Miss Barberry -- teacher of high school English in California for twenty-two years- has an unteacherlike sparkle in her eyes when she buys the red Alpha Romeo. And she causes a rather unprofessional riot when she zooms to school behind the wheel. But the coup d'etat is when she enters a sports car rally with her student-friend Dolly and ends up getting caught apparently stealing chickens from a farmer's barn. Rufus Pofahl, ""principal and glorious leader"", doesn't think it's nearly as funny as the reader will, and he issues an ultimatum -- either the Alpha Romeo or Miss Barberry must go. The students of course are 100% behind Miss Barberry, and, in a mutinous move on Young Leader Day (when the pupils take over the school), the acting-principal refuses to give back the command unless Miss Barberry and the car stay. The take-over is ingeniously conceived and hilariously related. And the resolution is only slightly lrreverent. This book is sheer fun -- excellently written and delightfully capricious with characters that are distinctive, a plot that is imaginative, and prose that plays with words in a refreshing, original style.