Jennie Gorden finds herself in a predicament when she rashly invites her schoolmates to a party for her twelfth birthday. Unfortunately her mother cannot afford to take the children out for entertainment, and the two elderly aunts with whom Jennie and her mother are living are too infirm to put up with the noise of a party in their small apartment. A carpenter in the building offers his workshop for the occasion and Jennie secretly does odd jobs for her grocer to earn the money for the refreshments. A last minute fire in the building throws a monkey-wrench into Jennie's plans, but as a surprise her class comes to the workshop for a combination clean-up and birthday party, and for the first time Jennie feels a sense of belonging. The tension involved in planning for the party seems over-exaggerated, but girls will be able to sympathize with Jennie's conflicts in harmonizing her home responsibilities with her need to get along with her classmates.