Jeannette starts her first year of high school in the 7th grade at Welch High School. The high school brings in kids from other surrounding poor towns, so Jeannette feels like she can fit in a little better with those kids.
"I decided to make my own braces." (Walls 201)
Jeannette is passing notes with Dinitia in study hall, when Dinitia tells Jeannette that she thinks she is pregnant. It can assumed that the father is her mother's new boyfriend.
"As far as I can remember, you are the only 7th grader to work on the Wave" (Walls 203)
Dinitia stopped caring about school and no one heard from her very much. Jeannette hears later that Dinitia is in jail for stabbing her mother's boyfriend to death.
Jeannette hears the other girls at school talking about boys and sex. She becomes very self-conscious of her looks and thinks she is ugly. She feels her biggest problem is her buckteeth that stick straight out of her mouth. She tries to make her own braces out of rubber bands and other materials, since her family can't afford real braces.
Jeannette decides to join a club, and the only free one is the school newspaper. When she joins, she meets the English teacher who also taught her dad. Her name is Jeanette Bivens. She kept Rex in school and was the only person to believe in him. He named his Jeannette after Miss Bivens.
Jeannette is a proofreader for The Maroon Wave, which is the school newspaper. This is where she first discovers that likes learning the news and being in the know. She realizes she wants to do something related to journalism.