What about abstract art, for example? However, Ashley, inanimate doesn't necessarily mean better.
The notes the other members of the club leave Claudia are priceless.
BSC Fights: 2
SMS Staff: 10 (3 7th grade, 3 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: twenty-eight 8th graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 24 (bubble gum, butterscotch candy, a chocolate bar, cookies, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Gummi Bears, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, marshmallows, pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Twinkies, Lifesavers)
Crushes: Claudia-1 (Trevor Sandbourne), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas)