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Keep Out, Claudia! is the 56th book in The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin.

Back Cover Summary[]

The Baby-sitters love getting new clients. So when the Lowells contact the club everyone is thrilled. For Mary Anne, sitting for the Lowells turns out to be a snap. The kids are adorable and obedient. But when Claudia meets the family, Mrs. Lowell will barely look her in the eye. And the kids are downright rude!

The next time Mrs. Lowell calls the BSC, she requests another sitters — anyone but Claudia. Claudia has no idea what she did wrong. But the BSC won't rest until they find out!

Summary[]

It's new client time once again for the BSC; the Lowells have three kids (Caitlin, 8; Mackenzie or Mackie, 6: and Celeste, 3), and Mary Anne is the first club member to sit for them. The kids are polite, and even though Mrs, Lowell gives her the once-over in a way that makes Mary Anne uncomfortable, she's basically all right as well. Mary Anne has no real problems with the Lowells, so when Claudia is given the next chance to sit for them, she looks forward to an easy time of it. Wrong; the kids are rude and won't listen to anything Claudia says, and Mrs. Lowell doesn't seem to like her at all.

Claud is glad to be done with that sitting job, but as it turns out, things aren't quite finished between her and the Lowells. At the next club meeting, Mrs. Lowell calls for another sitter, and requests anyone BUT Claudia. Claud can't figure it out; the sitting job was definitely NOT one of her best experiences, but nothing really horrible happened. She thinks it could be the wild outfit she was wearing, or the amount of snacks the kids had, or the fact that Claudia took them out of their own yard to attend a rehearsal of the band the BSC is helping their charges form. Still, the BSC is awfully confused.

Jessi is the lucky one who gets the job that Mrs. Lowell specifically asked Claudia NOT to take. She revamps her Kid Kit to make sure that there are toys in there that the Lowell kids will like to play with, and even takes time put together an office kit, as per Becca's advice (she and Charlotte like to play office, so she thinks that Caitlin might like that game, too). Too bad her effort goes unappreciated; when she gets to the Lowells, Mrs. Lowell won't even let her in the house. She tells Jessi that she doesn't need a sitter after all, and she just "forgot" to cancel. Jessi is really upset by the whole experience, but can't quite figure out what's so disturbing about it.

Kristy wants to get to the bottom of the Lowell's weird behavior, so she takes the next job at their place. She wears a skirt, just in case Claud's wild outfit DID have something to do with the Lowells not liking her, and arrives early (but not too early). Kristy doesn't get much out of Mrs. Lowell when she questions her, so she questions the kids instead. They call Claudia the "funny looking one," and when she describes Jessi to them, mentioning that she's black, Caitlin says that that little fact is why her mother didn't like Jessi. Kristy finally puts two and two together, and realizes that Mrs. Lowell just might be racist. She has a talk with her mom, Watson, and Nannie that night, hoping that they'll tell her that her suspicions are all in her head. Not quite; they think there's a good chance that Kristy's right.

At the next BSC meeting, Kristy shares her thoughts about Mrs. Lowell with the other club members. Claudia doesn't get why Mrs. Lowell wouldn't like her just because she's Asian. She's angry and ashamed and confused. Jessi (who's been through racism before) isn't any happier, but she understands a little bit better than Claudia how stupid and irrational racism is. In the middle of their discussion, who should call for a sitter but Mrs. Lowell herself! Claudia is amazed that Kristy didn't just tell her off, but Mrs. Lowell's request threw her off so much that she didn't know what else to do. The woman had the nerve to call and ask for the blond haired, blue eyed baby-sitter she'd heard about. Kristy calls her back, and tells her that no one is available to sit except Logan (a BOY sitter) or Kristy herself (who has an adopted sister from Vietnam). Suddenly, Mrs. Lowell doesn't need a sitter after all, and the girls decide that no one in the club (not even the blond haired, blue eyed members) will take another job with them.

The last anyone sees or hears from the Lowells is at a rehearsal for All the Children, which is the previously mentioned band of BSC clients. Mrs. Lowell brings the kids over, wanting to check out what her kids are into. After seeing the "assortment of children" present, and finding out that they're learning the music from Fiddler on the Roof, she hightails it out of there. Good riddance!

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

The idea for Keep Out, Claudia! was suggested to me by Olivia Ford, the daughter of a publishing colleague. Olivia’s idea was for a book about prejudice and racism that centered around Claudia and the Kishis. Racism had been a topic in a number of Jessi’s books, and Olivia felt that it would be realistic if one of the other characters in the series faced this problem, too.

The members of the Baby-sitters Club are a diverse group of kids. They come from different kinds of families, and from a variety of backgrounds. Each has her own interests and problems, yet the girls get along well as a group, and appreciate each other’s differences. The kids they sit for are diverse, too. Their families come from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, and like the members of the BSC, the kids come from many different family situations. In addition, the baby-sitters take care of Rosie Wilder, who is highly gifted; Shea Rodowsky, who has learning disabilities; Matt Braddock, who is profoundly hearing impaired; and Susan Felder, who has autism.

As you can see, a recurring theme in the Baby-sitters Club books is that of tolerance and acceptance, rather than exclusion. It’s something the characters feel strongly about, and so do I.

Trivia[]

  • Claudia likes Bach and listens to his music when doing art projects.
  • Mary Anne goes to the Presbyterian Church.
  • Sam can play the kazoo.
  • This is the second the BSC refuses to sit for someone, the first being the Gardella Family.

Gallery[]

Baby-Sitters Club Books

The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House

Super Specials

#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation |

Portrait Collection

Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book

Other
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021)
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