I know it's kinda expecting too much from BSC books to hope for continuity, but I just finished reading Mary Anne's Book right after Claudia's book, and I was kinda disappointed that they didn't even try to match up Mary Anne's and Claudia's descriptions of elementary school (especially since the Portraits were written relatively close to each other). Here's how they describe elementary school:
According to Claudia's Book: Kindergarten: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia were all in Mrs. Kushel's class, along with Alan Gray, Pete Black and Cokie Mason (the art teacher was Miss Packett). 1st: 2nd: Claudia is in Mr. Eccles' class, along with Emily Bernstein and Rick Chow. Kristy and Mary Anne are together in a different class. 3rd: Claudia is in Mrs. Colquiet's class. Kristy is not in her class. 4th: Kristy and Claudia are in Ms. Jameson's class. Mary Anne is not.
According to Mary Anne's Book: Nursery School: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia are all together. Kindergarten: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia are all together. 1st: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia are all together in Mrs. Frederickson's class. Alan Gray is in their class. 2nd: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia are all together in Mrs. Jeffries' class. 3rd: Kristy, Mary Anne and Claudia are all together in the same class. 4th: Kristy and Claudia are in Mr. Adams' class. Mary Anne is in Ms. Elison's class, along with Alan Gray and April Livingston.
(Alan Gray seems to always be in the class of whoever is narrating.
"This is what us sitters like about Mallory. She is totally levelheaded." - Claudia, Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye
I liked the Sea Rose chapters the best because I liked reading about Claudia and Kristy bonding. It's too bad that Claudia didn't stay at Stamford Alternative Academy. I think that it would have really helped her with her grades and she wouldn't be so insecure about herself.
Post by BuckinghamAlice on Feb 19, 2012 1:46:34 GMT -5
I was just reading this but I had to stop because the printing is all screwed up. It goes from page 106 back to 27. 27-58 are printed straight through and then it jumps to page 139. *super duper sigh* I've never read this one before, but I know more or less what I missed after reading this thread. Still annoyed though...
Anyways, I also found it incredibly unrealistic that no one besides Kristy and MA showed for Claud's birthday, but I felt bad for her all the same. I've had a few birthdays where I didn't have a huge turn out, and it sucks at any age.
The tooth fairy section was fairly boring and it seemed to stretch on and on. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it.
And in the 4th grade section, I was kind of disappointed that she didn't get tested for LDs. I've always been convinced that she's Dyslexic, and I think she has ADD as well. I didn't get to finish reading this section because of the screwed up printing though.
<3 Bre -- lover of animals, collector of dolls, reader of kiddie books <3
It's possible some people could have gotten more than one invite, but isn't it common for parents of kids that young to empty out their child's backpack, especially at the end of the year? Or kids get excited over invitations and show them to their parents? I really thought several kids, like Alan Gray would come, he seemed interested. But then again, they could have just mailed everything too, and she got some really nice presents in the end and had a cute little outfit.
I think that if she was in a good program, she wouldn't have had piles of homework to do at home, they would have worked with her at her own pace at school and had her only do a few minutes at home or something like that, or the family could have arranged for a tutor to come in few times a week.
Anyways, I also found it incredibly unrealistic that no one besides Kristy and MA showed for Claud's birthday, but I felt bad for her all the same.
ITA. I know that Claud has a summer birthday but not every family in Stoneybrook would be away on vacation. People still have to work during the summer and SOME families can't afford camp or long vacations. Plus Claud seems like she's always been somewhat popular or well-liked. You'd think that the Kishis would also have family friends, with some kids, that Claud would know and who would be obligated to come.
"It is important to be on time for any job, even if you are working for a witch." ~ Karen Brewer
Post by sparklymouse on Dec 11, 2012 21:04:20 GMT -5
I thought this one was darling! It was exactly the type of stuff that I would have written about if I had the assignment. I loved that Kristy and Mary Anne were mentioned in every single story. It really showed how big of an influence they had over her. She was probably even more upset than she let on when Mary Anne moved and “the triangle” was completely broken.
Baby Days: Mimi looked so young in the first picture. Now I wonder if she was a teen mother cause she looked like Rioko’s sister. Do we know how old she was when she died? I always wanted my hand prints or name in a slab of sidewalk. It was nice that Mimi was fine with having a few neighbor kids’ prints there too. She had no idea that the girls would grow up together and stay so close. The Kishis could have wound up prints from some random kids that Claudia was friends with a decade before.
