Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout (RS#101)

Original Publication Date: 1996

Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles


Claudia is having more and more trouble with school, except art of course. In fact, she's taking an art class at a community college. But as her SMS grades continue to drop, the school comes to a decision: Claudia needs to repeat seventh grade. In spite of the humilation, Claudia finds herself pleased with how much easier the information is coming to her and starts to get used the idea of being a seventh-grader. Until she takes a closer look at the signs for the upcoming Halloween dance: it's only for eighth grade. Suddenly she's hit with separated she now is from her former life, which really gets her down. She just barely gets up the motivation to attend the end-of-class art show, and is stunned to see she's won first place, despite being the youngest in the class. With everything else that's going on, Claudia gets overwhelmed and breaks down. Turns out that her teacher, a famous artist, was held back in school herself--twice. She encourages Claudia that things will work out. Having had a chance to talk things over, Claudia is able to soldier on and make the best of things.

Subplot: Kristy organizes Hospital Buddies, a program to help out kids in the hospital by arranging visits and that sort of thing.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Yodels, Raisinettes, Smartfood cheese-flavored popcorn, Milky Ways, Snickers, Sour Patch Kids, Milk Duds, pretzels

Claudia is excited to see her art in a "real art show," but didn't that happen in Claudia and the New Girl?

Their Families:

Claudia's parents gave her a thesaurus for Christmas.

Vanessa Pike's idea for a Halloween costume (this book has the same Halloween as Super Mystery #3) is a "hippie girl in a hippie world." This book was released about six months before the song "Barbie Girl" was...perhaps the songwriter was inspired!

Claudia's parents give out raisins or bags of dried fruit for Halloween, and now their house rarely gets trick-or-treaters.

The Club (and clients):

Jackie Rodowsky is released from the hospital, having recovered from his concussion.

The book ends with Kristy declaring that the BSC is officially re-formed, its probationary period over.


New-to-us students: Josh Peterson, Tim Ryan (seventh grade)

New-to-us faculty/staff: Ms. Anderson, 8th grade social studies; Mr. Matthews, resource room aide; Ms. Chiavetta, 7th grade English; Ms. Spacey, 7th grade science. Mr. Redmondt is back as a seventh-grade teacher, occasionally spelled "Redmond."

Starting in seventh grade at my school, students were placed in different math classes based on how well they understood math. Some of us were a grade ahead, some a grade below, and some taking "normal" seventh grade math. Claudia seems to have the most trouble with math, so that approach might have helped her. But she'd need something similar with English as well.

64% is a failing grade at SMS. I'm used to 60% and below being failing.

PSA Time: nothing stood out.

Misc: nothing stood out.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 9

Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 2

Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-2, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-1

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3

Summers after 8th grade: 9

BSC Fights: 11

SMS Staff and Faculty: 60

Students (other than the BSC): 186: 118 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 8 7th graders, 44 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.

Clients: 35 families

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 122

Mary Anne-2

No comments: