Total appearances in series: 52
RS#1 – Age 15. Sophomore in high school, but already taking classes at Stoneybrook University. Janine “is a real, live genius” with an IQ of 196. She thinks she knows everything (and actually, Kristy concedes, she probably does), but is constantly on Claudia’s nerves. She’s forever correcting others’ grammar. She “sounds like a text book.” Her best friend is a “14-year-old math nerd who’s going to graduate from high school in the spring”; her second best friend is her computer. Janine thinks the BSC is “an outstanding idea,” before correcting Kristy on her use of the word ‘hopefully’. Claudia, Kristy, and Mary Anne try to avoid her as much as possible. She stands outside Claudia’s door, studying their BSC flier, contemplating over whether or not “baby-sitters” should have an apostrophe. She is drafted to help Claudia with her homework, along with their parents and Mimi – they will take turns supervising Claud on weeknights.
RS#2 – She is generally on a higher plane of thought than her sister:
You can’t even say the simplest thing to her. Yesterday morning all I did was go, “Janine, it's cold out. Mom wants you to close your window before you leave for school,” and you know what she said? She said, “I find it fascinating that in our society we attempt to regulate the temperature of our environment rather than our bodies. It’s so much more difficult and it’s highly inefficient. Primitive peoples and peoples in various other societies existing today tend toward the mere addition or removal of clothing, while we invite the use of heating units and air conditioners.”
She is sometimes conned into giving Claudia the answers to her homework when it’s her night to help her, because “she’ll do anything to speed it along.” She’s currently reading Sources of American Social Tradition. Mimi predicts that one day, she and Claudia will be friends, even though Claudia finds her impossible to get along with (and has no time for her). When Janine was younger, she would play with her sister and have fun, even displaying some sort of imagination, which seems to have disappeared.
Another memory from their childhood, and how Janine seems nervous or shy about bonding with her sister:
That night, Janine helped me with my homework. She is picky, picky, picky. I bet teachers wouldn’t even notice half the things she makes me correct. We were just finishing up when a great crash of thunder sounded.
“Gosh, it’s late in the season for thunderstorms,” Janine remarked.
“Ooh, but I love them,” I said. “They make me feel all shivery. … Janine?”
“Remember when we were little and we’d crawl under Mom and Dad’s bed during thunder storms? We’d pretend we were camping – ”
“But we were really just hiding.”
“Yeah,” I said fondly.
“Very interesting, psychologically,” said Janine. “The fear process – ”
Janine glared at me, then stalked out of the room. I knew Mimi had said I would have to work at being Janine’s friend, and she was right. It would take a lot of work. How did Janine get the “fear process” out of something as nice as autumn thunderstorms?
She goes to Claudia’s room to find out what happened at the Newtons’; she saw the squad car when Mrs. Gordon was giving her a ride home from her class at the university, but didn’t mention its presence to their parents. She doesn’t use slang if she can help it. She commends Claud on how she handled the situation at the Newtons’, and tells her that she’s proud to have her for a sister.
A comment on Janine’s use of language:
“Wow, I – Thanks. … Janine?”
“How come you don’t come to my room and talk to me like this more often?”
“Because you usually tell me to shut up or go away or mind my own business.”
“Well, that’s because you usually start talking like some big show-off professor. When we were little, we used to have fun. You talked like a kid.”
Janine frowned. “Am I talking like a professor now?”
“No. But … but you’re always telling me all this stuff I don’t want to know, like how the fear process works. Who cares?”
“I do. Those things are interesting to me.”
She also hides candy around her room. She gives Claudia a hug when she receives a B+ on her math test.
RS#3 – Described as prim, not much fun, dull as dishwater. She doesn’t usually raise her voice, so when the others heard her calling out from the hall, they knew something was wrong. She gives the BSC the flier for the Baby-sitters Agency, and lingers with great concern as the girls read it. She helps Mimi with dinner, closing the door softly behind her as she leaves. Claudia rejects the idea of asking Janine to join the club so that they could have older members. Janine isn’t interested in learning how to knit.
RS#4 – First generation Japanese-American; she and Claud were born in the US, but their parents came to America when they were very little. She is not called ‘my Janine’ by Mimi, leading Claudia to believe the endearment is only hers.
RS#5 – Dawn is the only one of Claudia’s friends who likes Janine, and doesn’t mind speaking with her when they cross paths.
RS#7 – Age 16. She is taking advanced summer courses in computer programming, astronomy, and physics at Stoneybrook University; will be a junior in high school in the fall. She never gives anyone any trouble; all she ever seems to do is study. Her parents like to brag about how she’s only sixteen and can already handle college coursework; they expect she’ll become “something really important, like a physicist.” She’s described as having boring fashion sense, wearing button-down shirts, gray kilts, and crew neck sweaters. When she passes down her things to Claudia, Claud passes them right along to Kristy and Mary Anne. She sticks with herself and has almost no friends, save her computer. She’s never had a boyfriend, nor shown the slightest interest in romantic relationships. Her mother says that she is “sensitive and loving, and creative in her own way” whenever Claud complains that she can’t understand or get along with her. Claudia admits to being jealous of her, because she can always make their parents happy. Is described as needing books “the way most people need food and water.”
She has a very dry sense of humor:
Janine tried to make everything she did sound important and wonderful.
“Claudia,” warned my mother.
Janine looked hurt. “Well, what are you going to do today?” she asked me. “Reinvent the wheel?”
“Ha, ha.” Janine can’t even make a joke.
She also has trouble communicating with her sister:
“So,” said Janine, out of the blue, “may I ask how your agency plans to function once your founder is residing in a different district?”
“You may,” I replied, stalling. I had no idea what she was talking about.
“Oh, I understand,” said Janine. “You want to play games. Well, I’ll comply. All right, how does your agency plan to function once your founder is residing in a different district?”
“I said – ”
“Janine, talk in English, will you?”
