Claudia and the Bad Joke, by Ann M. Martin

ssshira's review

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this is the first time I've read this book!

when claudia is sitting for new client betsy sobak (who is a huge prankster), she badly breaks her leg as a result of betsy being a little jerk. she considers quitting the club because she thinks it's dangerous to baby-sit. the rest of the club tries to out-prank betsy.

-the opener to the book is kristy saying she's never been hit in the face with a pie.
-kristy's obsessed with the idea of wearing food. "like, to hang grapes from your earlobes, or make a vest out of teabags." haha kristy I love you so much ya freak.
-claud says she thinks adults have a stock of jokes they learn when they turn 21. this is when she is scared of the cast cutter saw at the hospital and her mom says that they haven't lost a limb yet and then the doctor says the exact same thing. grown ups like dad jokes!

-in general, I think it is astonishingly irresponsible and awful that the baby-sitters play into betsy's practical joke game. how could they not just say, "hey, did you notice that your practical jokes got our friend claudia hospitalized? could you stop now?" and if she doesn't stop, tell her smug idiot mom that BETSY IS A JERK. she is obviously unwilling to listen and won't believe that her daughter is as awful as she is, but seriously, she tricks claudia into using a swing that seriously injures her, and that is not enough to make betsy stop pranking people. this is some nanny 911 crap.
-it's spelled double stuf oreos, not double stuff oreos. ann, you spelled it right in [b:Jessi's Secret Language|233751|Jessi's Secret Language (The Baby-Sitters Club, #16)|Ann M. Martin||3057116] so I don't really get this. different editors?
-claud gives flowers to cathy the whiny baby 14-year-old she's sharing a room with in the hospital. this is a little dumb and tacked-on, like they're trying to make us think that claudia is this altruistic kid.

no outfits. I hate claudia books without outfits.

dawn's kid kit:
-old maid
-mad libs
-[b:Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle|25051|Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, #1)|Betty MacDonald||2208078]

non-betsy or pike pranks:
-kristy squirts invisible ink on mary anne's sweatshirt
-claudia gets a call asking for prince albert in a can
-sam goof calls bsc meeting twice

pike pranks:
-margo springs out from behind bushes to shout boo at jessi and mary anne
-nicky shakes mary anne's hand with a buzzer
-is your refrigerator running call to mary anne (vanessa is the caller)
-asking for "rita book" call to jessi (vanessa is the caller)
-claire shoots jessi with a water gun
-rubber spider in claire's room for jessi
-fake barf in the bathroom for mary anne
-chocolate-covered tennis ball "sundae" for nicky made by triplets
-nicky pulls chair out from jessi making her fall
-jessi gets a call from "queen elizabeth" for "prince charles" and jessi says he can't come to the phone because he's waxing his yacht (probably vanessa is the caller)

betsy pranks:
-fly ice cube and dribble glass for claudia's apple juice from betsy
-spicy gum in wrigley's wrapper for claudia from betsy
-betsy tells claudia to use the broken swing and she breaks her leg
-betsy pretends to have left the house and jumps out of her hiding place and yells boo at mallory
-mallory pretends she has beauty powder but it's sneezing powder and it makes betsy sneeze
-betsy pretends she sneezed out a tooth
-mal scares betsy w/ fake slug and fake rat
-betsy scares mal w/ fake snake and fake cockroach
-betsy puts slime in dawn's kid kit
-dawn pretends to faint then yells boo when betsy checks on her
-betsy has dawn sit on a "pooh-pooh" cushion
-dawn pretends she sees a mouse and shrieks
-betsy uses a fountain pen that squirts water at dawn
-dawn uses a rubber spider on betsy
-betsy uses a fat rubber toad on dawn
-betsy uses shaving cream as whipped cream on dawn's sundae
-betsy sneakily squirts kristy with her fountain pen (water)
-betsy takes money from kristy with a hand buzzer
-kristy switches seats at the movie while betsy is getting popcorn
-kristy puts a fake bloody thumb in the popcorn

snacks in claudia's room:
-butterfinger bar in the drawer of her jewelry box
-double-stuf oreos in a shoebox labeled PANT BRUSHES
-doritos behind a pillow under her bed
-pretzels under her bed
-m&ms under her bed
-tootsie rolls behind her pillow

liannakiwi's review

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This book does an awesome job tackling: practical jokes, injuries, and fear.

