"Cheer up!" twelve-year-old Mary-Kate Burke told her friend, Summer Sorenson, as she sat next to her on the bus. "Christmas break is only two weeks away!" "Easy for you to say," Summer replied glumly. "You didn't flunk Meany Meenan's test on Friday." "At least I hope I didn't," Mary-Kate said. "That test was tough." "I'll bet I totally flunked it," Rebecca Duncan chimed in. Can you believe he asked that question about the price of lard?"

"That was gross," Elise Van Hook called from the back of the bus. "There was way too much math on the test," Rebecca added. "I know," Summer said. "And the class is called How to Start Your Own Business. Who would have thought there'd be math with that?" Everyone laughed. Summer wasn't exactly the brainiest girl in their group.

"What?" Summer protested. "I thought this was going to be an easy class." I thought so, too, Mary-Kate silently agreed. She looked out the window and watched the snowy scenery pass by. She and her friends were riding the shuttle bus. It took them from the campus of White Oak Academy--their New Hampshire boarding school for girls--to the Harrington School for Boys next door. Each year both schools offered three-week classes right before winter break. Most of them were taught at Harrington.