Anna Lacey, from a farm in North Essex, comes to teach at Elm Hill School, in a modern primary building in a raw new suburban area. The story of her first year there is made up of her experiences with the children, the rest of the staff, the parents, and the complexities of class and school techniques. It is also a conflict between what she has learned in her teaching courses and what actually works with a large class; and her love for the country life she has known is always a temptation to leave the ugliness that she now lives in. But the better parts --the understanding of the head mistress, friendship with some of the teachers, and a beginning romance -- rub off -- to help her for the year coming up. Mild and minatory, this is very gentle --in its humor and happenings, as ""Miss Read's"" audience well knows.