Kelly works on the set and lighting crews for her junior-high production of Cinderella, but hides her involvement from her mother. Even though Kelly bombs out at auditions and her set design is not accepted, she is determined to participate. To do so, she must submit to the whims of a less-talented ninth grader in charge of construction; still, she finds sympathy from her artistic grandmother and an ally in a boy on the crew. Meanwhile: her grade-school friendships are disintegrating under the pressure of one friend's stardom; Kelly fears what will happen when her mother discovers she's not going to home-ec club; and Kelly's mother and grandmother continue their adversarial relationship--which turns out to date back to Gram's long-ago desertion of family for theater, and continues after Gram's stroke and assertion of independence. Auch attempts a lot here, but crams so much in that she isn't able to do any of it justice. Moreover, it isn't probable that an inexperienced (albeit talented) junior-high student could master set design, scene painting, and lighting to the degree suggested here. A worthy try, but, overall, a shallow look at early adolescence and theatrical experience.