When some school strawberry plants are vandalised, a lost shoe buckle at the scene of the crime leads straight to the Naughtiest Girl. The next night, as she's dropping off to sleep, someone shouts 'Fire!' - so Elizabeth jumps up and rings the fire bell. But there is no fire and now Elizabeth is being blamed for a catalogue of silly tricks. If she can't prove her innocence, she's in line to lose her hard-won part in the school play.
Fresh from a London comprehensive, Rebecca Mason is plunged into life at Trebizon, a famous boarding school for girls. Lonely, afraid and anxious to prove herself, Rebecca determines to write something that will be accepted for publication in the school magazine. But the piece that appears is not the one she intended and she unwittingly triggers a row involving the editor of the magazine which rocks the school. But her new friend Tish Anderson and the other second-years are on her side.