“I am!” Janine looked hurt again. “I can’t help it if this is the manner in which I speak.”
“And I can’t help it if I don’t understand you.”
“Oh, never mind,” said Janine. She sighed. It might have been a sad sigh, it might have been an exasperated one. I couldn’t tell. “I was simply trying to uphold my end of a meaningful conversation with my sibling.”
“You were trying to what?”
“Talk to you!” exploded Janine.
“Well, why didn’t you just say so?”
“I did.” Janine stood up. “Very well. Have fun drawing and baby-sitting and shopping.” How did Janine always manage to make me feel that I couldn’t do anything worthwhile?
“And you have fun talking to machines!” I yelled after her as she left the kitchen.
Janine mumbled something that sounded like, “At least they communicate with me.” Now what was that supposed to mean?
Janine goes along with the decision to have waffles for dinner, even though she’s upset that no one asked for her opinion before the decision was made. She’s in her room with her computer while Claudia helps Mimi in the kitchen. She suggests playing the Trivia Game after dinner with Mimi and Claudia, surprising them both; she plays the blue piece. She tries to give Claudia hints to help her answer the questions, but Claud mocks her sarcastically. It takes her two turns to get to the final square and win the game. When Claudia accuses her of cheating and calls her a nerd, she slams the board shut and storms off in a huff. Later, she offers to keep Claud’s Nancy Drew habit a secret from their parents. She admits to Claudia that she wishes she was as close to Mimi as Claud is. She and Claudia discover Mimi after she falls; she feels for a pulse and directs Claudia to call 911. She stays with Mimi while Claud waits for the ambulance, sitting beside her and patting her hand, and then rides to the hospital with Mimi while Claud waits for their parents. When they arrive at the hospital, they find Janine pacing in the hall, wringing her hands together and looking as if she’d been crying. She’s upset that they won’t tell her anything, and Claudia finds her presence strangely comforting. Claudia doesn’t understand why she isn’t as upset about Mimi’s condition as she is, amazed when she goes to visit with her in the hospital and chats away at her for a full ten minutes, even though Mimi can’t respond. Janine cries while she sits at her computer, the only sign that she’s upset at all about Mimi’s condition. She is never asked to help with dinner; her parents think she’s far too busy with her schoolwork and they don’t want to bother her. She helps prop Mimi up and gives her a pen to write with when she indicates she wants to communicate at the hospital. She is disappointed when she can’t help care for Mimi because of her class schedule. She tells Claudia that she feels like their family is always “pushing me into my world and out of yours” – constantly telling her to put her schoolwork first and not inviting her to do things or even help with dinner. She has special tea with Mimi, and offers to take her for a walk the next afternoon.
RS#10 – The BSC decides to pay Janine a couple of dollars to answer the phone when they cancel the club meeting and go to Mary Anne’s to get ready for the dance.
RS#13 – Janine is described as really smart, and as speaking very precisely.
RS#19 – Goes to visit Claudia in the hospital and is there when she wakes up after the accident where she breaks her leg. In an effort to soothe Claud’s hysterics over being at the hospital for a week, she tells her about all of the visitors she’ll have, bringing flowers and cards, and admits that she wouldn’t mind having that sort of special attention. She buys Claudia a stack of fashion and teen magazines to read when she comes home from the hospital; Janine prefers reading journals like The Joy of Physics and Science, Technology and You. She helps Claudia study for multiple math tests.
RS#20 – Returns Tigger to Mary Anne when he escapes during a BSC meeting; he was sitting on her computer. She cradles him in her hands, trying to sound cross but really wanting to smile.
RS#26 – Janine was born right after her maternal grandfather (Mimi’s husband) died. She and Claudia have grown closer, bonding over their mutual fear and worry about Mimi’s deteriorating condition. She’s currently taking a college course entitled Advances and Trends in Computerized Biopsychiatry (or something like that). She wears thick, round glasses. She flies out of her room when Claudia calls for her and tells her that something’s wrong with their grandmother; they put a blanket over her and hold her hands and talked to her. Janine offers to stay behind and tell their mother about Mimi’s collapse. She escorts her mother out of Mimi’s hospital room when she sees how much pain she’s in. Mimi tells Janine that she’s fearful of her diamond earrings being stolen, and asks her to take them for safekeeping – to put them in her jewelry box, or better yet, in her ears. Janine complies with the request when she arrives home that night. The family has a celebratory dinner when they learn that Mimi is being released from the hospital; after they clean up, Janine hugs Claud unexpectedly. She and Claudia sit together at the table, drinking tea, after they learn of Mimi’s death. Janine explains to Claud what the Muses are. At seven o’clock, she begins calling their relatives from the house line. That afternoon, Janine sits in on the BSC meeting because she doesn’t want to be alone. She wears Mimi’s earrings at her funeral. She sits with Corrie Addison and Mary Anne on the front porch while they’re waiting for Mrs. Addison to show up, and eventually invites her in for sandwiches and milkshakes. Claudia observes:
I was surprised. Janine planned to stick with us? Usually she’s stuck to her computer. But, I suddenly realized, she hadn’t been quite so stuck to it since Mimi had died. She’d spent more time with me. She knew about my stop-action painting, my pottery class, the D I’d gotten on a math quiz, and even where the portrait of Mimi was stashed.
Janine is the first person with the courage to begin going through Mimi’s things. She confesses to always wanting Mimi’s golden flower earrings, which she thinks would look nice with her white sweater. During the family conference the girls spark by fighting with each other over Mimi’s things, Janine shows her family the obituary Mimi had started writing for herself.
RS#29 – “Janine studies stuff like biogenetics and physics.”
RS#30 – Janine interrupts the BSC’s shrieking over Mr. Spier’s and Mrs. Schafer’s engagement, asking if everything is okay and telling them that their phone is ringing. Her room is described as “the Bermuda Triangle, since she hardly ever comes out of it.”
