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Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls…

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (Baby-Sitters Club #2) (1986)

by Ann M. Martin

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  SteppLibrary | Aug 23, 2017 |
I was a little embarrassed reading this book because parts of it that were supposed to be spooky actually spooked me a little bit, which made me feel silly because it's a children's book.

But the thing that really made me not like this book very much was the ending. I think "oh that boy is doing terrible things to you *because he likes you*" is actually a really unhealthy message to send to girls. In the case of Kristy going out with Alan Gray particularly I thought it was deeply problematic. When she told Claudia that even though he'd been making her miserable she was going to go out with him because "*a boy likes me*," it reminded me far too much of why I went out with my first boyfriend, which turned out to be a really terrible situation for me. ( )
  selfcallednowhere | Aug 16, 2016 |
I read quite a bit of these as a kid. Nothing mesmerizing or fascinating (even then) but light and fun, easy reads with decent teen drama and some mild humor.
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Read for the first time (and probably second) in the mid-90s; read again 2014.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Claudia, Stacey, Kristy, and Mary Anne formed the Baby-sitters Club a few weeks ago, and since then, things have been going well: they've had plenty of business, and no big trouble with the kids they're baby-sitting. Lately, though, there's been news of a thief, dubbed the Phantom Caller, who calls people, hangs up, and then later steals their jewelry. And he seems to be moving closer to Stoneybrook, where the girls live.

On top of all this, the boy Claudia likes, Trevor Sandbourne, doesn't seem to know she exists, and the school dance, the Halloween Hop, is coming up. Claudia's sister, Janine, is as unbearable as usual, and although Claudia tries to work on their relationship, like her grandmother suggested, there's just not enough time!

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls is a middle-grade novel, the second in the Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. It's told from Claudia's point of view.

The change from Kristy's point of view in Kristy's Great Idea to Claudia's in this book is good. Despite Claudia repeating a lot of events that happened in the previous book, it's still interesting, since we get to heat her perspective on the events and on her friends. It might get a little old if there's that much repetition in future books, but it's not too bad, this time.

The story is great. There are several plotlines going at once. Primarily, the girls are trying to be brave and babysit while they're worried about the Phantom Caller, and this just intensifies when they start getting mysterious phone calls, with the caller hanging up without speaking. This plotline is great, and there's some real suspense when they're babysitting and they hear strange noises and receive phone calls like those from the Phantom Caller. You know that they're bound to be all right in the end, but could there be a thief, waiting to break into the homes, while they're babysitting?

The second plotline, with Claudia hoping that Trevor will ask her to the dance, gives us plenty of opportunity to see how all the girls feel about the subject of boys, and is a good secondary plot for the novel.

Finally, Claudia's desire to improve her relationship with her sister, though showing up rarely throughout the book, provides a good reminder that these characters have more going on in their lives than just the main events of the book, and gives a sense that they're real people with real relationships, rather than just characters in a story, serving only the purpose of furthering the plot.

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls is another great middle-grade novel, and a good followup to Kristy's Great Idea. It's definitely worth reading, and, like the previous book in the series, will be available as an ebook for the Kindle starting October 1, 2011.

This review also appears on my blog. ( )
  Sopoforic | Feb 6, 2014 |
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This book is for Brenda Bowen and Jean Feiwel with gratitude.
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The evening was gloomy and windy, with rain streaming down from heavy clouds that blocked the moon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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[From back cover]:  Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey have had some strange adventures since they started the Baby-sitters Club.  But nothing's been as spooky as what's going on right now.  The baby-sitters have been getting mysterious phone calls when they're out on their jobs.  When a phone rings and they pick up, there's no one on the other end of the line.  Claudia's sure it's the Phantom Caller, a jewel thief who's been operating in the area.  Cluauia has always liked reading mysteries, but she down't like it when they happened to her.  SO she and the baby-sitters decide to take action - with some very mixed results!
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When Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey, the members of the Baby-sitters Club, each receive mysterious calls while they are working, they decide to find out who is responsible.

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