Thursday, July 9, 2009

#2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

I love this book; it's tied with the next one as my favorite among the first four "original" books. All the storms and the spooky sitting jobs always make me wish it was fall and that I lived in New England. It also (kind of) makes me miss stupid middle school crushes; they were a lot more fun than I realized at the time!


It's late October, and the weather is typically dark and stormy. After finishing her homework, Claudia has Mimi sit for the portrait she's been working on. They have nice conversation about sibling relationships, in which Mimi advises Claudia to try and make time for Janine if she wants their friendship to grow. Seriously, if Claudia had just DONE that, most of book #7 wouldn't have been necessary at all! Anyway, Claudia is also in major crush mode over Trevor Sandbourne, and she and Stacey commiserate via the phone about that crush and Stacey's crush on Sam Thomas. The club gets together that weekend, and out of boredom, Claudia confesses her undying love for Trevor to Kristy and Mary Anne. They're a little hurt that she told Stacey first, but they get distracted by an article in the paper about the Phantom Caller. Apparently, someone has been been calling people and hanging up when someone answers. Once no one answers, he robs the house. Claudia remembers that she got two hang up calls at a recent sitting job, and the BSC goes into panic mode. The girls call an emergency meeting of the club, and make up their famous ribbon code for alerting each other (and the police) or any problems when they're sitting. Frankly, if I were alone in a house and someone was breaking in, I'd just call the police myself rather than waste time calling a friend.

Back at school, everyone seems to know about Claudia's crush on Trevor, but no one knows how the word got out. Claudia originally suspects Kristy, but Kristy denies it on the grounds that she doesn't care about stuff like that and would never voluntarily speak to Alan Gray, who was teasing Claudia earlier.

Both Kristy and Claudia continue to get funny calls, although no one else in the club does. When the Goldmans (the Kishis' next door neighbors) are robbed, Phantom-style, the BSC becomes even more convinced that he's in Stoneybrook and out to get them. Things come to head when Kristy and Claudia are sitting for the Newtons and Feldmans, and they see a prowler outside the house. They call 911 (no ribbon codes this time), and the officers catch Alan Gray sneaking around the house. It turns out that he had been the one calling Kristy, because he wanted to ask her to the Halloween Hop and didn't know how. She agrees to go, in spite of the fact that he's basically been stalking her. That solves the problem of Kristy's mysterious calls, but what about Claudia? Well, anyone with half a brain could see that one coming a mile away; it was Trevor. Alan just didn't mention him because he didn't want to get him in trouble with the police. He likes Claudia as much as he likes her, they go to the Halloween Hop together, and live happily ever after. Or not; we don't hear much about Trevor after this.

Thoughts and Stuff

  • Clock tights and lobster earrings!

  • Janine apparently has candy hidden in her room, too. Was this ever mentioned again in any book???
  • The only middle school dance I ever went to was a Halloween one, and I didn't have nearly as much fun as Claudia did.

  • Sam takes a girl with yellow and green spiked hair and gloves with no fingers to the movies, which breaks Stacey's little 12-year-old heart. This girl sounds like a reject from an 80's music video, and she doesn't strike me as Sam's "type." I always thought of him as a little bit preppy.

  • The little blond Marshall girl on the cover? Kirsten Dunst was the model. I wish I could remember where I read that....


  1. I would also like to say that I just spent my day off reading ALL of your recaps! I love the way you do them: recapping all the main points, and then bulleting your thoughts and opinions on the books. Plus the haiku's make me laugh.

    Keep it up!

  2. I first heard that it was her on livejournal... I don't remember where they got it though.

  3. I love the burglar system that Mary Anne rigs up when she's babysitting for the Thomases. I could totally see myself doing that if I were home alone and knew something suspicious was going on.

  4. dude
    the mary anne burgular system was my favorite one in the book.

    i think this is one of my favorite claudia books looking back.

    awww how cute of kristy and alan to go to the dance together. its so sweet.

    this is a great book so far and i love your blog.
    keep up the good work.

  5. hmmmm. this is one of my favorite claudia books too. loved the scene where claudia fantasized about her and trevor being alone together in a maze garden.

    also liked how she wanted to dress up as a smurf in this book too. i love the smurfs.

    also loved the alan gray/kristy thomas pairing too and i thought its sweet that a boy could make fun and hit on such a girl like kristy thomas.

    gotta love mary anne's alert system though. lol.

  6. Kirstin Dunst mystery solved...’s-lonely-at-the-top/

  7. Totally with you Jen! This book (and every other book where the BSC is targeted creep me out every single time! I mean geez they are 13 year old babysitters! Not shadowy dectives!


  9. I was disappointed that this was basically the last book that mentioned Stacey and Sam Thomas having a small connection from the first book. I would’ve liked to see that develop more even though Sam was 2 years old and in high school.

  10. Stacey was such a brat in this book. She got sad and CRIED over Sam dating another girl but she began to cry when Kristy tried to calm her down. So... a 12 year old cried because a 15 year old is dating a girl his own age. Logic.

  11. Why is Stacey TWELVE years old, is interested in boys, wears makeup, wears sophisticated clothes, and acts and looks 15? When I was twelve, which was 10 years ago, I remember I was playing with dolls and not wearing makeup and wearing sweat pants and baggy tee shirts. When I was 12, I looked 9...

  12. I read the model thing on 12 BSC facts that will blow your mind

  13. Stacey is twelve, looks 16, acts 18. Reminds me of the 11-13 year olds today. The way they sit, dress, talk and play with their hair all lady like lol

  14. 12 seemed ancient to me when I was reading these books when I was 7.
    And actually the girls in my 7th grade school were obsessed with boys. If stacey had gone to my school, she would not have been the odd boy-crazy one, she would have been typical.