Rachel Brand's Reviews > Claudia and the Sad Good-bye

Claudia and the Sad Good-bye by Ann M. Martin
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's review
Dec 09, 10

bookshelves: children, babysitters-club, own, 2010, ann-m-martin, almost-favourites
Read on December 08, 2010 — I own a copy

I think this book will always hold special value for me because I read it on the day that my Grandma died. She's suffered from Alzheimer's for years, to the point where she no longer recognised her own children, and this winter she came down with a chest infection and had to be hospitalised. Basically, her body started to shut down and we got the news on Tuesday that she was in a coma and would die within 24 hours. So I decided it was a good time to read this book.

I found it to be a pretty good portrayal of a family experiencing grief after the death of a relative. Both parents throw themselves back into their work but Claudia doesn't know how to cope and is offended when her friends at school avoid her out of awkwardness. Janine is the one who finally gets the family to sit down and talk about Mimi and what they're going to do with her room. It was nice to see Claudia's friends rallying around her and talking about their favourite memories.

The one thing I wasn't comfortable with was the way that Mimi died. It was all very mysterious and the doctors didn't know what was wrong with her. Why did they have to make it so unusual? Couldn't she have just died of old age, or of a virus or infection? It was kind of bizarre and didn't make much sense.

There was also a subplot where Claudia and Mary Anne ran an art class for local kids, and it was nice to see their friendship being developed. I know that people always complain about how the BSC "fix" the kids they sit for, but it was so sad seeing Corrie being neglected by her parents. I know plenty of kids who were shipped off to classes because their parents didn't want to look after their own kids. People like that should not be allowed to procreate! It also seemed realistic that the babysitter would mention politely to the parent that the child was upset that their mum didn't spend much time with her. I could imagine childminders or teachers doing this also.

All in all, I thought this was an excellent book aside from Mimi's mysterious illness. I would have preferred a more realistic death or reason for her death. 9/10
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message 1: by Alexis (new)

Alexis I agree with your comments regarding Mimi's death. This was my favorite book for years, but that part always bothered me.

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