September 4, 2012

BSC #106, Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade: 10 Things I Hate About This Book

Posted in books tagged , , , at 9:46 pm by Jenn

Surprise! Claudia’s actually been hanging out with a bunch of nine-year-olds!

Summary: Claudia’s adjusting to being in the seventh grade, doing better in her classes and making friends. When she’s nominated as queen of the seventh grade, she realizes how popular she is. Then she wins and has to plan the seventh-grade prom with Mark, the most popular guy in the grade. He’s your typical cocky teenager, and all the girls love him. He’s like Cary Retlin crossed with Alan Gray, but desirable. And of course, he has a softer side, like when he admits to Claudia that he was held back in the third grade.

Despite her newfound popularity, Claudia finds that being the queen isn’t that fun. Planning the dance is a lot of work, and Mark isn’t very helpful. Plus, the BSC girls aren’t really supportive and don’t care about her seventh-grade social life. Claudia and Mark kiss, and the girls flip out because he’s so immature and Claudia hates him and he’s, you know, not in the eighth grade. Claudia finally tells them all to shut up because she’s no longer in the eighth grade either.

The dance goes fine, but Claudia and Mark never talk about their kiss. She talks to her seventh-grade friends about it, including Josh, who clearly has a crush on her that she’s clearly oblivious to. And then she totally friendzones him! Anyway, Claudia and Mark have to dance to the official seventh-grade song, and they kiss again, so apparently that means they’re dating, even though they never talked about their feelings for each other or anything. Yay, middle school!

The B-plot is familiar: Sean Addison is ten and thinks he’s too old for a sitter (shades of Jeff Schafer and the Pike triplets). But he’s clearly not mature enough to watch his sister while their parents are out. The BSC girls try to give him freedom while they’re sitting, but he doesn’t quite follow the rules. One day he tells his parents there are no sitters available to watch him, so he’ll have to stay by himself. He tries to wash the dishes but uses the wrong kind of soap. Stacey comes to his rescue and tells him he’s not doing a great job of proving that he’s responsible. This is obviously a problem between Sean and his parents, but that family’s all kinds of messed up, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s never any conclusion there.

Thoughts: Everyone in this book is annoying. Shut up, everyone. I mean, seriously:

  • Kristy acts like Claudia’s still an eighth-grader who just happens to be taking different classes. She thinks Claudia being the queen doesn’t mean anything even though Claudia thinks it’s an honor. She also chastises Claudia for letting her seventh-grade friends leave messages on her answering machine, since it’s the club’s line. (Watch yourself, Kristy. Claudia only lets you all use her phone out of the kindness of her heart.)
  • Stacey keeps calling Claudia’s seventh-grade friends immature.
  • Abby refers to Josh as “the little one.” I mean, I don’t like him either, but come on.
  • Mark is, like I said, a typical seventh-grade boy, and what’s more annoying than that?
  • Josh is the tagalong kid brother you just can’t shake. In some ways, he’s more annoying than Mark.
  • Sean is a total brat to his sister, which is definitely not the way to get your parents to back off.

It just made me hate the whole book.

There’s a girl in the seventh-grade named Duryan. What kind of name is Duryan?

The prom is publicized all over town, which is stupid since it’s only open to SMS seventh-graders.

Claudia thinking one kiss is nothing but two means a relationship might be the most 13-year-old thing about her.


  1. heather said,

    I’m interested in what “queen of the 7th grade” means. I know Jersey has a particularly uninterested public school system, but I really can imagine someone in my 7th grade(circa 2002)considering Queen of anything as an invitation to snarling ridicule from not only other students, but most likely faculty as well. I mean really.

    • Jenn said,

      It was more of a Homecoming Queen-type thing than a Queen of England, ruling class-type thing. Other than being a way of choosing someone to plan a school dance, I don’t see the point.

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