Original Publication Date: 1991
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
Janine helps Claudia study for a big math test, and when she takes it, Claudia is happy to find she actually knows the material well. Her test even comes back with an A-. But after class, she and another student, Shawna Riverson, are called to the teacher's desk: their tests are identical. Since Shawna is usually a good student, the teacher believes her when she says she didn't cheat and pins it on Claudia. But the BSC and Janine stick up for her, and her parents, after a brief moment of doubt, do too. However, Claudia can't come up with a way to prove Shawna cheated. Claudia and the BSC do find a note in her locker about her having cheated (Shawna and Dawn switched lockers), but they can't use it because they'd have to explain how they got it. And when Claudia overhears Shawna talking about it, the conversations confirms that she cheated, but Claudia wasn't recording it.
Finally, Janine talks to the principal about how hard Claudia studied and the unfairness of the blame being placed on her with no way to prove it. The principal and math teacher have Claudia take a different version of the test over, and she does even better on it than the first one. When Shawna is told she'll have to repeat the test the next day, she confesses that she can't, because she won't pass it. She's doing too many extracurriculars and didn't have time to study, so when she found out Janine had helped Claudia, she copied the test.
The subplot is meant to mirror the main one: the Pike triplets are playing baseball outside and break a window. They're grounded until they tell who did it. The grounding lasts most of the book, until Mallory has them reenact it and they show it was an accident.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Cheetos in her desk drawer, Fig Newtons, Mallomars, M&Ms, Fritos, whole-wheat crackers, Oreos (these all sound really good, but I'm sure they have too much salt, which I'm supposed to cut down on until I deliver...why a Claudia book now?)
Probably not intentional, but Claudia dismisses the idea of measuring a set amount of chocolate for baking cookies (regarding a story problem in math). She later proves herself not quite adept at cooking in one of the mysteries.
Stacey's still feeling weak.
Claudia and Janine seem to understanding each other better. Their personalities are too disparate for them to ever be best friends, I think, but they seem to realize they they've got each other's back.
Vanessa Pike is still a slowpoke and Claire is still bossy.
The Club: nothing new
Mr. Zorzi is introduced as a math teacher (there is also a math teacher named Mr. Zizmore).
SMS students: Susan Taylor (8th)
Yes, Claudia, you would need a search warrant to look through someone's thing even if you weren't looking for a gun. And you would need to be a proper authority to look through the things, such as a police officer.
Also, speaking of (audio) recording people: in some states (such as mine, Washington) it's illegal to record people without their knowledge. Cases have been thrown out on technicalities like that.
There's an orphaned parenthesis on page four.
Cokie Mason is Cokie Gray in this book, like she was in RS#38.
FYI, I'll be having a baby before Thanksgiving, so while I'll do what I can to put up a book a week, there could be a bit of a lag at some point. Maybe in a few years she'll be enjoying the BSC books!
Starting 8th grade: 3
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Summers after 8th grade: 2
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 17
Students (other than the BSC): 56; 33 8th graders, nine sixth-graders, nine unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 44 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, gumdrops, 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, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf), Planter's Peanut bar, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, pretzel sticks, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-7 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-3 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-6 (Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart)