The best thing about Babysitter’s Club #128: Claudia and the Little Liar is its length: short. Alas, with any book read for Raych’s HORRIBLE DARE CHALLENGE, this piece of ‘90’s yuck is not short enough. Raych, behold! I’m 1/3 done with your summer punishment!!!
In my elementary school days, I’ve read just one BSC book (#1 Kristy’s Great Idea), so I only have a vague recollection of the girls, their personalities or lack thereof, etc… I do, however, remember Claudia, she of the colorful wardrobe.
Being of a girl woman of color, I so rarely get to read books about my people. I relate to Claudia. Flashback to 5th grade: I’m the scrunchie queen! I wore my shiny black hair in a sideways ponytail. I, too, have almond shape eyes. I wore saddle pants and sweaters with buttons and other random crap stuck on them, and vests. I own many, many vests. Claudia is like my slightly stupid doppelganger!
The story opens with an info dump of boring and mostly useless information. Claudia is sitting in her room making tie-dye baseball jerseys and yammering on about her junk food stash and how she flunked out of 7th grade and her parents were cool with it. (Here Claudia and I differ. If I had flunked out of 7th grade, my parents would flay me alive with a Chinese backscratcher like they did that one time I failed to memorize my multiplication tables).
Claudia is dating a younger boy, Josh, who, depending on the time of day, is either ‘cute’ or ‘adorable’ because Claudia knows no other adjectives!!!! If this synopsis sounds boring to you, it’s because Claudia doesn’t leave her room for the span of TWO CHAPTERS. I thought the pace would pick up after the BSC members start trickling in, but I was wrong. Instead, Claudia trash describes her friends and proves to one and all that she’s the biggest bitch in Stoneybrook. Observe: “Kristy may look small and plain, but she’s not. A big personality lies inside.”
Then Claudia philosophizes: “Mary Ann is so sensitive she sometimes bursts into tears. It’s as if she shares the other person’s pain.” Deep, huh?
Around mid-book, the plot picks up. Claudia babysits the little liar and major domestic shit happens. Wait, I fibbed. Did I say major? I mean, boring why-do-I-care????-kill-me-now-I-choose-death-over-reading-this-drivel shit happens. The highlight of this book is when Claudia uses her sign language skills to pacify the deaf brother of the demon spawn liar. I also clapped and squealed in glee when Claudia made the little liar cry.
Stay away from this book! Run! Hide ye hence! Book ends with everyone standing around the kitchen table talking about how they suck at fractions. ‘Nuff said.
Philippa Gregory’s The Favored Child, Book II of the Wideacre Trilogy awaits. I’ll cross myself now.