I, Claudia was scheduled to be the March book for Pizza and Pages, our teen book group, and man, was I excited to talk about it. Winner of a 2019 Printz Honor, this book is almost the total package. However, I want to first point out that this is a book where you really can’t judge it by its cover. Although the cover will make more sense as you read this intriguing and fast paced thriller, it really doesn’t do the book justice. In fact, I had already told the P&P crew that I was excited to see their renderings of what they thought the cover should be. (So, if you are feeling artistic, please share!)
Back to the book. I, Claudia is loosely based on the classic I, Claudius, a history of the early Roman Empire. Claudia McCarthy is the slightly odd, self proclaimed Teen Historian, who is documenting her cut-throat and scandalous years at Imperial Day Academy, an elite private school in Los Angeles. From the beginning, Claudia lets us know that all is not well at Imperial Day. The school’s administration is supposedly accepting and nurturing, but the real power lies with the Honor Council, a group of elected student body members. At Imperial Day, whatever the HC decrees is law. This includes spying on other students, harsh punishments for infractions, and political intrigue. Claudia finds herself in the midst of all of the drama and determines to change how the HC, runs at all costs. Sounds like a heroine, right? That may be, but you will quickly find out that Claudia has her own secrets and agendas.
I can’t say enough about this book! Because P&P had to be postponed, a bunch of the SDL copies are in the hands of some of our teens already, but it is also available on hoopla and it will soon be available on Overdrive. A great political thriller set against the backdrop of the glamorous, dangerous, and sun-drenched world of LA privilege. MUST READ!