Claudia and the New Girl

claudia and the new girlClaudia often feels untalented. She struggles with school and compares herself unfavorably with her academically talented sister, Janine. The one place where Claudia knows that she is truly talented is with her art.

When a new girl, Ashley Wyeth, moves to town, Claudia is very interested in her. Ashley dresses even more outlandishly than Claudia does, seems good as everything, and has studied at a famous art school.

Ashley sees talent in Claudia’s work, and she wants to be Claudia’s friend. The other members of the Babysitters Club are unhappy with this as Ashley is unfriendly to them. Actually, Ashley barely speaks to any of the kids at school other than Claudia. When Claudia starts hanging out with Ashley, Claudia starts missing club meetings, stops eating lunch with her friends, and becomes super-focused on her art. Will Claudia choose to remain friends with the Babysitters Club or will she ditch them for Ashley and her art?

I noticed . . .

I noticed how quick the girls were to be hurt and offended. They assumed Claudia didn’t want to be their friend anymore, and this reminded me of how young the girls really are.

I noticed that the girls really needed to talk to each other. It was super-frustrating to see them passively-aggressively stealing Claudia’s snack food and hiding mean notes in her room.

I noticed how flattered Claudia was by Ashley’s attention. I think she needs more affirmation.

I also noticed Dawn’s brother’s ongoing problems are getting worse.

I wondered . . .

I wondered why Ashley was such a snob. She wasn’t shy. She was openly unfriendly.

I wondered why the girls were so quick to turn against Claudia. They all need some lessons on expecting the best motivations from those we care about.

I wondered what Ashley’s parents thought about her behavior. If I had known that my daughter was acting like Ashley did, I would have been quite irritated.

It reminded me of . . .

Since Ashley was quite a snob, I was reminded of Kristy and the Snobs.

Because I recently saw the mentor/mentee relationship in Relic and Reliquary, I was reminded of that by Ashley and Claudia’s relationship.

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