Original Publication Date: 1999
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn
Claudia and the rest of the BSC are helping out with a basketball team aimed at elementary aged girls. Haley Braddock is one of the girls on the team, but Claudia's been having some trouble with her lately. Haley has been avoiding her homework and lying about whether it's done. She blames Claudia for "telling on her" when Claudia does her job and tells the Braddock parents what their daughter is doing. For example, Claudia mentions that Haley finished a specific book report and her parents recognize it as last month's assignment. Haley starts spreading the word that the BSC exists solely to tattle on the kids, and makes quite a few of the charges very wary of the sitters. She also tries repeatedly to get Claudia in trouble by lying to her parents about what Claudia does while sitting. Mary Anne suggests role playing, and it finally comes out that Haley's been avoiding homework because she's having trouble understanding certain concepts in school. Once the problem is out in the open, the Braddocks can work on solving that. Haley apologizes to Claudia for trying to get her in trouble.
Manwhile, Claudia's also finding that she and Josh don't seem to have much together, and they're drifiting apart. They agree to go back to being friends.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: carrots and celery (for Stacey), Ring Dings behind her dresser, Chhez Doodles under her bed
Stacey's still in the Math Club.
Claudia's dad celebrates his birthday in this book.
I guess Janine doesn't have a driver's license despite being 16, because Claudia indicates that she can't drive some art supplies over. Although she might have meant that there's no car available for her to drive.
The Club (and clients):
Ooh, good continuity: the Segers are still the Rodowskys' next-door neighbors.
But then all of a sudden the Braddocks aren't walking distance from the Kishis...
SMS: nothing new.
Guess what a Deaf seven-year-old can do to communicate with someone who doesn't sign? WRITE. Claudia could have avoided a difficulty if she or Matt had thought to communicate through writing. Even with the spelling issues.
This is Claudia's last regular series book.
Starting 8th grade: 11
Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 4
Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate in the plot of a book, not just reference): Christmas-5, Hanukkah-2, Kwanzaa-3
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 5
St. Patrick's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 11
BSC Fights: 13
SMS Staff and Faculty: 68
Students (other than the BSC): 216: 122 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 30 7th graders, 48 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 38 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 144