Pretty is as pretty does. Pretty, popular Marcia Faitak is not her usual self. Over the summer she gained five pounds, and when school begins, Marcia, desperate for an invitation from Alex Ryan to the October dance, goes on a diet. In art class, she's supposed to bring a red apple to life on paper, but all she wants to do is eat it. Mr. Morrison doesn't like her work anyway: disdainfully, he calls her drawing of a beautiful girl "Barbie." Worse than art is social studies. This is the year that kids have to choose their community service project. When Ms. Williams signs up Marcia to work at the local nursing home, she's aghast. What can she possibly do for a bunch of old people in wheelchairs? Since experimenting with makeup is Marcia's favorite activity, her half sister suggests "Makeovers by Marcia." In the fifth and final story in Claudia Mills's funny, philosophical series about the West Creek Middle School kids, Marcia discovers the nature of true beauty - and even learns to draw it.