Thirty years later, this books holds up well. Its messages are still current and the writing is just as engaging. Tweens and teens will relate to Marcie's insecurities and loneliness. She is very self-conscious about her weight. At home, she must deal with a verbally abusive father. Her loving and supportive mother deals with their home life by taking an occasional tranquilizer. However, as she helps Marcie fight to get Ms. Finney back, she becomes a calm and more self-assured person who is able to take a stand against her husband without tranquilizers. Ms. Finney's messages to her students about love, acceptance, and the importance of being who you are have a ripple effect through friendships and families. Marcie's mother is inspired to go back to school and to seek counseling for herself and Marcie. Language is mild (idiot). Marcie is surprised that her friend's party is unsupervised and there are kids drinking beer. Her friend Joel lectures her about not succumbing to peer pressure, and not to drink the beer unless she likes it (which she does not), but he continues to drink his beer. A character mentions that his parents don't mind if he drinks, so long as he doesn't smoke dope. Kids get detention for speaking out about Ms. Finney and are, for the most part, supported by their parents. There is great discussion material about standing up for what you believe to be right, methods of education, teen angst, family discord, weight issues, and self-esteem.