Read Claudia's Book by Ann M. Martin Free Online
Book Title: Claudia's Book|
The author of the book: Ann M. Martin
The size of the: 29.53 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1443 times
Reader ratings: 5.4
Date of issue: March 1st 1995
ISBN 13: 9780590484008
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
this is claudia's version of the lengthy autobiography that each stoneybrook middle school eighth grader has to write. she subtitles it "an artist's life". it opens with some pretty dull recollections from janine about the day claudia was brought home from the hospital after being born. janine was three & a half then & was eating alphabet soup for lunch. mimi was trying to each her how to spell "claudia" with her alphabet noodles. then mr. & mrs. kishi arrived home with baby claudia & janine said hello & then she finished her soup. FASCINATING. claudia includes a copy of her birth announcement, from the now-defunct "stoneybrook gazette". claudia & i have the same birthday: july 11. & the same middle name by birth: lynn. i have since legally changed my middle name to miaow.
one of claudia's earliest memories involves her sixth birthday. her parents let her throw a birthday party with a complicated circus theme. it involved a game of pin-the-nose-on-the-clown, a circus-themed ice cream cake with a little figurine of claudia dressed in a ringmaster outfit on top, & cute invitations that looked like tickets to the circus. because claudia was born in the middle of summer, she took her invitations to school on the last day of kindergarten to hand them out to her classmates. but the last day of school is so busy with all the celebrating & cleaning out of cubbies & such forth that claudia doesn't get around to passing out invitations until the end of the day. children are encouraged to RSVP by having their parents call the kishis, but as summertime marches on, the kishis receive no RSVPs. mrs. kishi frets that maybe claudia didn't hand out the invitations. claudia is unconcerned. she knows she handed out the invitations & can't imagine why no one would want to come to her birthday party.
well, of course no one comes because they completely forgot about it in the excitement of the last day of school & the intervening six weeks that passed before claudia's party. like i said, claudia & i have the same birthday & i can totally vouch for the fact that having a mid-summer birthday SUCKS as a child because it's pretty much impossible to have birthday parties. i did have a birthday party when i turned six--somehow my parents managed to invite maybe ten girls from the kindergarten class. my family lived in a big park at the time--we were supposed to take care of the grounds, plant grass, maintain the playground equipment, direct traffic to the pool on busy days, scare off wolves, etc. so it was an ideal setting for a child's birthday party. unfortunately, i came down with chicken pox a few days before my birthday & had to sit inside, covered in calamine lotion, while my friends sat outside at picnic tables, eating cake & ice cream & playing games. i think it was probably my worst birthday ever.
anyway, claudia thinks hers is the worst birthday ever because no one comes to the party except for kristy & mary anne. claudia runs away & cries. finally mimi coaxes claudia out of her room & across the street, where the kishis have teamed up with the thomases & the spiers for a smaller but still elaborate circus-themed party. they replaced the melted ice cream cake with a fresh one & the older thomas kids have wrapped up some of their old toys as gifts for claudia. she ends up having a great time after all.
in the second grade, claudia develops a fear of the tooth fairy. she thinks the tooth fairy is basically a big monster that steals teeth right out of children's heads. she is very reluctant to lose a tooth. then she falls on the playground & knocks one of her teeth loose. for some bizarre reason, her parents don't just let nature take its course. they instead take her to the distance, who pulls the loose tooth. what the fuck? the dentist gives claudia the tooth & reminds her to stash it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. instead, claudia makes herself a little nest in her closet & sets a bunch of traps so that she will wake up & be ready to fight back when the tooth fairy shows up. she is almost dozing off in the closet when a figure creeps into her room & whispers her name. the figure then reaches under claudia's pillow & sneaks away. claudia realizes that it was her mother, swapping out the tooth for a silver dollar. she puts it all together amazingly quickly for claudia: there is no tooth fairy, it's her parents, there is also no easter bunny or santa claus. she feels very grown up.
