Marcy Lewis is bored by school, she despairs of ever being thin, and she is certain she'll never have a date. Life at home isn't great either, since her father bosses her and her mother around.
Then along comes Ms. Finney, an English teacher who will try anything in the classroom, and above all, a teacher who acts human. Marcy has never met anyone like her, and suddenly life in and out of school begins to have a purpose.
When Ms. Finney is suspended because of her controversial teaching methods, the school is thrown into an uproar. When Marcy, now out of her shell, helps to organize a protest, she too is suspended. With her mother firmly on her side, her father violently opposed, Marcy must decide whether her fight for Ms. Finney and the values she stands for is worth the price she must pay at home and in school.