Tuesday, April 7, 2009

“Either way…I was adopted”……BSC # 33: Claudia and the Great Search

Memory Reaction

I don’t remember any of the details of this one, but I know I felt embarrassed for Claud. It is one of those stories where you know someone is going to do something stupid, and cringe in sympathy.

I also think this is the one where she gets some picture of Mimi…then she talks to it in later books. But I may be combining that with other books.

Revisited Reaction

We start out with an awards ceremony for Janine. This makes Claudia feel even dumber than usual, and she keeps thinking about how she is different from the rest of her family. She looks at some old photo albums, and she sees a ton of Janine pictures and almost none of her. So, she decides she must be adopted. She finds a lock box in her parent’s closet, and randomly decides it has her adoption papers. Instead of asking her parents, she decides to investigate, but doesn’t really come to any conclusion – except to declare that since there was no birth announcement in the paper, she must be adopted. Because all births absolutely HAVE to be listed in the paper.

This theory is influenced somewhat by Emily Michelle. Kristy is talking about her a lot, because Emily’s doctor said she was less developed than most two-tear-olds. This means that Emily can’t register for preschool. This is obviously due to the fact that Emily lived in an orphanage, and has only been in the United States for a few months. But, Kristy is worried anyway. Claudia gets a job sitting for her, and tries to help Emily learn shapes and colors and stuff. She does such a good job, that the Brewer’s hire Claudia to be her tutor (cause millionaires can’t afford to get any kind of real tutor, or even to spend time with their kid). But this gets Claudia to see Emily a lot, and when she does, she thinks about how lucky Emily is to be told she is adopted. Well, she would kind of have to be, doesn’t she? I mean, at some point, Emily will be old enough to see that no one else in the family is Asian.

Claudia comes up with all these wild theories about her “birth parents,” but none of them really make sense. Stacey finally convinces her to talk to her parents. As soon as Claud does, they tell her she wasn’t adopted, her birth announcement was in another paper, and they didn’t take as many pictures of her because they were busier when two kids were around. They also point out that she looks exactly like Mimi, which Claud loves. Oh, and that locked box? Full of cash – $500 worth, in case her parents ever need “fast cash” in the middle of the night.

Also, after a few weeks working with Claud, Emily has improved greatly and is now far enough along to get into pre-school for next fall. I guess it is true that peer tutoring works.


  • Let’s start with an outfit: “A long pleated plaid skirt, a white shirt with round collar, stockings, and blue heels.” – Does that sound normal? That’s because it is Janine’s.
  • Here is Claud’s outfit: “A very short black skirt, an oversized white shirt with bright pink and turquoise poodles over it, flat turquoise shoes with ankle straps, and a ton of jewelry, including poodle earrings.” I am ashamed to say I thought clothes like that were once cool to.
  • Claud says that all Janine’s friends walk around with protractors in their pockets. Has anyone ever seen someone actually do this? In my school, even the “dorks” dressed normally.
  • Have I mentioned this before? Cause they say this in every book – it is another sign of the ghostwriters having it out for Mal. When talking about the record book, it is all, “Mary Anne keeps track of my art classes, Jessi’s ballet practice, Kristy’s Krushers practices, and Mal’s orthodontist appointments.” Everyone else gets hobbies and Mal gets orthodontist appointments.
  • This seems kind of mean – the day of her award ceremony, Janine kept running into Claud’s room with different outfits on. Claudia thought they all looked boring, so she says they are all fine. I mean, Janine was probably lucky she didn’t take Claud’s fashion advice, but really. Janine helps Claud with school all the time. Claudia could at least look at her clothes.
  • Fun fact: Claud’s mom is certified to teach elementary school.
  • So, Dawn is sitting at Kristy’s while Kristy is at the Papadakis’s. She brings the kids over to play, and David Michael, Linny, and some other neighbor start to play baseball with Kristy. Meanwhile, Dawn watches Hannie, Emily, and the little Papadakis kid. But, isn’t Hannie on the Krushers? I am sure she is. She should have been playing ball too.
  • Another sign of the genius Perkins girls – Myriah is able to make a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies with no recipe.
  • Claud reads “Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye,” and decides her life is just like the book. Imagine if she read “The Face on the Milk Carton?”
  • Why is Claud so convinced that birth announcements HAVE to be in the paper?
  • Kristy’s grandmother takes Emily back to the preschool to be evaluated. Wouldn’t this be something parents normally do? I know Kristy’s mom and Watson work, but you’d think they would take time off for something like that.
  • David Michael asks Kristy if he is a good ballplayer, and she says, “you’re getting better.” Nice.
  • Why isn’t Becca Ramsey a Krusher’s cheerleader? They always talk about how she is Charlotte’s BFF, and Charlotte (uncharacteristically) is one, along with Vanessa Pike and Haley Braddock. In later books, I think those four are super close, so why is she left out?
  • Want an example of Claudia’s detective work? She sees birth announcements from the paper for the week she was born, looks up the parents, and calls to find out if they still have a 13-year-old daughter. Perfectly logical. At least she knew to eliminate the boys.
  • She also visits her pediatrician – and when the receptionist says Claudia didn’t start coming there until she was 3, Claud decides it is part of a mass conspiracy theory.
  • Why would Claud’s parents need fast cash in the middle of the night? And if they did, wouldn’t you want to keep more that you could get from an ATM.
  • Claudia never ends up telling the BSC her theory – she only talked about it with Stacey. That is a pretty rare occurrence in these books.


