Friday, June 12, 2009

#40: Claudia and the Middle School Mystery

Tagline: How could anyone accuse Claudia of cheating?

Cover: "Hmm. This is very odd." That's what I imagine Mr. Zorzi saying. Is that who it is? I get him and Mr. Zizmore mixed up. Anyway, while he's murmuring "veeeery peculiar...", Claudia is busy being all "like, I don't KNOW!" and Shawna is...looking kind of like how I imagine Shannon Kilbourne to look. As in, she's kind of dressing like Janine, but trendier. Speaking of dressing, Claudia's outfit is not outrageous. What Claudia wore was boring. It's jeans, a shirt, and a vest. With earrings. And her hair is pulled back. Maybe something wild is happening below the picture. But you know if they described it, it would totally be like, "Claudia was wearing another one of her wild outfits. She had jeans that flared at the knee into day-glo yellow pleats. She was wearing a man's blue dress shirt with white stripes all over it and her sleeves were rolled up to the elbow. Over that she had layered this funky brown vest. She had dangly earrings and her hair was all piled on top of her head. It would look weird on someone else, but Claudia was totally pulling it off."

In real time, when this book was published (1991), Claudia would have been 17.

Plot!: Claudia has been studying with Janine to bring up her math grade. She gets an awesome mark on a test, but then her teacher accuses her of cheating off of Shawna Riverson. Claudia knows she is innocent, so she sets out to prove it, through such great plans as breaking into her locker or saying words like "cheat" and "lie" over and over again. That doesn't work, so Janine goes right to the principal and gets Claudia another chance. Cornered, Shawna finally confesses and Claudia celebrates with cookies and cake.

Meanwhile, one of the Pike triplets breaks a window, but they won't say who did it. They are grounded and it's all uncomfortable at home. Eventually they reenact it and it's found at that none of them broke the window because they all did, or something dumb like that.

Continuity Fairy: Claudia isn't really dumb, she just...blah blah blah, or something. They are really inconsistent with Claudia and whether or not she has a learning disability.

Points of Interest:

Final Thought: For someone who reads a lot of mysteries, Claudia is spectacularly bad at solving this one. Maybe because it's NOT A MYSTERY.


Sadako said...

My angel in the centerfold! hehe. Priceless.

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