Happy Birthday to Me: I liked reading about the other SMS kids (Alan, Pete, Cokie) at a young age. It’s actually pretty strange how so few of the girls have the lifelong ties to Stoneybrook. Claudia’s party sounded so cute and detailed. I don’t care that it was completely contrived that nobody showed up to the party. It was still heartbreaking. (My invite very possibly could have still been in my backpack at the start of the next school year. It happens.) I kinda wondered why the Thomases and Richard weren't invited to the party to begin with since they were all home at the time anyway. The presents were cute: her first real paint set, her first mystery book, a pair of old socks from Kristy (heh). It was funny how she got the train set from Charlie and Sam and then re-gifted it back to David Michael a few years later. I was confused by the ring from her parents. She said it was a garnet, but it was red because her birthstone was a ruby. So did they give her a garnet stone because it was cheaper and say “Here, pretend it’s a ruby”?
The Truth About the Tooth Fairy: This was random. It was funny how Rick and Emily thought the exact same thing as Claudia. (And Rick was freaked out by his big burly father in the dark. ;D) I didn't get why her baby tooth had to be pulled out by a dentist. That seemed like a waste of money to me. Claudia’s second grade booby traps sounded as good as Mary Anne’s seventh grade ones. Mrs. Kishi was really unobservant to not notice that her “daughter” was made of stuffing. (I pictured Claudia making this huge mound of clothes under her blankets.) Claudia was apparently not afraid of the closet monster since she spent a good chunk of the night in hers.
Boo For the Fourth Grade: I guess the Kishis no longer really pushed Claudia because they didn't want her to go suicidal on them? That’s what I got out of this chapter. I think it would have been different for Claudia if the family had moved to a different town. She would have adjusted and moved on with her life. As it was, she was plucked out of her own life. If that makes sense. Her Stoneybrook life kept going without her, and she had to come home and see how it progressed every day. This was the start of the family sitting with Claudia during her homework, so they had been doing that for five years! I don’t know if they thought that through so well. Good luck to them in high school, when Claudia would have the most homework ever and they would be down to two people to help her. (Assuming Janine left for college.)
The Sea Rose: I've always loved the Kristy/Claudia friendship and thought of them as each other’s second best friend. It still annoys me that Charlie and Sam (and even David Michael) showed such little interest in Claudia (and Mary Anne) throughout the series, especially after reading the portrait books. The six of them spent so much time together! Anyway, the vacation sounded like a fun time. (I’m glad they didn't spend much time on the baseball games. ) Yes, Kristy was stupid with allowing David Michael to go off by himself, but she was only eleven. Real eleven year olds have stupid judgement sometimes. I laughed when Claudia and Kristy saw a crowd of people having a fit at the edge of the water, and Claud was like “Oh my lord, David Michael’s being eaten by a shark right now!”. It was very sweet at the end that Claudia said her respect and admiration for Kristy had grown, and she (Kristy) was doing a super job living a tough life.
I wish Claudia had gotten a better grade. It sounded like she put the most effort into putting her project together out of everyone. The others all sounded like a simple report with a cover page. Claudia made a book with a table of contents, a dedication page, illustrated chapters and a cover.
I have always wondered how old Mimi was supposed to be, too Sparklymouse. In the picture on page 50, Mimi looks a little younger than she did when holding Claudia. At that time, ITA she could have passed for Rioko's--a few years older--sister. For some reason I have it in my head that Claudia (maybe in #2)? told us Mimi came to the US when she was 30. If that is correct and Rioko and John were close to Richard in age at 42 or 43, they both would have been 30 when Claudia was born making Mimi 72 or 73. "Nannie's" supposed age. It seemed like past #2 Mimi suddenly jumped from ten or fifteen years past middle age to being very old and ill. :'/ I shouldn't be even speculating on this because all you know how much I "loved" Mimi and how absolutely horrible it was (IMO) that she was literally written off. Louie, too, of course but in a different way. It almost makes me wish Mimi had joined the girls in making a handprint in the cement.
