Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ew, biology; or, BSC #33: Claudia and the Great Search.

Ugh. It’s hot. And I’m watching Howard’s End while typing this, so forgive any slips into Merchant Ivory speak.

First of all, Claudia describes Stacey as funny and sweet, and I was all “LIES! ALL LIES!”

Anyway, in this book, Claudia’s an idiot. Big surprise, right? After Janine wins some award for being a good student, Claudia’s in a funk. She feels that she doesn’t fit in with her brainy family. So she goes digging in the den and finds HARDLY ANY BABY PICTURES of her. And she finds A LOCKBOX! THAT SHE CAN’T OPEN! So she just knows that she’s ADOPTED. Like Emily Michelle (you know, Kristy’s Vietnamese sister). So, she decides to investigate. And she can’t find a birth announcement in the local paper. So, she decides to hunt down her birth parents. I shit you not. She finds three announcements for girls born right around her birth that she doesn’t know. And she decides to contact the parents to see if she’s their daughter (um, is it just me, or if you were giving up your baby for adoption, would you really place a birth announcement? Cause I wouldn’t.). And she’s all worked up. Finally, she talks to her parents, and they tell her she’s not adopted, that they were too busy (and were pictured out after baby girl the first) to take baby pictures, and they placed both birth announcements in a paper that went out of business. Oh, and the lockbox is full of emergency cash (SWEET!). La, happy ending.

Subplot: Emily Michelle is having troubles. She’s having nightmares and freaking out about being left. Plus, she’s way behind other kids her age with talking and playing and things we now refer to as developmental objectives and the like. So, Claudia helps her learn colors and matching and stuff. Cause that stuff’s on Claud’s level. (Ouch!)

This book is sooooooooooooooo lame! Everyone, I think, entertains notions of being adopted when they feel that don’t fit in, but seriously? She’s taking it a bit too far, don’t ya think? And her clues? For someone who reads so much Nancy Drew, she should know better.

And I love how her “wild” clothes are actually something you’d wear in elementary school, like animal prints. For example,

“I, on the other hand, was dressed in one of my usual wild outfits—a very short black skirt, an oversized white shirt with bright pink and turquoise poodles printed on it, flat turquoise shoes with ankle straps [which I want! Turquoise Mary Janes!], and a ton of jewelry, including dangly poodle earrings. My long hair was swept to one side in a high ponytail held in place with a huge pink barrette.”

Classy. And really kinda juvenile, if you think about it…

{Heh. "A woman and not a lady?" I love costume dramas. And I seriously want both Helena Bonham Carter's and Emma Thompson's wardrobe in Howard's End.}

17 comments:

Miss Scarlet said...

I convinced my younger sister she was adopted when she was little-I'm so mean. But she never investigated it! And that's so mean of Claudia's parents- "Sorry, the first kid was the one we REALLY cared about."

Library Lady said...

Claudia's outfit makes her sound more like a prosti-tot than a babysitter I'd feel comfortable leaving my children with.

Double check... I'm confused. Emily Michelle is freaking out about being left? Like, left handed? Or left behind? If the first, she's clearly been sampling the paint chips. If the second, isn't she only like 3? 3 year-olds can barely find their feet...

Steffi said...

what i always got a kick out of in this book was when Claudia first suggested to Stacey that she thought she was adopted, Stacey was like, "yeah, you are, because you're dumb and the rest of your family isn't." (okay, so i paraphrased it a bit)

and i also got a kick out of the whole "Emily Michelle will be able to start preschool in the fall when she's 3!" but we all knew that wouldn't happen, in the wonderful world of the Stoneybrook time warp. it did bug me, though, how Emily Michelle was protrayed as being almost like a baby, while 2 1/2 year old Gabbie Perkins played softball ... wtf?

Anonymous said...

oh my god. i just randomly stumbled across your blog, and speaking as a fellow childhood BSC afficiando all grown up now, this sh*t is TOO FUNNY. love your work, keep em coming.

