What do you do when some boy steals your underwear? Harriet’s friends all expect her to take revenge, but when she learns Clarence’s big secret, she can’t be mad any more. Clarence finds himself included in all the girls’ adventures, weekly charm school lessons, a wild pajama party, face painting at the school fair, and a junior cotillion in corsets and hoops. More
Clarence couldn't believe how many outfits Harriet owned. Dresses in every color of the rainbow. Forests of skirts and oceans of blouses. Dance outfits, Halloween costumes, and three long formal gowns with full pouffy skirts. Clarence casually flipped past each, trying to conceal his shaking hands.
"He's not really looking at them," Betty pouted.
"Clarence! Look at them," Harriet said, her voice edged with frustration.
"Still think he doesn't need any punishments?" asked Fern merrily.
Harriet lifted the list from her desk and spoke softly. "He doesn't have any friends. I just don't want to be mean to him."
"He stole from you, and he lied about it," Fern shot back.
"Yeah but we got him back pretty good."
"That was nothing," grumbled Ruby. "If he stole my panties, he'd get every punishment on that list, and more."
Harriet skimmed the list and blushed. "We don't even have a ping pong paddle."
"I think I still have a set in the garage," Betty offered.
"They say it's easier than smacking him with your bare hands," Fern said casually.
"Who says that? Fern, I worry about you!" laughed Harriet.
Ruby crooned, "This cat Fern is a bad mother –"
"Shut your mouth!" the girls chorused.
"Just talkin' about Fern!"
Amid gales of laughter, Harriet stormed into the closet and slammed the door.
"Just what is the problem here?" she demanded. "Don't you like anything?"
"I'm sorry," pouted Clarence. "It's like … like …"
Harriet fought the urge to tear her hair out. "Like WHAT?"
"Christmas," he said, brushing away a tear.
He held up a red and white plaid dress with a white lace collar. Harriet had forgotten she even had it.
Harriet and her friends are at that age when girls blossom into young ladies. Except for Clarence. Clarence still needs a lot of help to reach his potential. Only Harriet understands his secret – deep down, he's a girl named Melody. Gradually, Harriet and the girls coax their new friend out of his shell. Will they be able to help Melody to blossom?