RS#31 – Claudia leans upside down against her wall, all of the blood rushing to her head; when she gets up, she mentions that she feels light-headed, wondering aloud if that’s what being a genius feels like – to which Janine shouts “NO!” from her room.
RS#32 – For pleasure, Janine reads stuff like Atomic Theory or The History of Law-making in America.
RS#33 – Claudia misses part of her science class to attend an awards ceremony for Janine, who’s constantly winning certificates or prizes for her academic work, or being named to the honor roll. Claud thinks that she doesn’t care about anything but school; she especially likes computers and science. Janine wins the award for being the most accomplished science student at the community college, the first time in ten years that it’s gone to a high school student (and the first time ever to a junior). She wins a plaque and a $250 check, which she decides to put towards college. She’s surrounded by all kinds of people – kids, parents, teachers – and is enjoying every bit of the attention. Her picture is taken for an article, to appear in the Stoneybrook News. “Janine was wearing one of her usual plain outfits – a long pleated plaid skirt, a white shirt with a round collar, stockings, and blue heels. Her hair is short and cut in a pageboy, so she can’t do much with it.” Janine goes out to celebrate with her friends afterwards. She has both male and female friends, albeit not many, and they all carry slide rules and protractors in their shirt pockets. Janine had tried to get Claudia’s clothing advice that morning before the ceremony, but Claudia blew her off, leaving her to make her fashion choices by herself. That night at dinner, Janine tells her family that a reporter from one of the Stamford papers approached her for an interview. Stoneybrook University’s college paper wants to follow her around and photograph her at SHS and at home for a piece called ‘A Day in the Life of a Genius.’ After dinner, they celebrate with a cake, covered in yellow roses that said CONGRATULATIONS JEANINE in blue frosting. When Claudia looks at the family photo albums, she realizes they’re full of pictures of Janine: “The second one was full of Janine’s baby pictures. I’d never noticed it before, but honestly, there were an awful lot of pictures of Janine. There were pictures of her being held by every relative we had; pictures of her wearing funny hats, wearing a big pair of sunglasses, looking at a magazine (she was probably reading it); pictures of her at her first, second, and third birthday parties, and even a picture of Mom and Dad holding Janine in front of the hospital the day they brought her home…[The second album] was full of pictures of Janine and me. There I was in Janine’s lap. I was just a baby. My head was falling back and Janine was crying. There I was in Janine’s lap again as she tried to give me a bottle. There we were when I was older and Janine was helping me to walk. Then I hit a whole slew of pictures of Janine’s fourth birthday party.” Janine most closely resembles her father. When Janine was in eighth grade, she was already taking advanced math and science courses. Emily Michelle calls Janine “Nee-Nee”; she gives Emily a balloon, which she’d obviously been saving for her next tutoring session with Claudia. She and Claudia take turns cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. Janine’s birth announcement was in the Stoneybrook Gazette. She and Claudia make dinner together as a surprise for their parents; she smiles at Claud for making the suggestion.
RS#37 – “Janine is the type of girl who sits around doing quadratic equations for fun. Honest.”
RS#40 – Janine helps Claudia study for a math test, and is effusive with her praise. She’s never received a grade lower than an A-. She is friendly with most of her teachers. “Janine would be happy wearing the same white blouse, plaid skirt, red cardigan, and flat shoes every day.” She gives Claud some general test-taking tips after their math session, and wishes her luck on her big test. She can’t study with the radio on. She is very quick to come to Claudia’s defense when she’s accused of cheating on the math test, telling their parents adamantly that Claudia is not a cheater. She and Claud clear the dishes after dinner; they both retreat to Claud’s room, and Janine offers to help her with her math for the rest of the year, to assure that she’ll pass the course even if Mr. Zorzi gives her an F on this test. She tries to help Claud sort logically through the whole mess and try to come up with a plan. Claud confides in her after overhearing Shawna admit to her crime, and she comes up with a secret plan – which she reveals the next afternoon. She goes to SMS and speaks with the principal on Claud’s behalf, convincing him and Mr. Zorzi to give her and Shawna a retest. When Claudia prevails, her friends – and Janine – throw her a surprise party. Janine hangs back, trying to blend into the woodwork, but Claudia declares that she’s the “best sister in the universe,” and gives her the collage she’d been working on. Janine promises to hang it in her room with pride.
RS#43 – Janine quizzes Claudia on her vocabulary words.
RS#44 – “She’s the kind of person who finds mistakes in the dictionary.”
RS#45 – Janine attends the graduation ceremony when the BSC members pass the Red Cross infant care certification course.
RS#49 – Janine doesn’t get Andy Warhol’s pop art, and watches about thirty seconds of a documentary with Claudia before leaving. She has attempted to explain calculus to her sister, to no avail. “Her hair is always in a page boy, and she’d be perfectly happy wearing a white Oxford blouse and a gray pleated skirt every day. Janine’s main accessory is a book cradled in her right arm. Exactly the way you’d expect someone with a 196 I.Q. to dress.” She teaches Claudia the word ‘Philistine.’ She agrees to help Rosie Wilder with her science homework; she is fairly shy and modest about her accomplishments, contrasted to Rosie, who shamelessly brags about hers. She goes back to the Wilders’ during one of Jessi’s baby-sitting jobs, to help Rosie with crossword puzzles. Jessi is intimidated about calling her, and is apologetic for bothering her, but Janine brushes it off. Janine jokes that they should make her an honorary member of the club. She doesn’t usually lose her temper, but she does during this second tutoring session, when Rosie is passive-aggressive and snotty towards her. She knows Latin. She inadvertently names Claudia’s garage exhibit of her artwork when she casually mentions, “Are you painting your disposable comestibles?” one evening in passing. She buys one of Claud’s paintings, entitled “Milk Duds, Spilled,” giving her the third sale of the exhibit.
RS#50 – Janine isn’t fat, and isn’t very popular at school.
