Claudia Makes up Her Mind (RS#113)

Original Publication Date: 1997

Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis


Claudia is disappointed to find out that the seventh grade class color for the SMS Color War (a school spirit thing combined with charity fundraising) is orange. I can relate; my school kept giving my year pink even though we expressly said we didn't want it and even coordinated to all come in black on one of the Class Color days. The yearbook staff even printed our senior year signatures in pink, the ink from which ran and made all our senior pictures look like we had sunburns. Anyway, Claudia decides to head up the committee for the Color War and come up with ways to make the orange work.

In other words, Claudia is doing really well in seventh grade. Her grades, self-esteem, everything. So naturally, the guidance counselor recommends that Claudia go back to eighth grade, assuming that Claudia's progress will continue. She leaves the decision up to Claudia, who suddenly finds herself pulled to both grades. Claudia's also torn on what to do about her relationship with her boyfriend, Mark Jaffe, who's becoming increasingly distant. Especially when Josh Rocker is so nice...

After talking with Mark, he and Claudia agree that a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship isn't right for them. Things start to fall into place. Several days after Claudia and Mark break up, Josh asks Claudia out and she accepts. Josh also helps Claudia figure out the grade decision, and Claudia agrees to move back to eighth grade. Her last act as Queen of the Seventh Grade is winning the Color War and accepting a check for her grade's chosen charity (an adult literacy program).

And because this is the BSC, we have a kid subplot. The charges hear about the Color War and want their own, so the BSC accomodates them.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Heath bars, candy corn, marshmallow jack-o-lanterns, orange lollipops, Doritos, orange soda, carrots (last one's for Stacey, of course)

Mallory should be an editor. She's been correcting people's word choices and grammar a lot.

Their Families:

Janine thinks genes can't skip generations, but that's actually really common. Maybe she meant in the specific case of personality skipping a generation, but that's not how it's phrased.

The Club (and clients): nothing new.


New-to-us students: Jennifer Blye, Brandon Klein, Michael King, Nadine Luongo (7th) Sara Erickson (6th). We also find out that Frank O'Malley, a seventh grader introduced in an earlier book, is moving to Oregon, so I'll be subtracting one from the total number of students.

According to Claudia, Alan Gray has a crush on Kristy. He just doesn't know how to show it without being a moron.

PSA Time: nothing stood out.


This book was withdrawn from circulation at the Smiths Grove Branch Library, like another I have.

So, there's this bit of dialogue...one boy to Claudia: "That's okay, you can make it up to me." Another boy, listening in: "Didn't I hear that line in a bad movie?" Oh, dear...he doesn't mean a low-budget B movie when he says bad, does he?

The last book was an October one, and this one is in mid-November, but no mention of Halloween. Stacey suggests Christmas shopping, since they forty-five days until the holiday, and Claudia and Kristy think that it's a little early for that. I...actually have some Christmas gifts ready for 2013. I bought them in January on clearance...and might have even picked up a thing or two in late December, I can't remember.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 10

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

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 3

Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-3, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-2

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3

Summers after 8th grade: 10

BSC Fights: 11

SMS Staff and Faculty: 67

Students (other than the BSC): 214: 120 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 29 7th graders, 48 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.

Clients: 37 families

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 134

Mary Anne-2

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