Still mourning the death of her mother a few years back, Alice McKinley finds her life seriously disrupted when her father Ben buys a store and moves her and her older brother Lester to a new town. In the painful throes of adolescence, Alice has a rough time adjusting to her new school, especially after she gets the stern Mrs. Plotkin as her core teacher. Feeling shy and isolated, Alice frequently escapes into a vivid fantasy life that occasionally gets her into hot water. But with a little unexpected help from Mrs. Plotkin, Alice learns not to judge by appearances or jump to conclusions. More importantly, she confronts her father over his inability to accept their loss and move on.