Claudia and the Bad Joke (Babysitters’ Club series #19)

Claudia and the Bad Joke (The Baby-Sitters Club, #19)
by Ann M. Martin (and it seems that she actually wrote this one.  Most of the later books in the series were written by other authors.) 

Orig Pub Date: 1988
Date I First Read It: 1988 (Read quickly at a store.)
Stars (1-5):  3.5

Brief summary:  Claudia is the victim of a joke gone bad at the hands of her babysitting charge.  Her leg is broken.  She gets lots of visitors at the hospital compared to her hospital roommate, who seems to have little going on socially.  She is also considering retirement from babysitting. 

Some comments:  I have seen it noted on other blogs that Claudia’s leg on this cover looks extremely long.  I have always wondered what I found disturbing on this cover, and that’s it! Her leg is too long!  However, having a too-long leg gives her a lot of space to create art on her cast, which she does once she gets out out of traction and goes home.  I think this book still takes place during one of their first years of eighth grade.  (The older members of the Babysitters Club were in 8th grade for 14 years! See my post about the members of the Babysitters Club turning 40 this year!)


The Babysitters Club Turns 40?

This has probably already been said, but if my calculations are correct and reasonably close, the girls in the Babysitters Club will be turning 40 this year or have already just recently turned 40. 

Way back in 1986 when the first BSC book was published, calculating as I always do and did when I read a book – if there’s no time frame given, we can assume it takes place in the present.   When I was eleven in 1986, the original four girls of the Babysitters Club were twelve years old, more or less.   So they were approximately a year older than me! 

I read many of the earlier books even though at the time I was also already reading YA fiction, and some adult nonfiction by age eleven. I had tested at a higher reading level in school, as well.  However, I saw these books at the library, and could read each one in a hour and a half or less.   I liked the idea of girls being friends and organizing their babysitting together. (I just had no idea it would become a series of well over a hundred books that would eventually be ghost-written after a while.  Ann M. Martin did not write all of them.) 

Anyway, if the girls hadn’t been stuck in 8th Grade for thirteen or more years, they would be turning 40 this year! They should have well-established lives.  I am curious.  I have found some fan fiction online, but some of it is just plain weird (and rather badly written.)  Some of those people have answers for what happened to the characters.  I have liked none of those stories, really.

According to this link, Ann M. Martin had somewhat vague things to say about where the BSC girls would be now.   It doesn’t tell us if they got married, had children, specific careers, etc. 

Here is in interesting (and more detailed) take on where the characters would be now:

I might attempt to write up my own “where they are now” descriptions. I also wonder if they would all be on Facebook as well, and what their profiles would look like.  (Although the second link I have included above says that Mary Anne does not know how to use the Internet . . . I find that impossible to believe.  Really, if Mary Anne is keeping the photos of her children safe from fire, she will learn how to use the internet to make sure everything is also digitally-stored and backed up!  Hmm, I will have to write my own version of their futures – in the future.)