Marilyn, the new girl in Andy's class, is hard to get to know. She's mousy-looking and doesn't say much. But when she wins first prize in a city-wide poetry contest, she earns the respect of her sixth-grade classmates, who elect her their poet laureate. Through the poems she writes that year, Marilyn is able to communicate with the other children. But is what she writes the truth? She Claims to live in exclusive Garden Hills and to come from a wealthy and impressive family. However, as the year progresses, the students learn that some of what Marilyn writes is the truth--and some is what she wishes were the truth. Several children are disappointed and accuse her of lying; others are curious; still others, like Andy, are simply forgiving and want to know the ""real"" Marilyn. For the thoughtful reader, a gentle story of acceptance and adjustment: Andy and his classmates struggle to understand Marilyn, who is grappling with her own problems as she and her father try to adjust to her mother's death. The story is evenly told with interesting, real, and likable characters, but the telling is quiet and the mystery about Marilyn so light that some young readers may give up on the story, and those who stay with it may feel disappointed. Marilyn's ""mystery"" is touching but not extraordinary; the unraveling is sketchy.