Marilda was a High School Freshman, rather a lonely girl, who was self-conscious with boys and didn't know how to talk to them, and who had no family but was a state ward, living with Grandma Hadley and going to school six miles away. Her selection as class president to fill out Caroline's term came as a surprise and she seemed singularly unprepared for the responsibilities entailed:-the Hawkins Hop (to which girls asked boys); the Roman Dinner; the Freshman dance -- all these and more projects found her leaning heavily on other people. Even so, with her interests scattered- and with Rose, a new and older friend who had lots of time and money for fun, Marilda's school work went into a decline and she couldn't seem to capture that elusive ""bird of time"". Here for once is a story of a girl who stumblingly found herself in her relation to life -- and who got poor marks instead of good -- but who seemed to make the right choice at the end. On the score of characterization and plot values this has more to offer than most early teen stories. One could wish it were better written.