Samantha goes to Miss Crampton's Academy, a private school for proper young ladies, where everyone is buzzing about the upcoming speaking contest. Samantha is working hard to win the gold medal. But she has something else on her mind, too. She's worried about Nellie, the poor servant girl who has become her friend. She's trying to teach Nellie to read so the boys and girls at her school will stop calling her "dummy" and "ragbag." Samantha sets up a school in Grandmary's tower room and becomes Nellie's teacher. But Nellie teaches Samantha some very important lessons, too.