RS#53 – “Janine, with her short hair and bangs, her pullover sweater, and plain skirt and loafers, made Claudia look extremely exotic.” She studies Kristy’s campaign posters while Kristy and Claudia pick up their pizza, and compliments them on the simple, strong branding. The girls are surprised but pleased, because she “is not someone who just throws compliments around.”
RS#56 – Claudia describes Janine’s style as frumpy and dowdy. Janine locks herself out of the house one afternoon, and bides her time waiting for someone else to come home by reading a sociology textbook. “She is not an outdoor person.” Claud unlocks the door and invites her up to her room, where she shows her the mobiles she’s been working on. She leaves when the BSC meeting starts, going back to her room and her computer. She overhears Claud’s conversation with their father, and tells her about the Japanese internment camps set up in America during World War II.
RS#61 – Janine is studying psychology in school now. The club members sneak into her room to look through her books; Claud doesn’t want her to find them, because – “You know how Janine is. She’d tell you the case history of every anorexic who had ever walked the planet.” Janine’s books are arranged alphabetically on her tall bookcase.
RS#63 – Janine delivers two of the mystery notes to the BSC, after finding them stuck to the front door of their house. When she sees the first note, she observes that Claudia has a secret admirer. She is ruled out as the possible admirer, because (1) she’d probably use bigger words, and (2) it’s not her style to play practical jokes. She clears the table after dinner, and offers to let Stacey and Claudia use her room for their English tutoring session. Janine’s room is described as precise, perfectly organized, with her shoes lined up in the closet, her clothes ordered by color and item. She cleans her room every Saturday morning.
RS#65 – “Janine is into big words – and Calculus and Advanced Everything.” She helps Claudia with her math, encouraging her to ‘look at the problem in the right way’ in order to find the answer.
RS#66 – Janine has read Anna Karenina. She quotes the first line to Mary Anne after learning of her assignment to write a memorable, unforgettable first line to a story. She runs into Claudia and Dawn before one of the BSC meetings, and is amused when they recount their bicycle race for her, making a dry comment and permitting herself a small smile. She finds books for Claudia’s and Mary Anne’s quilting class at the library, looking in the Folk Art section.
RS#67 – Claudia’s family enters the Run for Your Money contest, though Claud suspects they’ll only be there to watch Janine win all of the IQ games. When Janine finds out about the team trivia event, she insists that her family enter that contest together. Janine surprises everyone when she proves to be adept at foosball, “grabbing those knobs as if her life depended on it, shouting and laughing and having the best time” when she played against her father.
RS#70 – Claudia contrasts her feelings of inadequacy towards Janine to Tiffany Kilbourne’s frustration with her older sister, Shannon.
RS#72 – Janine hooks up a second VCR to the TV and makes copies of the tape that Dawn sent to the BSC for all of the members. When she sees the tape for herself, she enjoys it, saying it had “very good production values.”
RS#78 – Peaches and Russ used to take Janine and Claudia to the playground when they were kids, but Janine would only sit and smile and watch the others play, instead of engaging in it herself. She and Claud used to sing Peaches’s advertising jingles over and over until their parents begged them to stop. She’s excited when she hears Peaches and Russ are moving back to town, and that Peaches is pregnant. She suggests the family watch The Miracle of Life and follow the baby’s progress as it develops. She and Claud pick flowers for Peaches’s bedside table. Janine likes to cook, but misses the chance to work with Peaches and Claudia on a special dinner – she’s on a date with her boyfriend, going to the library and then out for hamburgers. She sits in the half-darkness of the kitchen and cries when she learns of Peaches’s miscarriage. She’s mournful because she knows how much they wanted to have a child of their own, and she’s concerned about how they’re handling the news. She rides to Russ and Peaches’s new house in the back of her mom’s car, clutching a fruit basket. She likes their new house, describing it as something right out of Better Homes and Gardens.
RS#83 – Janine peeks into Claudia’s room, asking her to turn down her music. She walks over and examines Claud’s painting, telling her it’s “very, um, creative.” She wanders in again, asking Claud if the abstract painting (entitled Anastasia Fantasia) is supposed to be a still life or landscape.
RS#85 – Janine doesn’t understand Claud’s “deconstructionist” ensemble, calling it “Frankenstein’s jumpsuit.” She is described as “disgustingly smart”. She suggests Claudia take up computer programming when she’s looking for a new hobby. When Claud announces that she won the radio station contest, Janine immediately runs into the kitchen, grabbing up a bottle of ginger ale and wine glasses, and insisted on toasting to her as the first media celebrity of the family; they clink glasses, and Janine gives her sister a huge smile.
RS#86 – Janine interrupts a BSC meeting to announce that Kristy’s brother is waiting for her.
RS#87 – Janine enjoys doing extra-credit math problems for fun.
RS#88 – Shannon shows interest in a computer program that Janine is working on in her room on her way to the BSC meeting.
RS#91 – The opening scene of the book:
“Pass the milk, please,” said my older sister Janine.
“Why? Is it failing?” I asked. I cracked up.
My mother shook her head. My father made a face. Janine just looked at me.
“It’s a pun,” I explained.
“We know,” said my mother. She smiled a little bit.
“As a humorous application of a word designed to play on two of its meanings, it was somewhat funny,” said Janine. “Now, may I please have the milk?”
Janine makes a face when she watches Claud dump several spoonfuls of orange marmalade into her oatmeal. She’s “dressed in a navy wool skirt and a navy v-neck sweater over a pink oxford shirt.” She attends a college class with Donald, the student librarian at the Stoneybrook Public Library. When she was younger, Janine loaded up on books for much older readers anytime she went to the library. She is invited for the BSC Thanksgiving celebration (along with the rest of her family) at Watson’s mansion. She volunteers to help the BSC watch all of the kids at the affair, along with Charlie and Sam Thomas and Anna Stevenson. She mentions that some vegetarians have a rule to not eat anything with a face, and wonders aloud of oysters have faces. She helps set the table for Thanksgiving, and instructs Claire Pike on how to lay out the cutlery.
