This is one practical joke that really backfired!

Claudia and the Bad Joke
The Baby-Sitter's Club, # 19

Ann M. Martin

Cover Art

Hodges Soileau


December 1988, Scholastic



Stacey's Mistake


Kristy and the Walking Disaster

Claudia and the Bad Joke is the 19th book in the original The Baby-Sitter's Club series. Claudia's leg is broken by a prankster charge and she thinks about quitting the club.


Main PlotEdit

There is a practical joke war going on in Stoneybrook due to a slapstick comedy festival at the Stoneybrook Public Library . Claudia gets caught up in it the worst when she sits for Betsy Sobak and breaks her leg as the result of a joke. Now the club has to convince Betsy that jokes that hurt people are not jokes at all.

Sub PlotEdit

Since Claudia broke her leg, she has a lot of time to sit and reflect on her life in baby-sitting. She starts to wonder if maybe she should just quit the BSC and focus on her art, like she had contemplated doing in book #12 . In the end, she realizes she would miss the kids too much and stays in the club.

Back CoverEdit

Claudia's not worried when she hears her newest baby-sitting charge, Betsy Sobak, is a great practical joker. After all, how much harm can one little girl do?

Plenty. Claudia breaks her leg as a result of one of Betsy's mean jokes... and now she's talking about quitting the club. "Baby-sitting," she says, "is just too dangerous." Kristy thinks Betsy needs to be taught a lesson. She also thinks the Baby-sitters are just the ones to do it.

Watch out, Betsy Sobak! The joke war is on!


Characters watch the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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