Post by sparklymouse on Dec 12, 2012 17:44:11 GMT -5
^Are you saying she was 72-73 when Claudia was born? Making her 85-86 when she died. Or 72-73 when she died? I was thinking early 70s at most when she died. That's pretty young. Being sick really does age a person.
^It depends. The CG claims Mimi came to the US at age 32. Supposedly this is in #26 on page 4. I am almost certain we were never told how hold Rioko was when "she came to the US (with Mimi) just that she was a young girl." I think Ann and Co simply aged Mimi assuming no one would notice. :/
I wonder what made Claudia choose the tooth fairy story as well. Do you think she kept the tooth she made in class and it triggered her memory? Or that year possibly being her last year where she did okay in school?
I'm on my second attempt at reading this one and I'm having a hard time getting into it. I'm not sure why. I did like reading about Claudia, Kristy and Mary Anne spending time together when they were little. When we first met them all in KGI, Kristy made it sound like they weren't very close, though she could have just been referring to them drifting apart since starting middle school.
Editing to add more thoughts now that I'm done with the book.
Didn't care for the tooth fairy stuff. I just thought it was really boring. I also didn't care for the fourth grade chapters. Like so many others on this thread, I found it hard to believe Claudia would sink into such a deep depression over changing schools.
The Sea Rose was my favorite part. I love beaches and beach towns. Hammond Beach sounded a lot like some of the little beach towns here on the Great Lakes. I could picture it perfectly. I guess Kristy didn't learn her lesson - she let DM go off by himself here, and then a few years later let Karen do the same thing on the cruise ship!
I noticed Claudia's teacher commented that there were spelling errors. What, no spellcheck on Janine's computer?
I loved the picture of their cement handprints on the last page.
Last Edit: Jan 18, 2014 16:03:26 GMT -5 by candykane
"Usually, I think my parents are dorks, but every now and then they come through." --Claudia Kishi
I just finished reading this and also didn't care for the tooth fairy stuff. It seemed randomly thrown in to me. I did love though how Claudia and her class-mates got to enjoy a hands on project about teeth instead of just reading or listening about them.
I cheered when Rioko of all people "hopped on one leg" during "circus Simon Says." And thought it was awesome how John immediately said he would go out and get a new ice cream cake when the first one melted because Claudia was so upset. I also liked that he painted clown faces on everyone, "even Mimi." Claud's parents, often come across to me as very formal, distant, and not all that fun-loving and so it was great to see them doing their best to celebrate their daughter and her birthday, make it happier. As far as I understood on the invitations (the ticket to the circus sounded very cute btw) they were clearly party invitations. We don't know exactly when SES ended, in terms of how much time there was between the last day and Claud's party but it did sound like a while--maybe a few weeks. I absolutely think Rioko and/or John should have, if even discreetly called some of Claud's classmates to remind them (the parents) about the party. I also think a much better solution would have been mailing the invitations as planned before school let out and then perhaps on the last day Claudia making some sort of show and share reminder announcement. I hated how Rioko just kept saying "maybe Mimi didn't write RSVP." She knew that Mimi did and should have taken better party planning care. Not up to a 5 almost 6 year old to do that.
The school stuff bothered me because when Claud's parents finally shared she was going back to SES, one of the things John said was that they (him and Rioko) had hoped the new school would make things easier for us--I took that to mean them, not Claudia. :/ I do agree that the extent of just how truly depressed Claud became might have been over done but I can see it happening just because while Mimi was Claud's very best friend, Kristy and Mary Anne were her closest ones and she probably was truly afraid of losing their connection. I remember after a horrible junior high school experience, I had the choice of either going to the local HS, same was most of the kids I had gone to JHS and even some Elementary School with or attending a magnet school, a good half hour away. I didn't have the friendships that Claud did so finally decided on the magnet school because at that time I relished the opportunity to start over in a way. On the flip side, I did go to a private school from I think age 3 to 8 and was not happy at all when my family moved and I started a brand new (elementary school for third grade). I can see it both ways.
What will always touch me the most is Mimi and the cement handprints. I still wish she had made her own. I also wish more than ever after reading about Kristy and Claudia at the Sea Rose, that the two of them (to our knowledge) had stayed closer friends. Oh and I thought it was neat how at the end Claudia decided to create an autobiography just for herself out of artwork, like her butterfly self portrait from years ago.