RS#97 – She describes her cousin as “compressed” when she sees her on the ultrasound. She suggests the name Ariana for the baby-to-be. She enjoys classical books, music, and clothes – “[t]hat day, for example, she was wearing a prim, button-down white shirt with a pin in the shape of a profile of Bach.” She’s described as being smarter than some of her high school teachers; she studies calculus and physics. She suggests Claudia colorize the copy of the ultrasound they received from Peaches, which Claud agrees is a cool idea. She has a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and spends the time memorizing vocab words for French. Janine catches a ride with her mother from the university the day that Peaches’s baby is born. She does her physics homework in the hospital waiting room while they wait for Peaches to deliver; she suggests they go home and wait, but is quickly overruled. She’s quick to hug her uncle Russ when he announces the baby has been born. She corrects Claudia’s grammar on her welcome home banner, which she also helps hang up before Peaches and Russ arrive home from the hospital. She helps Claud set up the welcome home party, and puts on a classical music CD when the baby finally arrives home. She takes nearly an entire roll of pictures of Claud and baby Lynn.
RS#99 – Janine is described as completely the opposite of Claudia, having no style, and not being gorgeous.
RS#100 – Janine is annoyed at having to leave Russ and Peaches’s Labor Day party so that Claudia could host and attend the BSC luau (in her room). She’s set to receive an award from the Chamber of Commerce during the next-to-last week of October. She tutors Claudia in science, covering respiration, glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, the electron transport chain for a paper she’s supposed to be writing. She pokes her head in the room when the BSC reforms, asking if she needs to invest in another set of earplugs.
RS#101 – Janine stops by Claudia’s room and offers to help her with her homework, which Claudia declines. During the family conference to discuss Claudia’s academics, she pats Claud’s leg and offers to put her in touch with a girl from her physics class named Rosa, who’s looking for tutoring gigs. She and Rosa turn out to be good friends, making physics jokes when Janine shows her where to hang her coat. She wishes Claudia luck on her first day of school when she’s demoted to seventh grade. She tells Claud that she always knew she was an artistic genius.
RS#103 – Janine explains the concept of sleet to the BSC; Abby cracks that “she’s like a walking CD-ROM” and asks to rent her.
RS#109 – When the girls were younger, the Kishis used to keep a chart and give the girls stars when they made a score about 90 on a test; Janine’s stars were yellow.
RS#113 – Calls Claudia “brain-dead.” She makes flash cards for Claud’s spelling words. She’s jealous when their father calls Claudia an “artist and a scholar” after bringing home a perfect math test. She doesn’t understand how Claud could want to spend an extra year in 7th grade if she had the chance to go back to 8th. She tells Claud that she’s a “pariah” when she complains of the way her 7th grade friends are treating her.
RS#114 – Offers to help Claudia run the concession stand at Santa-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa Town.
RS#115 – Refers to Claudia’s art as “play therapy.”
RS#119 – Loves to listen to Dr. Barbara Gupti’s call-in radio helpline
RS#120 – Applies for a summer job at the playground, competing against members of the BSC
RS#123 – Janine helps Claudia with her math homework on a Friday night. She describes her breakup with her long-time boyfriend thusly: “Jerry was a person whose presence in my life expanded geometrically rather than arithmetically, taking up more time than one person should.” It had been her idea to break up with him. She nibbles on a Snickers bar and asks Claudia about her love life, which surprises her, since she never seemed to care about Claud’s boyfriends before. While Claudia works on her math problems, Janine wanders over to her dresser and picks up a pair of feather earrings. She usually wears tiny gold ball or pearl studs, when she bothers to wear earrings at all. She asks if Claud would like to bake cookies with her sometime. She’s ecstatic at the idea of being home alone with Claudia for the weekend when their parents announce a business trip to Chicago, and suggests all sorts of activities – cooking meals, renting videos, going shopping. Janine offers to bake cookies with Claudia the next night, but she declines. She makes them anyway, accidentally leaving them in the oven too long and charring the edges. She continues trying to bond with Claudia, who feels weary and unsure of all the attention. She doesn’t usually enjoy reading fiction. When their parents leave, she offers to make dinner and show Claud an art exhibit she’s found on the internet. She makes Claud’s favorite meal and sets the dining room table, eager to spend quality time with her sister. She agrees to host a party for Claudia’s friends, both BSC and the ones from 7th grade, while their parents are out of town. She sits in at the end of a BSC meeting and asks what sorts of food the girls would like to have at the party, and what sorts of games they might like to play. She agrees to make giant cookies for everyone to decorate. She wears a pleated skirt, loafers, and a sweater to the Big Party they’ve planned. She chats with Greer Carson while she warms up the food. She takes Shira, Joanna, and Jeannie upstairs to show them a computer program. She picks up the pieces of the vase that Mallory accidentally breaks, but doesn’t think they can glue it back together before their parents come home. She’s chastised by Russ and Peaches, who arrive in time to break up the unruly party, and is cold and grim with Claudia as they clean up. They have a fight, and don’t speak again until the next day, when Stacey brings by an identical vase to the one that was broken. Janine finally admits that she lost touch with her friends while she was dating Jerry, and isn’t sure how to reconnect with them. She warms up a casserole before their parents come home, and confesses to the party before Russ and Peaches have the chance to tell her parents about it. She helps Claud make “Claudia Time certificates” to give to Josh.
RS#128 – Janine is in charge at home while her parents are out, and she pointedly keeps an eye on Claudia and Josh when they’re in Claud’s room alone. She’s working on a calculus assignment.
Total appearances in series: 7
SS#2 – Stays home and takes care of Mimi while her parents pick Claudia up from Camp Mohawk.
SS#4 – Greets Claudia on the dock when she returns from being shipwrecked; they hug uncomfortably, but look glad to see each other.
SS#5 – Is working on a physics project; writes to Claudia in California and asks if they’ve been to Universal Studios yet. Claudia calls her and asks for her help to impress Terry, whom she’d previous described as a male version of Janine. She advises Claud to simply be herself and invite Terry to do something that she’d enjoy, which she does.
SS#6– Tells Claudia that her portfolio from her classes in NYC is “totally awesome,” and that she can’t wait to read the trip diary
SS#11 – Janine was assigned to walk Claudia, Mary Anne, and Kristy to school until they were in the fourth grade, and she hated it. She carried a huge bag, full of books and papers and science stuff, and could read and walk at the same time. She was already working with middle school material in the fourth grade, and had been allowed to enter a project in the middle school’s science fair. She isn’t impressed with Claudia’s first-grade art homework assignment, and doesn’t have a clue why Claud is so upset when she comes home in tears over it.
SS#13 – Janine tells Claudia about the attack at Pearl Harbor, which touched off the US’s involvement in World War II.
SS#15 – Janine is made co-counselor of the SES Playground Camp alongside her ex-boyfriend, Jerry Michaels. Jerry had called Janine the night before and pleaded with her to take the job, or else the camp would’ve been canceled. They have already dated and broken up twice, but he’s still insistent on hanging out with her. Janine agrees, turning down the job she had lined up at the Sunshine Gang Day Camp with special needs kids. She is assigned to supervise Mary Anne, Dawn, and Claudia at the camp. She takes out her frustration with Jerry on Claudia, pushing her and the others extra-hard to prove that she’s a good leader. She panics when she realizes Mathew Hobart is missing, thanks to Cokie’s carelessness; she, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Jerry search for him. Janine admits that the way she connects with kids is by tutoring them, getting them interested in math and science, but Jerry isn’t letting her do that because he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for a playground camp. Janine finally breaks down after Claudia dishes some of her frustration back at her in front of Logan, Cokie, and Mary Anne. They make up, and Claud advises her to ignore Jerry’s constant chiding. She finally confronts him, standing up to him after he allows Cokie to railroad Mary Anne over who coaches softball with Logan. Cokie grows frustrated and quits, which flusters him – and when he takes it out on Janine, she tells him to stuff it. She runs after Cokie and convinces her to stay on as a counselor.
Total appearances in series: 13
M#6 – Sometimes teases Claudia by calling her shallow. When she’s at home, Janine is usually holed up in her room studying. She’s always on time – “Punctuality is an expression of consideration for others, Claudia” is what she’s fond of saying whenever Claud is late. She’s never missed the bus or forgotten her homework. “Janine was, as usual, dressed in a gray kilt, a pale-blue button-down shirt, and a gray crew-neck sweater.” She doesn’t have to ask permission to miss dinner. She often helps her mother prep for dinner. She keeps a book with her at all times, so she’s never caught without something to do. She’s very stubborn, and able to hold a grudge. She wears makeup for the first time, adding blue eye shadow to her ensemble, but she’s not used to wearing it – she keeps blinking and squinting like she has something in her eye. She’s also wearing orange nail polish, which is also applied badly. She comes home at 8:30 and doesn’t seem to mind when her parents chastise her for it. She’s humming a silly love song from the radio as she rummages for some food in the fridge and heads up to her room. She takes Claudia’s red sweater without asking to borrow it. She finally breaks down and asks Claudia to give her a makeover (makeup lessons and advice about clothes). She’s wearing “straight black hair, cut in an old-fashioned Dutch-Boy style. Black wire-rim glasses. Navy-blue crewneck sweater, worn over a white blouse with a Peter Pan collar. Pleated knee-length gray wool skirt. Gray knee socks. Brown loafers” which make her look like a skinny twelve-year-old, in Claudia’s estimation. A few days later, she’s grounded for the first time, after being caught in a lie – she told her mother she would be studying at the library, when instead she went to Pizza Express. She’s asked over to the Masters’ house during one of Claud’s sitting jobs, where Derek tells her that he’s studying the legal system and wants to set up a mock trial to write about. Janine admits she doesn’t know much about the legal system, as she’s “only taken a couple of courses in it.” While the idea was to make Janine confess about her mysterious whereabouts, it doesn’t work – she’s too busy comforting Derek over a lie he’s told instead. Janine uses Claudia’s private line to make phone calls, which angers her sister and leads to a confrontation – but unlike normal, when Janine would be happy to have the chance to talk with her sister, she shuts down instead and storms off, wanting to keep her secret. When Claudia tells her parents that she witnessed Janine getting into a car with a stranger, she finally confesses to having a boyfriend – a fellow junior in advanced placement named Jerry Michaels, who’s the most gorgeous boy Claudia has ever seen up close. She wanted the makeover to attract him, but when he tells her he likes her for more than just her looks, she decides to go back to the way she used to look. She confesses that she had a problem telling her family about her boyfriend because she’s an intensely private person, not used to others knowing her business. She tells them that they mostly try to find quiet places to study together, instead of going on the usual sort of teenage dates.
M#9 – Janine thinks intelligence can solve any problem. She takes some dry clothes to Claudia at the Newtons’, and stays with baby Lucy while Claud goes to change. She doesn’t have much clue about how to entertain the baby or Jamie, and looks frazzled by the time Claud makes it back into the kitchen. She tells her that she doesn’t how how Claud does it all the time, because taking care of kids is hard work. She researches for a solvent to take the dye off of Claud’s skin.
M#10 – Janine asks to borrow Claudia’s Magic Markers for a diagram she’s making for chemistry. She offers to explain it more fully to Claudia and help her understand it, but Claud declines.
M#11 – Janine taught herself to read before she went to kindergarten. Asks Claudia why she’s reading the Sunday New York Times, and asks her about the artist she’s interested in seeing. She settles in with the Book Review, and, impressed with Claudia’s knowledge on the topic, tells her that she sounds like an art critic. She begins recounting the Roman myth of Daphne and Apollo, even after Claudia stops listening.
M#16 – Gets annoyed when Claudia starts filming her at the breakfast table – “I would prefer not to be recorded for posterity in the act of chewing a mouthful of Shredded Wheat.” She’s taking a summer work-study program at the university, working as a research assistant to Professor Woodley, doing quantitative data analysis. She works straight through lunch, and her professor is impressed with her research techniques. She accidentally ruins Claudia’s film when she opens the door to her darkroom (which has been set up in the bathroom between her room and Claud’s), and apologizes “about three hundred times” before finally leaving. Claudia borrows her instamatic camera and takes pictures of her in the bathroom while she’s brushing her teeth. Janine is wearing a ratty pink robe and has a yellow towel wrapped turban-style around her head. She’s getting ready to go on a picnic with Jerry, but there’s no way she’s telling Claudia where. She shakes her toothbrush at Claud and stomps back to her bedroom. Janine advises the BSC to not jump to conclusions in their investigation of the mystery at the museum – “Intuition has been established as having a place in criminal procedures; however, in no way can it substitute for authentic and valid evidence that can be presented to the judge and jury.” Claudia wonders if she’ll ever learn how to talk like a normal person. She points out another mistake in the girls’ case when she tells them that the highest denomination of bills in an ATM machine are twenties, so the pile of money in the picture they have as ‘evidence’ couldn’t be worth more than a couple hundred dollars. She helps Claud with her math homework that night.
M#21 – Janine hates to “bid the academic year farewell.” She attends the final judging of the cooking contest, along with her parents.
M#23 – Abby borrows Janine’s bike for the trip to Greenbrook.
M#24 – Janine delivers a letter, allegedly from the mayor’s office, to the BSC meeting, and stays behind to listen to its contents. She points out that Stoneybrook doesn’t have a park system, which means the letter is a hoax.
M#25 – Attends a board of education meeting with her parents. She fetches Kristy from the BSC meeting to meet with Cary Retlin on the Kishis’ front porch. She’s reading on the front porch a few days later when the Klue Krushers come by for the windchime, and upon hearing Johnny Hobart’s Australian accent, makes a comment about the Sydney Opera House.
M#27 – Listens to astrophysics lecture via headphones. Janine barges into Claudia’s room, looking for her headband, and tells her that Mr. Hatt owned the lighthouse and a bunch of other waterfront property. She’s very excited about the Veehoff Comet, which she’s calculated the arrival time for, if not its landing site. In addition to astrophysics, she’s also working on a calculus proof and a set of 3D models for organic chemistry. She owns a telescope, which she is not inclined to let the BSC borrow. Janine’s favorite dish is green beans sautéed with garlic. She shares Claudia’s room while the Hatt family is in town and living with the Kishis. She’s stood up on a date by Jerry, who says he forgot about it. She’s a trainwreck while she waits, and then yells at him when he finally calls, hanging up on him. To soothe her stress, she turns on classical music, sings along tonelessly, and types on her computer keyboard. She has locking file cabinets in her room, along with black-and-white posters of Madame Curie, Virginia Woolf, Einstein, Mozart, Richard Feynmna, Doris Lessing, and Galileo. She’s interested in Steve, one of their houseguests, and starts blowing off her boyfriend to hang out with him. Steve is very popular, and introduces her to people who never even used to look at her in school. She confides in Claud that Steve has invited a few select guests to a Christmas party at the lighthouse, including Janine. Janine asks the BSC to hold their meeting somewhere other than Claudia’s room, so that she can use her computer to work on some spreadsheets. Janine screams when she finds a mysterious package on the front porch, one that contains a charred, burnt baseball cap and a cryptic message for their houseguests. She goes for a walk to wear off the shock afterwards. She plays a new CD-ROM on her computer, which has classical music, rock, and Christmas carols. Janine finally tells Jerry about Steve, but hides when Jerry comes by to speak with her. He gives her a three page letter on yellow lined legal paper. Janine tells Claud that she’s drawing a very good likeness of the gargoyle that sits above the high school entrance. Claud calls Janine and asks her to tell Mr. Hatt that the lighthouse is on fire. Janine follows Steve around at the party, and is upset when he ditches her for a red-haired girl. She ends up leaving hand-in-hand with Jerry.
M#34 – The BSC asks Janine about Alex and Professor Kingsolver, who teaches at Stoneybrook University. She reports that she doesn’t know her, because the professor teaches English.
M#35 – Claudia and Stacey get Janine to help them research their suspect on the internet.
M#36 – Janine fetches Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne from the BSC meeting when a police officer arrives to speak with them.
Total appearances in series: 3
SM#1 – Janine tells Mallory and Jessi that the BSC answering machine wasn’t working, so clients had been calling the main family phone line and leaving messages. She agrees to take one night-time baby-sitting job with the Hobarts to help them out of a jam. Claudia uses Janine’s computer to type up her paper.
SM#2 – Janine tells the family about the insulation properties of snow over dinner one night. Claudia grabs her when she smells something on fire, and Janine reluctantly leaves the house without her computer. Janine tells Claud about the Stoneybrook Who’s Who reference books in the library. Claud observes that she likes knowing the answers to questions.
SM#4 – Janine interrupts a BSC meeting to announce that Mrs. McGill has arrived to take Claudia and Stacey to the train station.
SPECIAL EDITION READERS REQUESTS
Total appearances in series: 2
Shannon’s Story – Janine greets Shannon and Kristy at the door when they arrive for a BSC meeting, and converses with Shannon in French.
Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-sitter – Janine’s idea of funky clothing is “a T-shirt with a picture of Mozart on it.”