in the fourth grade, claudia is really struggling to keep up with her schoolwork. her teacher requests a conference with mr. & mrs. kishi & suggest that claudia be transferred to the stamford alternative academy, which can provide her with more individual attention & may have teaching strategies that will help claudia learn in her own way. claudia freaks. she's not doing well at stoneybrook elementary as far as academics, but she is loath to switch schools & leave her friends before. she decides she will bomb the entrace exams for the academic academy, which she figures won't be hard to do since she is so bad at tests anyway.
of course, the tests aren't really tests. they're just examinations designed to show in which areas claudia needs more help. she is admitted to the alternative academy & is really bummed about it. she starts classes there & finds that she does have an easier time learning with all the individual attention she gets. whenever she doesn't understand a topic through one way of teaching, her instructors try something else until they hit on a method that helps her learn. but even as her schoolwork improves, claudia is getting depressed. she doesn't try to make friends at her new school & is convinced that her old friends at stoneybrook elementary have forgotten about her because they don't go to school together anymore. gradually, she stops talking to anyone, stops eating, starts sleeping all the time.
finally her parents recognize that claudia is profoundly depressed & they allow her to go back to school at stoneybrook elementary. they say that improved scholastic achievement isn't worth paying the price in claudia's happiness. claudia returns to stoneybrook elementary & again starts slipping academically, but is too happy to be back with her friends to care.
i have really mixed feelings about this story. i went through some bouts of profound depression when i was a child--at an age far earlier than most adults start worrying about children exhibiting depression symptoms. so i appreciated this take on childhood depression. but it bummed me out that the story seemed to be a choice between claudia being able to keep up academically & prepare for a successful future, versus claudia maintaining her mental health & social life, which are also important for a healthy & productive adulthood. i really wanted the kishis to try to find some kind of middle ground, where claudia can be happy but also get the special academic attention that she obviously needs. obviously regular classroom settings are failing her. i don't know. it bummed me out.
the last story is about claudia going on a beach weekend trip with the thomas family when she is like ten years old. she & kristy are looking after david michael & he gets permission from them to go on his own to get a hot dog. kristy says he has to be back in ten minutes. but he just doesn't come back. kristy & claudia are in a panic looking for him, wondering if maybe he was hit by a car or kidnapped & wandered into the ocean alone & drowned. they finally find him an hour later playing with some other kids in the sand. he is four years old & had no idea what ten minutes really was or how to tell time. he didn't even realize that he was missing. david michael, kristy, & claudia agree to keep the event from mrs. thomas because she'll just get mad at all of them if she knows, & it all worked out in the end, so...no harm, no foul. but claudia realizes that kristy doesn't have it easy, taking on as much responsibility as she has had to do since her dad walked out.
claudia gets an A for presentation & a B- for organization, spelling, & grammar.
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Read information about the authorAnn Matthews Martin was born on August 12, 1955. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with her parents and her younger sister, Jane. After graduating from Smith College, Ann became a teacher and then an editor of children's books. She's now a full-time writer.
Ann gets the ideas for her books from many different places. Some are based on personal experiences, while others are based on childhood memories and feelings. Many are written about contemporary problems or events. All of Ann's characters, even the members of the Baby-sitters Club, are made up. But many of her characters are based on real people. Sometimes Ann names her characters after people she knows, and other times she simply chooses names that she likes.
Ann has always enjoyed writing. Even before she was old enough to write, she would dictate stories to her mother to write down for her. Some of her favorite authors at that time were Lewis Carroll, P. L. Travers, Hugh Lofting, Astrid Lindgren, and Roald Dahl. They inspired her to become a writer herself.
Since ending the BSC series in 2000, Ann’s writing has concentrated on single novels, many of which are set in the 1960s.
After living in New York City for many years, Ann moved to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York where she now lives with her dog, Sadie, and her cats, Gussie, Willy and Woody. Her hobbies are reading, sewing, and needlework. Her favorite thing to do is to make clothes for children.
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