October 13, 2009

BSC #2, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls: Kristy Thomas Will Mess You Up

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 10:42 pm by Jenn

That outfit is not crazy enough.

That outfit is not crazy enough.

Summary: After reading a news article about a cat burglar in the area and receiving some mysterious phone calls while sitting, the baby-sitters are on edge. Claudia is also frustrated because her sister Janine is annoying, and because the guy she likes, Trevor Sandbourne, doesn’t seem to know she’s alive, so he’s certainly not going to ask her to the Halloween Hop. The phone calls turn out to be Alan Gray’s attempts to bug Kristy, culminating in him asking her to the dance. In the end, Claudia gets everything she’s looking for – a better connection with Janine, a date with Trevor to the dance, and a B+ on a math test.

Thoughts: I always thought this book was pretty realistic in terms of how Claudia, Kristy, Mary Anne, and Stacey respond to the news of a cat burglar in cities around Stoneybrook. They’re 12-year-old girls who are sometimes baby-sitting alone at night, and the idea of a guy breaking into the houses where they’re watching little kids is pretty freaky. That’s exactly what a 12-year-old girl would be afraid of.

Mary Anne, however, handles the situation a little differently, and in a way that I’ve always thought was creative. While sitting for Kristy’s younger brother, David Michael, she comes up with homemade burglar alarms, including an ingenius music alarm. She rigs a tape deck (’80s, remember) so that it will turn on and blast music when a door hits it. Give that girl an A in…whatever subject that would be.

There are no spectacular Claudia outfits in this book, though at one point she wears white tights with clocks on them, along with lobster earrings. Later she wears a bowtie with scottie dogs on it. She also wears barrettes at two different times – one pair is beaded with sparkly streamers and the other has teddy bears and streamers. Because streams are soooo mature and sophisticated, right?

Kristy’s weird in this book. She spends the whole story complaining about Alan, who pops up again and again in the series to bother the girls, and then when he asks her to the dance, she immediately accepts. As she explains to Claudia, he’s cute, he’s kind of funny, and he likes her, so why not? Apparently Kristy has never heard of dignity. Also, this is the book where she threatens to punch a kid. I just thought I’d bring that up. Kristy Thomas, supposedly responsible baby-sitter and level-headed problem-solver, threatens an eight-year-old boy with violence. What a charmer.


  1. Alison said,

    I think this is also the one where Kristy and Claudia invent a “secret code” of how to alert one another on the phone of possible danger with the whole “Have you seen my red ribbon?” pretext. It was adorable how Kristy, who invented it, couldn’t keep the system straight. Also, Claudia looks Native American on the cover, not so much Japanese American. P.S. I remember reading this during free reading time in the third grade, in the media lab. I was so enrapt in all the intrigue that I eventually looked up and noticed that the rest of my class was gone. Luckily, I managed to sneak back to homeroom without getting in trouble.

  2. Oh yes, Kristy threatening Rob is something that was quite out of characters for later Kristy… I also love how the home invasion thing doesn’t come up again in the series. And agree about Kristy saying yes so quickly! Just because Alan likes her, doesn’t change how much he irritated her does it? I do love this one though.

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