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This is the first post in a series celebrating my favorite girl characters in books.

In these reviews I’ll try not to spoil the story for you, but at the same time I’ll attempt to give a few reasons why this character is stellar and I like her.

I’ll plan on alternating classic books with contemporary ones.

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I love Claudia. She’s unhappy and does something about it in her own inimitable way.

This is the first sentence of From the Mixed Up Files….

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes.”

Isn’t that sweet! In the 80’s expression way. 🙂

Claudia is deliberate and likes comfort. She plans very carefully. She likes to think scientifically.

But then later in the book she has an urge that to me reveals her desire to learn things and be taught things, instead of always being the one to know and teach and run the show. Her sensitive side comes to the surface. How, why, and to what she’s sensitive is revealing.

Her relationship with her younger brother evolves throughout the book. He’s a mathematical, matter-of-fact sort but also a bit more laid back in some ways. They grow and change together, and in some ways because of each other.

There are many girls (and people) like this all over the world.

We can all relate to making plans and having life change them for us. We have times when we’ve found satisfaction or adventure in a place we didn’t think it existed.

This character and this book are timeless and enjoyable because of Claudia’s brave stubbornness along with at the same time vulnerability, and her ability to learn from others. The story gave her a chance to explore and with determination solve a mystery while finding out more about herself.

(c) 1967 by E.L. Konigsburg

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