Kalina, a Fort Collins, Colorado, fourth-grader with a head full of beautiful kinky black hair, awesome brainpower, and a sparkling can-do spirit is having trouble fitting in this year. Sure, the boys are nice enough to her, but the most popular girls in her class spend their time teasing Kalina about her hair. The biggest troublemakers are Cindy and her crew, and their latest prank is the last straw for Kalina. Unfortunately, it’s Kalina and her friends who get busted by the teacher—a mean-spirited and child-hating educator named Ms. Butler—who brushes Cindy’s prank off with no more than a shrug. When Kalina’s friends try to explain that she’s being bullied, Ms. Butler accuses Kalina of framing the other girls for the prank and warns the spunky fourth-grader that she will be punished the next time this happens, leaving Kalina to come up with a solution on her own.