January 22, 2010
BSC #26, Claudia and the Sad Good-bye: I Totally Did Not Cry While Reading This Book, Part 2
Summary: Claudia’s grandmother, Mimi, who’s been sick for some time, is getting worse. Just as she seems to be improving, she dies suddenly, traumatizing everyone (including the readers – seriously, did Ann M. Martin have to kill off the nicest character?). Claudia tries to come to grips with what happen and her feelings of abandonment, making this one of the deeper books in the series. Her family also tries to move on without one of its most important members.
The B plot also involves Claudia – she’s teaching art classes for a bunch of kids the club sits for. One of the students is Corrie Addison, a girl whose parents seem to spend no time with their kids. Claudia is actually the person who brings this up to Corrie’s mom, making her realize that she needs to, you know, be a mom.
Thoughts: Seriously, too sad. I never liked this book. But it deals with death in a way that young readers can grasp, reminding them that death is a part of life and everyone has to deal with it sooner or later. It’s also realistic, in that teenagers lose their grandparents all the time, and though Mimi’s death isn’t exactly enjoyable, it’s almost inevitable.
There’s some foreshadowing of Stacey’s parents’ split and her and her mom’s return to Stoneybrook, which reminds me how much I always liked Welcome Home, Stacey! It also cut the sadness a little for me.
I don’t have much snark for this book, but I have to mention one spectacular Claudia outfit: Lavender plaid cuffed pants with suspenders over a green buttoned shirt, a lavender beret, fleece-lined sneakers, and blinking Christmas-tree-light earrings. Purple and green? Bad call, Claud. I could totally go for some fleece-lined sneakers, though.