Jen said...

I remember this one ^_^ Odd that Stacey is being sensible.

booboobrewer said...

I don't think mentioning Mal's orthodontist appointments mean the writers hate her. They just are what they are. The others have their clubs and lessons, she keeps a journal and spies on people...not exactly activities Mary Anne should be jotting down.

nikki said...

"I guess it is true that peer tutoring works."

OK, that made me laugh out loud!

Sarah said...

Aren't protractors sharp? Wouldn't it hurt to keep one in your pocket?

MsJess said...

booboobrewer - well it reinforces that Mal needs ot see her orthodontist on a semi-weekly basis.

Sadako said...

That's pretty often. I usually only went to my orthodontist like once a month.

Anonymous said...

I went to mine once a month too. I'm not seeing the part where the number of visits Mal pays is actually given. I doubt it's semi-weekly...

booboobrewer said...

oops I accidentally clicked on anon. I left that last comment :)

hungryandfrozen said...

Claudia's outfit makes me think "oy with the poodles already!"

Poor Emily Michelle. Her adoptive parents never spend time with her and she'll never get any older than a toddler.

And I'm surprised Myriah didn't make like, a souffle or something.

Unknown said...

For some reason, as a kid, I was sure the Kishis kept the money in case someone kidnapped Claud. And in my mind, I guess they wouldn't ask for more than $500.

Later I figured it was to pay off the blackmailers, or maybe help Janine if she got into 'trouble' because they were too young to be grandparents. I had a whole list of theories. And all of them were about as sensible as Claud thinking she was adopted.

Mel said...

The thing about the BSC is that they made everything so much more hardcore than it actually was. Apparently people with diabetes could never eat normally at all, people with allergies couldn't have blankets, and if you had braces you had to go the the orthodontist 27/7.

Laura said...

I remember in one of the books they said Becca Ramsey gets really bad stage fright, so that's probably why she's not a cheerleader.

The Kitten Temp said...

Re: birth announcements, in some places they ARE all published in the newspaper. I can remember this because it's part of the evidence that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii fair and square.

edkchestnut said...

I know these are all old but I had to respond to Impy's theories. Obviously, they are all wrong. Claud's parents were in the witness protection program and they had to have cash handy in case the drug dealers they had testified against found them in the middle of the night. Too bad they didn't think to warn their daughter about getting mixed up in Kristy's weird mafia-scientology baby-sitting service where you could never grow-up or hang out with anyone who wasn't a member. Of course, Katie Holmes finally managed to break free, maybe there's hope for the rest of the girls, after all.

Anonymous said...

Good one

Liz said...

Now that I think about it, isn't it weird that Claudia's parents would let her dress the way she did? Considering they are so strict about not letting her eat junk food or read Nancy Drew books, I'd figure they would take issue with her dressing so outlandishly.