Original Publication Date: 1989
Ghostwriter? No, Ann took this on by herself
Here's one of those really sad books. Mimi dies. Even though you know going into in what's going to happen, it's still a surprise when it does. Mimi's been doing worse, needing blood transfusions and being admitted to the hospital a couple of times, but the transfusions seem to help. The second time she's admitted she doesn't even need stay as long, but the night before she's about to go home she dies. Of course, Claudia and her family are heartbroken. Initially, Claudia seems to be taking things well, reminiscing with friends and so on (including Stacey, who comes for the funeral). But it seems so surreal to her that she can't quite come to grips with it. Claudia finds herself feeling upset with Mimi for leaving but is able to come to terms her death and remember good times she had with her.
During all this, Claudia and Mary Anne host a Saturday morning art class for some clients. Corrie Addison joins it, as her mom had the idea. She's always the first one dropped off and the last one picked up. Claudia gets fed up with the way her parents are always trying to get rid of their kids (her brother is Sean Addison) and finally tells Mrs. Addison that Corrie feels unwanted. Her parents make more of an effort to spend time with Corrie. Claudia doesn't think things will be perfect, but hopes they will be better.
The book ends with Claudia unveiling a collage she made for Mimi, full of things to remind her family of Mimi. The BSC and the Kishis think it's perfect, and it gets hung up in Mimi's old bedroom.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Oreos inside a hollow book, Cheetos under her bed
This books has pretty much the least-awkward mention of Jessi's race. Instead of "she's African-American, but we never notice" or "she could even be purple but we'd still be friends with her" it's just "Jessi and Mal are...different in some ways. The biggest difference is Jessi is black and Mal is white." That's it. Good job, book.
Claudia describes a row of Nancy Drews on her bookshelf...I thought she hid those.
The book specifies that Claudia's maternal grandfather died just after Janine was born (previously it was simply before Claudia was born).
Stacey's parents are fighting more.
There was again no mention of Russ and Peaches visiting Mimi in the hospital (they do come to the funeral).
Nannie has officially moved in with Kristy's family.
Claudia says that she and Mary Anne decided to hold the art class in the Kishis' basement after some planning, but Claudia suggested that right when the idea came to her.
The Perkins girls still have a doll named Caroline Eunice.
Dori Wallingford's name is now spelled Dorrie.
Claudia's back in school, and camp was in the summer...hello, round two of eighth grade!
When I read this book as a child, it taught me that if I defrost meat, I need to cook it and I can't just stick it back in the freezer.
Claudia gets Mimi a teddy bear instead of flowers when she's in the hospital in case she wants "something to hug" which I think is a really sweet thought.
While she takes a little far, I think Claudia has a point about Mimi not really being in the casket. Her body is. It's like C. S. Lewis said, "You don't HAVE a soul; you ARE a soul. You have a body."
I wonder if Ann M. Martin would have kept Mimi alive longer if she'd known the series would go on as long as it did.
Starting 8th grade: 2
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 1
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 13 (2 6th grade, 3 7th grade, 4 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: 32 8th graders, six sixth-graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 35 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, Cheese Doodles, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Fritos, Gummi Bears, Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, marshmallows, mini candy bars, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-4 (Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor)