When Claire's best friend, Bess, moves away, she becomes the only girl left in her entire school. At first, she thinks she'll be able to deal with this -- after all, the girls' bathroom is now completely hers, so she can turn it into her own private headquarters and draw on the walls. When it comes to soccer games or sailing races, she can face off against any boy. The problem is that her other best friend, Henry, has begun to ignore her. And Webby, a super-annoying bully, won't leave her alone. And Yucky Gilbert, the boy who has a crush on her, also won't leave her alone. It's never easy being the only one -- and over the course of a wacky school year, Claire is going to have to make it through challenges big and small. The boys may think they rule the school, but when it comes to thinking on your feet, Claire's got them outnumbered.
The Only Girl in SchoolFeatured
Coupled with the fact that she doesn't have her best friend to lean on anymore and share the woes of being the only two girls in the class, her other best friend, Henry, has become best friends with the class bully, Webby. She also has to deal with Gilbert, a boy who is nice enough to her, but only because he likes her and wants to kiss her. Her relationships with the other boys in her class, as well as with her brothers and her parents, are all predictably irritating for her. It all goes to show that no one can truly understand the plight of a fifth grade girl besides that fifth grade girl herself. Sometimes even she can't understand what's happening to her, and no one ever seems to be around to shed light on it.
As the novel progresses, she makes discoveries about herself and about her town and life in general. The story is sweetly written in the form of letters to her best friend, Bess, who has moved away. Even though we only hear Bess' responses through Claire's relating them back to Bess in her own letters, we get a sense that their friendship has survived their separation.
Both the young and young-at-heart will enjoy this story about trying to hold it together in the face of adversity. Readers will find themselves rooting for Claire and hoping that things work out in her favor, even though that doesn't happen all of the time.