Anonymous said...

Also just came across this - it is seriously funny :)
I think the success of the books was all about 8-9 year-olds reading them. I also remember my older sister being openly scathing about my reading them, but secretly taking them from my room...

Does anyone else remember how there was about a chapter near the beginning of each book which was almost identical - the bit with the history of the BSC? Long before I got sick of the books themselves, I would just skip over that chapter completely... I probably could have recited it word for word ;)

As for any weird bits - I just put them down to the fact that the books were set in America (I'm Australian). Luckily, by the time I actually started to meet Americans I knew better ;) But does anyone remember the book (can't remember which - they all blur into one for me, or the 30 or so that I read did, anyway) where an Aussie family turns up? They all had red hair, or something... Anyway, that was just completely bizarre!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Chapter Two, the chapter for you idiots who never read Kristy's Great Idea. I never read chapter two, either.

Jackie said...

Despite the completely horrible, well everything, of these books (and my, was I an avid reader in 3rd & 4th grades) I HAVE to appreciate the creativity that went in to the clothing descriptions. Pink and Turquoise Poodles? It's twisted and brilliant in it's own special way. lol

Anonymous said...

I used to skip chapter two each time, too, until I was an EXPERT BSC reader and could understand the beauty of the way that each girl was described differently... except EXACTLY THE SAME each time.

Oh. The beauty of this beautiful book series.

The Authoritay said...

I remember thinking it was kind of sweet when Claudia realized she wasn't adopted because she looked just like Mimi when Mimi was 13. This is set after the Sad Good-bye, right? Gah, that one kills me, I'll say it.

Anonymous said...

Also another thing about Claudia's wardrobe...whose buying her this stuff? I mean for real, not only is it over the top but she has way too many clothes for a girl her age. The same shoes are never decribed twice, I mean why would a 13 year old need so many shoes? I had maybe four pairs when I was that age. Other than that, matching your sweater apliques to your earings? Thats a fashion DO!

Elizabeth said...

This blog is too freaking funny.

ANYWAY!

As an adopted kid, I never quite got this book. I mean, at 13 I knew searching birth announcements and all that wasn't going to find me my parents. I agree that for all her Nancy Drew reading, Claud really could have come to more conclusions much faster. I realize it would have made the story nonexistent, but um, how about ASKING if you're adopted??

To library lady...I think it's more that Emily Michelle was having separation anxiety....which is common in little kids when they start to indiviuate from their parents. Plus, us adopted kids always feel a bit more anxious about not being included and being left behind. :o)

Too. Freaking. Funny.

Anonymous said...

Thought that point about Gabbie Perkins, at two years old, was valid. I mean, she can play in a team, speak in long and complex (for a six year old) sentences, and she can memorise long showtunes. Also, Myriah (how d'you pronounce that, the way?)has a million talents and can apparently sing with a fantastic voice. Um, hello? If she can really sing so brilliantly, at what, four years old, she would have long been discovered for movies or something. THAT IS SO FREAKING UNLIKELY! And poor little Emily Michelle can't hardly talk, is being coached by CLAUDIA, and doesn't even know her colours yet.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 'miss scarlet'... I mean, saying that you usually take more pictures of the first child is basically saying
oh yes, the first children are always loved more and you are no exeption, also bearing in mind that Claudia is very insecure because she thinks she doesn't fit in and everyone in the family is better then her. Delicatley handled, Mama Kishi, really reassuring. But the strange thing is, Claudia actually accepts it!

Paige said...

I totally always skipped chapter two, too.

Kylie said...

I always thought Myriah was meant to be pronounced Maria because that's how Claudia spelled it in the notebook. But I could never say it that way, I thought it was like Mariah Carey.

Anonymous said...

My money's on this one: http://www.specialistauctions.com/cache/cache_500_1__a837993_mainpicJPG.img?9212

metamorphstorm said...
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