Claudia is still doing well in seventh grade. She's still with Mark Jaffe, and she's got a great group of friends. Plus, she's volunteered to organize the whole grade for the upcoming school color war. She wants Mark to help, but (as always) she has to prod him into it. Then, in the middle of all this, she gets a note from Mrs. Amer (guidance counselor) requesting a meeting in her office that day after school. Claud is convinced that she's going to be bumped back to 6th grade, so she's pretty terrified. It turns out that the news is good: Claudia is doing so well in 7th grade that they want to move her back to 8th. Her first instinct is to go for it, but then she starts thinking. She's got her new friends, Mark, and her queenship to think about. Plus, for the first time in her life, she's the "smart one" in all of her classes, and she doesn't know if she wants to go back to 8th and risk feeling dumb again. She asks Mrs. Amer for some time to think about it.
Claud's friends and family members all have different opinions as to what she should do. Her 8th grade friends want her back in their grade, obviously, and her 7th grade friends want her to stay with them. Her dad doesn't want her to make a decision based on her relationship with Mark, and her mom says she'll support whatever decision Claudia makes. Speaking of Mark, Claud isn't exactly thrilled with his lack of support during the decision-making process, but she chalks it up to him being a typical, unromantic guy.
Mark isn't the only guy who's causing Claudia some confusion at this point; her friend, Josh Rocker, is as well. At least, Claudia THOUGHT he was just a friend, until another one of the kids they hang out with tells her that he's always wanted more. Claudia doesn't believe that at first, but then, during an oh-so-romantic three-legged race for the color war, she realizes that it's true. Now, Claud thinks she might like him back; things are definitely on the fritz with Mark at this point, and Josh definitely cares about her in a way that Mark never did. In fact, Claudia finally just ends things with Mark once and for all. He's always standing her up or cancelling dates, and it just isn't fun for either of them anymore. That leaves Claudia free to start something with Josh, which she does. He's actually the one who makes her see that 8th grade is the place she should be, even though staying in 7th is appealing in a lot of ways. Claud sticks around 7th long enough, though, to watch them win the color war.
Subplot: the BSC charges have their own color war.
Thoughts and Things
- I don't care much about Claudia's relationship with Josh. I never thought they had good chemistry. Oh, well; at least she broke up with Mark. He was never good enough for her!
- So...the 6th grade color for the color war is white, and their "chant" or slogan is "Fight for White." You mean to tell me that Jessi had absolutely no problem with this???
- So...everyone is all into this particular school spirit event with absolutely no issues when they were all up in arms about it during Dawn and the School Spirit War?
- When Claudia first talks to Mrs. Amer about moving back to 8th grade, Mrs. Amer tells Claud that she's discussed the matter with her parents. Why didn't the Kishis say anything to her? Also, I don't know that the decision should have been left up to Claud....