seejennread's review

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I broke my ankle in 2nd grade. We were sitting on the floor doing math problems (why, I have no idea) and my teacher told us to hurry up and get to our seats. In my haste, I jumped over a chair and tripped over someone's math book and bam broken ankle. I don't remember a whole lot after that, except rolling out to my mom's car on an office chair and then having to twist my ankle all around for the x-rays (why must they be so cruel?!). I had to hobble around on crutches for what felt like forever but was probably only about 6-8 weeks? After I got the cast off, I remember how weak and ucky my leg looked lol. And we had a family trip to DisneyWorld planned for almost exactly a month after I got my cast off, so I had to go out and walk around the neighborhood every night with my mom to get my strength up. The first day we were at Disney, my then 4 year old sister and I both had to be carried out lol.

All that to say that this BSC book really hits close to home for me! :) That Betsy Sobak is a little snot and she should have all her joke stuff taken away from her! I mean, come on. Yeah, she's cute and all...the door was opened by a friendly looking girl with brown hair, which had been pulled into two ponytails and tied with big blue ribbons. She was wearing a very snazzy pair of red pants that were held up by red suspenders. Under the suspenders was a blue-and-white-striped T-shirt. The legs of her pants ended in cuffs, and on her feet were running shoes tied with purple laces.

But she's a menace to society with those joy buzzers and shaving cream sundaes. I don't blame Claudia one bit for wanting to quit baby-sitting after this either; I never wanted to do math again after that hah! The BSC'ers really acted their age in this one, which was refreshing to see but also super frustrating. They're supposed to be Super Sitters; why would they stoop to the kid's level and play all these pranks on her? And Kristy letting her get "lost" at the movie theater? No. They should have gone to the parents, first thing. For shame Kristin Amanda Thomas, for shame.

Blogged: SeeJennRead

aliterarylion's review against another edition

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I wanted an itty bitty book to squeeze in for the last day of March and this hit the spot! This was a frightful premise where Claudia breaks her leg because a babysitting charge keeps pranking her until it goes too far! I thought Claudia handled her situation well and I can see why a broken bone would make her consider leaving BSC. I liked all the aspects of her hospital stay and found it neat as someone who has never thankfully been a patient. I thought the practical jokes were a major 80's staple with whoopee cushions, fake vomit, and hand buzzers that hasn't retained its popularity in the 21st century. I didn't like the little prankster responsible for Claudia's injury but I'm happy she learned her lesson in the end. I found a few more BSC books at a used book store but they've got nothing left for me to take! My new library has digital copies of the books I'm missing and I can catch up on the gaps! These books bring me such comfort and I'm happy to have discovered them later in life. I wish they weren't so hard to find. Like poor Claudia Kishi, I hope I can get more books I'm missing in my thrifting adventures. To wish me luck, I guess you could say...

leighannsherwin's review against another edition

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There is a sudden rash of practical jokes in town, mostly due to some films shown and unfortunately Claudia finds herself the victim of a joke gone very wrong. When the Soback family calls for a sitter for their daughter Betsy, the girls are surprised since they use other babysitters. This should've been a red flag. Betsy loves practical jokes and no one else will sit for her. So Claudia goes hoping for the best and when a swing breaks, she breaks her leg and winds up in the hospital. You'd think this would either scare Betsy into stopping, or at least get her an ass whooping from her parents. It doesn't, as a non American I don't know what a week in a hospital costs, but I'm guessing it's a lot, and the Kishi's should've at least sued for the cost of medical care. But again didn't happen. Betsy is still a brat who seems sadly neglected by her parents Claudia wants to quit the club and the girls decide to teach Betsy a lesson. The nostalgia in here was Claudia having to write thank you notes to everyone sending her flowers and cards, kids don't do that these days, just a text if you get anything at all. Stacey calls long distance during the day but Claudia realizes it's costing her a fortune which I I remember Mary Anne sneaking Tigger into the hospital to see Claudia and being afraid to break a leg because I'd be stuck in hospital for a week. It was an okay book, not one of my favourites but still an enjoyable way to pass time.

elainemullane's review against another edition

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I used to love the Babysitter's Club! My friends and I used to swap them between us when I was in primary school. They were so popular at the time, there was a waiting list at the library if you wanted to read them in chronological order! I used to be allowed to buy one book a week on a Friday when I was younger; this was usually an Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Point Horror or one of these! I would love to revisit them at some stage, just for nostalgia's sake!