She’s the only one who knows what it’s like to be the only one.
When Claire’s best friend, Bess, moves away, she becomes the only girl left in her entire school. At first, she thinks she’ll be able to deal with this -- after all, the girls’ bathroom is now completely hers, so she can turn it into her own private headquarters and draw on the walls. When it comes to soccer games or sailing races, she can face off against any boy.
The problem is that her other best friend, Henry, has begun to ignore her. And Webby, a super-annoying bully, won’t leave her alone. And Yucky Gilbert, the boy who has a crush on her, also won’t leave her alone.
It’s never easy being the only one -- and over the course of a wacky school year, Claire is going to have to make it through challenges big and small. The boys may think they rule the school, but when it comes to thinking on your feet, Claire’s got them outnumbered.
There's a lot going on in this slim novel about Claire Warren, who starts fifth grade as the only girl at her small island school. She recounts the mostly depressing events of the year being pummeled at dodgeball, ostracized in the lunchroom, bullied by both soccer opponents and her own teammates through letters to her best friend, Bess, who has recently left their Maryland island for California. There is also an attempt to sabotage Claire's boat before the annual regatta and a mystery involving Smuggler Joe, who haunts Foyes Island to guard his secretly buried treasure (Claire's letters are accented with "taped-in" cartoons from Durfee that humorously track her ups and downs). The story nearly leaves the rails with an unexplained supernatural element, but Standiford (Switched at Birthday) moves on quickly, and by graduation, Claire has earned some hard-won victories. It's a measure of how grim the year has been that the note of hope on which Claire's story ends involves moving on to middle school, where there will, at least, be some other girls. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company.