Casey is tired of living in her older sister's shadow, and wants to become popular in her own right. Her friend, Walter, is getting tired of writing to his pen pal, Tracy. And a boy named Gunther Reed keeps pestering Casey, almost as if he has a secret crush on her!
Casey solves Walter's pen pal problem easily, by writing Tracy herself and explaining that poor heroic Walter died saving Casey from a kidnapper, and therefore, to please not write to Walter anymore. This solves Walter's problem and gives Casey a new pen pal in the process. Casey then tries to impress Tracy further by making up tall tales about how popular she is.
In order to actually become popular for real, Casey tries out a bunch of short-lived ideas, such as trying out for class president, or working out and becoming stronger, but when the fourth grade creates the official school newspaper, she sees her opportunity and immediately gets involved.
Seeing an opportunity to use the school newspaper as a way of impressing Tracy, Casey enlists Walter's help in breaking into school on a Saturday, to print out a fiction article she wrote about herself saving the entire school and all the kids from a fire. But she accidentally leaves the article in the copy room, and it instead ends up being printed as part of the school newspaper. While the other kids, including the higher grades, laugh at Casey's article, they also think it's awesome, and she finally gets her fame.
This book contains examples of:
- Damsel in Distress: In Casey's imagination. Once she daydreams herself as a kidnap victim, then another time, makes up a story about Walter rescuing her from a kidnapper.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Casey's goal, as she tries to become the title of the book.
- Platonic Boy/Girl Heroes: Casey and Walter.
- Rear Window Investigation: How Casey and Walter enter the school.
- Slice of Life: This book's genre.
- Snooping Little Kid: When Casey and Walter sneak into school.