Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Claudia and mean janine’.

I almost skipped over this book! I thought last week’s book, “Kristy’s Big Day” was book 7… and this is actually book 7: “Claudia and Mean Janine.”

Earlier this year, I finally admitted to myself that I can’t read books that involve a parental figure getting cancer and/or being in the hospital. My dad had cancer, and the last time I saw him, he was asleep in a hospital bed.

For the longest time, I didn’t want to admit that it bothered me when I read similar situations in books. I think part of me thought it would go away after time.

But, while reading one particular book, I was just like… OK, that’s it! I can’t do this anymore. I started looking into how to avoid books with these plots, but it’s more difficult than you’d imagine. I wrote a little more about it in my “Trigger Warnings” post.

Shortly after this discovery is when I signed up to read The Baby-Sitters Club books. I specifically remember telling my mom “these books won’t be triggering!”

Enter book 7. In the beginning of the book, Claudia and her sister Janine get into an argument… and Claudia’s grandmother — who lives with them — has a stroke.

The grandmother, Mimi, goes to the hospital, and loses her ability to speak… something similar happened to my dad.

While Mimi does slowly recover and get to go back home in the end, wow. This was ROUGH.

But, I was really thankful to have a group of people to talk this out with when we met for our meeting. And you can imagine how excited I was to see that book 8 is “Boy-Crazy Stacey” — a much lighter, non-triggering read.

While this book was tough to read at times, there were some sweet moments — the club members all pulled together and visited Mimi in the hospital. Not to mention the fact that Claudia worked really hard to help her grandmother sign and learn to communicate as best she could. That’s a lot to carry for a 12-13 year-old.

Are there topics or books that are difficult for you to read?

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