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Wrongly accused of having a bad reputation, fourteen-year-old Claudia finds that a part-time job in a local pet shop and a nice guy named Bernard make life at school a lot better
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Grade 7-9 In this innocuous bit of fluff, teenaged Claudia goes from being an overweight, unemployed friendless daughter of an alcoholic mother to a slim, employed daughter of a recovering alcoholic in a matter of months. If the initial situations are credible, the neat resolutions of Claudia's problems are not. An interested teacher helps Claudia start and stay with a diet, a new friend/employer buys her a dress for the prom and gets her mother into AA, the popular clique wants to befriend her because of her superb work on the prom decorating committee, and the football hero wants to date her. All in all, a lovely fantasy, but Claudia is neither believable nor interesting, and the only thing that gives even marginal appeal to the story is a pet ferret. There are a lot of plot convolutions here, and this is just another teen-age potboiler. Trish Ebbatson, Mansfield-Richland County Public Library, Ohio
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A little overweight, clumsy and not very popularthose are the lesser worries of Claudia's ninth grade existence. And she's receiving obscene phone calls each night, a fact she hides from her mother. Of a more serious nature is the fact that her mother still mourns the deaths of her husband and son two years earlier, and she drinks a lot. Claudia muddles through, finding a job at a pet store and bringing home both a ferret and Mike, the owner of the pet store. He's a recovering alcoholic who wants to help Claudia's mother. Throughout, Claudia is a heroine of good humor and integrity, who won't compromise her standards under pressure from peers. Two incidentsone, when Claudia discovers the source of the phone calls and another involving a pair of glaringly new shoesmay leave readers laughing or crying. This is a sweet and funnystory; for a good time, read Claudia.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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