Total appearances in series: 3
Claudia’s Book – Janine is three and a half years older than Claudia. She tells her of the afternoon that her parents brought Claud home from the hospital. She had just finished her favorite meal – alphabet soup, where she found all of the letters except ‘y’ and ‘z’. Mimi was trying to teach her how to spell ‘Claudia’ with the alphabet letters when her parents came home. Because it was a sunny day, the whole family went outside to take a picture with the new baby. When they went back inside, Mimi told Janine that she’d have to be a good example for her new sister. Janine was already working on fourth grade material in the third grade. While she waited for Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne in order to walk them to school, she would read – either outside on the front porch if the weather was nice, or just inside the door. She wears a Laura Ashley flowered dress with white tights and flats to Claudia’s sixth birthday party. She hangs the ‘pin the nose on the clown’ poster outside the back wall of the garage, then pours punch for her family and Kristy and Mary Anne. She’s just as upset as Claudia is when nobody else comes to her birthday party, and tries to make her feel better by telling her that the three of them (Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne) can have just as good a party by themselves. She helps her mother bring out Claud’s ice cream cake, and sings “Happy Birthday” to her. Janine gives her a beginning reader, which Claud credits to her later interest in reading mysteries. She assures Claud that she will lose her baby teeth when the other kids in her class are obsessed with the tooth fairy. Janine had Mrs. Colquiet for third grade. She had Ms. Jameson for fourth grade. She tried to help Claudia with her book reports when Claud was in the fourth grade. Her favorite food is broccoli. Claudia types up her autobiography on Janine’s computer, and Janine shows her how to use a special font for a notebook-like appearance.
Mary Anne’s Book – Mary Anne was fascinated by Janine, who was the only person she knew who could walk and read at the same time.
Kristy’s Book – Kristy and her brothers try to get Janine’s attention when they accidentally lock themselves in the bathroom with the dog. It takes them three tries for her attention before Janine realizes that they’re calling her, and when she learns of their problem, she runs to tell Mrs. Thomas, whose car was just pulling into the driveway. She accompanies Mrs. Thomas upstairs, and takes Mary Anne and Claudia home when Mrs. Thomas asks her to.
BSC FRIENDS FOREVER
Total appearances in series: 5
FF#2 – Claudia recalls one day when Rachel Griffin bullied her into a climbing a tree; when she got stuck, Rachel just left her there, until Janine happened along to find her and get their parents to help her down.
FF#4 – Calls Claudia “Pippi Longstocking” when she puts her hair into braids one morning. She cares for baby Lynn one afternoon while Claud and Peaches have a gabfest about Jeremy in the kitchen. She tells everyone that she’s grateful for them, and life in general, at Thanksgiving.
FF#6 – Janine took a class with Mr. Zizmore in middle school.
FF#7 – Janine “thinks it’s fun to wake up at the crack of dawn for an early Saturday morning breakfast with her study group.” She’s impressed when she learns that Claudia is volunteering for a project that helps immigrants learning how to adjust to American life. She suggests that Claud wear the blouse she made from Mimi’s silk kimono if she wants to look special. She tells Claud and Alan that they look great together.
FF#12 – Used to go to MiniPutt Kingdom with her family when she was younger.
BSC FRIENDS FOREVER SPECIALS
Total appearances in series: 2
Everything Changes – Janine sneaks her laptop into her suitcase on a ‘break with nature’ trip with family. To keep Claudia quiet, she gives her an e-mail address on her account. She tries painting for the first time, and enjoys it when she realizes she doesn’t have to be exact and realistic. She tells Claud she found the experience very mind-expanding.
Graduation Day – Janine attends Claudia’s middle school graduation, and takes one of the most somber pictures ever of the former BSC members.
THE SUMMER BEFORE [PREQUEL]
Janine has been known to say, “school is my world, math feeds my soul.” Mimi drives her to summer courses at the community college. At fifteen, she’s never hosted a boy-girl party of any sort. She invites Marlene and Frankie, two of her classmates from statistics, to Claudia’s birthday party, and seems excited about it. Janine’s outfit to the pool party – “My sister was wearing jeans (and I couldn’t help noticing that they didn’t fit her very well, making her look rather puffy in places where she wasn’t puffy at all, and a T-shirt with a picture of Albert Einstein on the front and E=mc2 on the back.” Her expression is luminous when Frankie finally arrives. When she spots her father wearing Mrs. Goldman’s very bosomy ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron, she takes a step backwards and falls into the pool fully-clothed. She makes obnoxious comments while Claudia opens her gifts, trying desperately to keep Frankie’s attention (but failing). After the party, she retreats to her bedroom, and slams the door in Claud’s face when she asks what’s wrong. She spends the rest of the summer giving Claudia the silent treatment and ignoring any and all sisterly gestures Claud makes towards her. They finally make up at the end of the summer when Frankie dumps Claudia. Janine confesses she wasn’t angry at her sister so much as the fact that she never really had a chance with Frankie, Claudia or no Claudia.
TV Episode – “Claudia and the Mystery of the Secret Passage”
Janine is tutoring Claudia in algebra, and interrupts a BSC meeting to ask (in her own bookish way) that Claudia not be late. Claud claims that Janine talks like that because she’s practicing for her college entrance exams – and because she knows Claudia hates it. During one of their tutoring sessions, Claud confides in Janine that they’re going to have a séance in the secret passage at Dawn’s, to which Janine scoffs – “if they’re deceased, you can’t communicate with them!” Claud gets upset and tells Janine that maybe they should stick to their own worlds, then leaves. The next morning, Claudia and Dawn enter the Kishi kitchen, all excited about the success of the séance. Janine cleans up after her breakfast, half-listening to the girls’ conversation, until Claud pulls out the note again and guesses it to be over 200 years old. Janine rolls her eyes as she picks up her books, and witheringly responds, “Claudia, really – when do you think they invented transparent tape?” before leaving the room, unexpectedly giving the girls the break they need to actually solve the mystery. After the BSC members find the sisters who originally lost the ring, Claudia finds Janine making cupcakes for the sister-picnic the BSC have planned for their younger sisters and baby-sitting charges. Claud invites Janine to come, and they decorate the cupcakes together. They attend the picnic, along with Flora and Bettina, who bring wreaths of flowers for all of the sisters to wear.