A guest arrives at Elizabeth Allen's house, who is to be a new pupil at Whyteleafe School. Unfortunately, the snobbish Arabella Buckley and Elizabeth fall out with each other on their first meeting, and become enemies. Elizabeth tries to resolve this issue though, as she has been elected as a monitor at school.
On arriving back at Whyteleafe, Elizabeth meets Julian, a lazy but bright boy who is always at the bottom of the class. Two other new children are the shy Rosemary who never voices her own ideas, and Martin, who seems always keen to do the right thing. As soon as everyone settles in, trouble starts in the first form again, and the whole class is tired of Arabella's snobbery, hypocracy and her habit of telling tales. Meanwhile other people's possesions start to go missing at a rapid rate, and Elizabeth cannot find a way to stop her form from falling foul with the rest of the school, so she is demoted as a monitor.
Without her addition duties, Elizabeth becomes friends with Juliano, who spends most of the day entertaining his classmates with his jokes , and playing tricks on all of the teachers. He is in their black books until half-term, when his mother becomes dreadfully ill and is not expected to live. Julian then vows to become a hard worker and become a surgeon, much to the surprise of his teachers, and eventually his mother recovers.
Near the end of term, the first form thief owns up to Elizabeth, who cannot sort out the problem as she is not a monitor. Moreover, she is greatly surprised at the identity of the culprit, and faces another test of judgement of her classmates.
This report prepared by Liza Rosette