Claudia and Crazy Peaches (RS#78)

Original Publication Date: 1994

Ghostwriter? Yes, Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner


This is, sadly, another book in which Claudia gets angry with someone close to her, that person has something bad happen, and Claudia thinks it's somehow at least partially her fault, as if her anger caused it.

Anyway, Claudia starts out thrilled: her aunt Peaches (given name Miyoshi) and uncle Russ are going to have a baby! Peaches is about two months along, and she and Russ are moving to Stoneybrook. Since their old house sold so quickly they're going to stay with the Kishis for a month. Claudia gets some help preparing the house from a new sitting charge, Natalie Springer (who volunteers to come and clean; she's not forced to). Natalie ends up being very clingy, since she has no friends. The BSC decides to help, but Natalie's bossiness with her peers gets in the way. But some new friends help her overcome that.

Claudia's attention is also being demanded of her by her aunt, who recently quit her job in anticipation of the baby. Claudia accompanies her shopping, helps her make fancy dinners, and goes with her on a midnight craving run. Her grades falter and she gets in trouble with her parents. Frustrated, she blows up at Peaches. They walk on eggshells around each other for a few days. Claudia decides that she has some blame in the situation, and is ready to apologize and get back to normal.

Then Peaches has a miscarriage.

She has to be admitted to the hospital overnight (she's late first trimester or early second; she may have needed surgery). When she comes back to the Kishis' she and Claudia are able to patch things up. The doctors also say that it will be safe for her to try for another baby when she's ready. Peaches and Russ say they will, but not for a while yet.

Greer at http://blog.stoneybrookite.org/ is diligently posting about the BSC Challenge. Here are my next answers:

Favorite BSC organized event: the outing in Stacey's Mistake. It was fairly sensible, they were well-prepared, and it sounded like a blast for the kids.

Favorite vacation spot: I like the road trip they go on in BSC in the USA. It was fun to read about the different areas, especially since I've been a few road trips (seen all the CONUS!). I just wish Seattle had gotten a little more screen time...

Favorite holiday book: Christmas is my favorite holiday, but the BSC books that feature Christmas don't really do it justice in my opinion. However, I do love Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery, which is a Halloween book. Spooky, entertaining, and funny.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: pretzels

I've never liked "Claud" as a nickname. Sounds like "clod" to me.

Claudia's still writing for the school newspaper.

No wonder Claudia has such trouble with school; she thinks there's only one hour between 4:00 and 6:00.

Their Families:

Now, I know a lot of people think you shouldn't reveal pregnancies until after the first trimester because of the risk of miscarriage or potential backlash from an employer (I happen to disagree when it's my pregnancy; if the worst happened I'd rather have shared some happiness while it lasted). That said, I would not call anyone to share the news before 8:00 am, like Peaches does.

Karen informs Natalie Springer that no, Claudia is NOT her friend because Stacey is Claudia's best friend. Then Kristy claims Karen worries that Natalie has so few friends. Maybe it's because people are jerks to her, KAREN.

The Club:

New client: Natalie Springer, a classmate of Karen's.


School's back in session.

PSA Time:

Trust me, I know how exciting it is to be waiting on the arrival of a baby. But save your money and don't go buy everything for the baby right away. You'll probably have a baby shower or two; wait until after that. Then you can see what's still left and use the gift cards you're bound to receive.

Peaches says something that is important: pregnancy loss isn't something to assign blame over. Especially with miscarriage, it's almost always something that just happens without any external factors. But she also says, "It was probably for the best." No one except the mother is allowed to say things like that. Also not allowed, "You can always try for another." Not helping, those.


Claudia has a wonderful, touching idea: to have Mary Anne, who learned to knit from Mimi, teach Claudia to knit. That way, Claudia can knit something for Mimi's grandchild. BUT: the ghostwriters clearly don't knit. Mary Anne thinks a blanket is too complicated and suggests booties instead. A simple baby blanket is the perfect beginner project while even simple booties have complicated steps. The description of knitting sounds like someone who's watched knitting but never done it.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 7

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 3 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1

Summers after 8th grade: 7

BSC Fights: 8

SMS Staff and Faculty: 47

Students (other than the BSC): 165; 101 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 31

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 95

Mary Anne-2


Laura said...

How was it ever possible for Claudia to get so far behind in her homework? Why wasn't the rule that someone has to check/help Claudia with her homework every night still in effect? (I know C says that her parents knew perfectly well about the homework that'd been going undone each evening but that they were giving her a break because R&P were there. To me, that seems like even more of a reason than ever to keep on top of the homework.)

I've always felt similarly about the nickname Claud.

I also wondered why Peaches wouldn't wait until after her shower to buy baby stuff.

I don't even knit and I knew the booties vs. blanket thing was wrong. I'd bet the thinking was booties=small=easy(ier) vs. blanket=big=hard/complicated.

The description of the dinner P&C make always makes me hungry/want to be a guest at that table.

I was surprised that Kristy didn't encourage Karen to be Nat's friend when Karen said she was worried about Nat not having any friends.

Favourite BSC-organized Event - I've gotta go with Greer on this one and say the Valentine's party in SEBF.

Favourite Vacation Spot - NY, NY in SS 6, just because I've never been to NY and I've always wanted to go.

Favourite Holiday Book - Depends which holiday. Halloween: MA's Bad Luck Mystery, Valentine's Day: MA vs. Logan, Thanksgiving: Get Well Soon, Mallory. Christmas: Stacey and the Mystery of the Empty House, with the holiday party/Here Come the Bridesmaids. I love Suzi's chapter in HCtB, where she leaves a trail of cookie crumbs from her old to her new house so Santa will be able to find her.

Thinking about this book makes me eager to read Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby. I've never read that one before (but I have it in my possession now and it'll be coming up soon in the rotation) but I've heard the tititular baby is R&P's and I'm SO thrilled for them. (And the Kishis, too.)

SJSiff said...

Lots of good points, Laura.

"I don't even knit and I knew the booties vs. blanket thing was wrong. I'd bet the thinking was booties=small=easy(ier) vs. blanket=big=hard/complicated."

Yes, that's exactly why it seems that the ghostwriters didn't know about knitting. Booties often have ribbing, yarn overs, decreases, increases; they might have heel turns or seaming or picking up stitches on edges...blankets can be as simple as repeating a knit stitch over and over until it's the size you want.

As far as Natalie and Karen, it's established in the Little Sister books that they don't get along terribly well. They're not enemies, though.

Yes, Suzi's chapter is great! Trail of crumbs for Santa.

Laura said...

Re: Karen and Natalie - Oh, okay, thanks. I've read exactly zero LS books so I didn't know. (I do have a few now though so maybe I should give one a try.)

SJSiff said...

They're not great. The reason a lot of people don't like Karen is her portrayal in the LS books. One reason I'm not reading them for this blog!