Fourteen-year-old Leslie Johnson makes an important decision one day: that she will not grow up to be anything like her mother. Though Leslie's best friend Kate is a big fan of Mrs. Johnson's, Leslie is tired of being the daughter of ""the local bleeding heart,"" who rescues drowning kittens with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and takes bag ladies in for dinner. Casting around for a different role model, Leslie lights on Ms. Perl, a new teacher at her school who's been named advisor to the school paper. To impress Ms. Perl (who tells the students she was once a reporter for the Chicago News), Leslie devises a student survey of teacher performance, primarily to get back at Mr. DeWitt for humiliating her in math class. Leslie gets no guidance from her advisor, the highly critical survey runs on page one, and her scheme backfires. In short order, Mr. DeWitt resigns, Ms. Perl disappears, and Leslie is left with all the blame. Tracking Ms. Perl down with the help of pals Kate and Dave, Leslie learns of her ""role model's"" deceit and selfishness, and realizes she could do a lot worse than emulate her mother's kindnesses. Author of the acclaimed Rain of Fire, Bauer turns in another winning performance here. Leslie is sympathetically and believably drawn, and the situations should prove appealing to the junior-high set. An enjoyable story.