Claudia has always been the most outrageous girl in her class...until Ashley Wyeth comes along. Ashley's really different—she dresses in hippie clothes, wears six earrings, and is the most fantastic artist Claudia has ever met.
Ashley says Claudia has artistic talent, too. She thinks Claudia should spend more time on her "calling" and forget about the Baby-sitters Club: It's just a waste of time.
The Baby-sitters are sick of Ashley Wyeth, and they think Claudia's a traitor. Claudia's got to decide: either the Baby-sitters Club or the new girl—one of them's got to go!
Claud makes friends with the new girl Ashley Wyeth. Claudia feels that Ashley is the only one who understands her love for art, so she skips a mall date with Stacey, starts skipping club meetings and stops eating lunch with her friends.
For the art show, Claud originally planned to sculpt Jackie Rodowsky but when she realizes she won't be able to turn it in complete, she continues to work on it but decides not to send it in. However her art class teacher sends it in as a work in progress, and Claud wins a honorable mention.
While Dawn is sitting for the Perkins Family the phone rings. It is Jeff Schafer. He is in trouble at school and is unable to reach Mrs. Schafer. Dawn brings Myriah and Gabbie to Stoneybrook Elementary School, where Ms. Besser (Jeff's teacher) explains to Dawn what happened. Later Dawn thinks that soon Jeff might get in bad trouble again and that she will have to bail him out.
Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter
In Claudia and the New Girl, we get our first close look at Claudia’s passion for art. When I was growing up, art was a very important part of my life. I took after-school art classes starting when I was five. From kindergarten through high school, I thoroughly enjoyed art, and looked forward to any class I was taking. And I was very lucky to have a lot of good art teachers. Like Claudia, I enjoyed all aspects of art — painting and drawing, sculpting, making mosaics, and jewelry-making.
As an adult, I still enjoy creative activities, my favorites being sewing and needlework, like Mary Anne. One reason I enjoy both writing and art is that I find they are great ways to express yourself.