Monica, now 12, is another year older but is dismayed when she looks at a photograph from her 11th birthday and realises that she 'hasn't changed a bit'. Her misery is compounded when she suspects Lara and Akira, also 12, think that Monica isn't grown up enough to join in their conversations about spots and hair.
When she sees her friends going out together later but not inviting her, she decides it’s because they don’t want to be seen with a little girl. She decides to show them just how grown up she can be. But when she shows up for the bus the next day she's dressed up in her mum's clothes, wearing make up and is almost unrecognisable. Tony and everyone else on the bus ridicule her. At school, Monica is inconsolable. Lara and Akira try to help her see that she doesn't need to worry, and that she will develop at her own pace. They persuade her to come to class where she finds everyone waiting for her surprise party.