Claudia and the Great Search (RS#33)

Original Publication Date: 1990

Ghostwriter? No


I cringe when I read this book. It might be the start of Claudia's slide from under-achiever to not-so-bright. She discovers that there are very few pictures of herself as an infant and makes the "logical" jump that she's adopted. After all, she's so different from her own family. She starts a fairly extensive search, and eventually embarrasses herself by asking her parents outright. They're kind about it, though, and explain (tactfully) that there are fewer pictures of her than Janine because they were busier with two kids and the second time around things were less novel. They also point out that while Claudia doesn't look a lot like Janine, she looks like a teenaged Mimi.

Claudia also tutors Emily Michelle, helping her with her language-delay issues. She actually has some pretty clever ideas and helps her out well.

Basically, the moral of the story is take pictures of all your kids.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: mini chocolate bars under a quilt, pretzels under her pillow

Claudia has trouble keeping biology terms like phylum and genus straight. Way in the future, around book #113, she has a mnemonic device to remember them.

Claudia has picked up on Kristy's being pretty but not feeling pretty. She also doesn't act disgusted about Stacey's diabetes regimen, which is nice for a best friend. She is annoyed by the biology bit about it, though (and Stacey's diabetes is still hard to control).

Claudia learns to use the microfiche machine.

Considering Janine's supposed to be a genius, I have to question her intelligence in handing a non-blown up balloon to a two-year-old, one we know puts rocks in her mouth.

Their Families:

Peaches and Russ apparently live close enough to come to Janine's award ceremony, but never visited when Mimi when she had a stroke or when she was dying. Also, Claudia suspects they might not be able to have kids.

This clears something up for me: Claudia calls Kristy's stepdad Mr. Brewer but thinks of him as "Watson" since Kristy calls him that. I was under the impression that he was the only adult they called by his first name.

The Club:

BSC history errors: yes, Mary Anne has made one mistake (which Dawn caught very quickly) and yes, Kristy has missed meetings, most recently when her dog died.

Kristy and Shannon have been watching the Papadakis kids while their grandfather recovers from a broken hip and pnuemonia (see PSA).

SMS: Nothing new

PSA time:

If you're in the hospital for whatever reason, it's perfectly fine to ask that anyone coming in your room pause for hand-washing. The last thing you need is a secondary infection.


Claudia's science class ends at 1:51. For no good reason, I remember that my eleventh- and twelfth-grade science classes ended at 1:52.

Like Janine, my older brother was recognized at a number of ceremonies for his academic achievements (but unlike Claudia, I can spell my own name). My friends and I started calling any school assembly a "[Brother]-is-smart-award assembly." We're three years apart, too.

The pediatrician's receptionist seems surprised that Claudia doesn't know she had a different pediatrician until age 2. Yeah, geez, Claudia, don't you remember? Also, Claudia doesn't see a pediatrician anymore. I saw mine until way too late. There was an instance that I needed a checkup that my OBGYN couldn't do, so I ended up seeing the pediatrician when I was 22 and already married. I promised him I'd find a proper primary care doctor and that I wouldn't come back unless it was with an infant (and I get to do that in a few months).

I saw a hyacinth macaw do a color-matching game like Claudia does with Emily Michelle. The bird kept wanting to put blue and yellow together, though, presumably because hyacinth macaws are blue and yellow.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 1

Summers after 8th grade: 1

BSC Fights: 5

SMS Staff: 15

Students (other than the BSC): 35 8th graders, five sixth-graders, five unspecified

Clients: 24

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 38 (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, Mentos, mini candy bars, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, pretzels, pretzel sticks, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)

Crushes: Claudia-5 (Guy, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-5 (Toby, Pete Black, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart)


Sandee said...

Geeze, now I feel guilty that I did not take enough photos of my kids when they were little.

The nurse in me can not visit anyone in a hospital room without washing my hands upon entry to the room. Just can't not wash!

Laura said...

Great post, as always!

Re: Janine giving EM a not-yet-blown-up balloon - We can't really fault Janine for giving something like that to a kid that puts rocks in her mouth because she wasn't around/sitting for EM that day.

Plus I don't think Janine is that comfortable with babies anyway - despite her getting the balloon for EM in the first place (and Claud's comment that even Janine couldn't resist being called NeeNee (sp?) by a cherubic 2 year old). I will cite the example from Kristy and the Haunted Mansion where Claud was sitting for Jamie and Lucy and on her walk to the Newtons' it started to rain and the dye in Claud's outfit ran. She called Janine and asked her to bring her some dry clothes. Janine does and Claud asks her to watch Lucy for a minute while she changes and she says to give LJ a handful of Cheerios. Janine protests doing this, saying that Lucy will get milk all over herself. Claud laughs and says "no milk, just dry Cheerios, babies love them". If Janine the Genius can't figure out not to give a baby milk if Claud didn't say to, that's just not someone good with children.

Sadako said...

Laura--I don't think that means she's bad with kids. Just that she doesn't know what kids like to eat. Janine doesn't sound like she'd necessarily be bad with children. I get the sense she's just not really all that interested.

Damn, there was a lot of candy in this book.

nikki said...

Oh yeah, I saw my pede until I graduated college at 22. One reason I chose my son's pede is that they see "kids" up to age 21.

I kind of liked the subplot of this one, Claudia helping EM.

BSC AG said...

Sadako: At first, I misread your screenname and thought you were my mom. "My mom cursed online?!" Funny moment. :)