The day after the Whiz Kids competition Melody is on the front page of the local newspaper. The article is about the team, but it focuses on Melody’s particular ability, and the featured picture is of Melody alone. Melody’s mother and father are happy for her, but Melody worries that the other kids at school will resent her for being in the spotlight. At school, Melody feels as though everyone is looking at her coldly, and even Rose seems distant. Melody tries to make amends, and she says it should have been the whole team in the paper. Rose agrees. In class, Mr. Dimming calls out Melody for helping the team win, but the clapping seems “more polite than sincere.”
Melody’s intelligence, and her impressive accomplishment—helping her team win the regional Whiz Kids competition—is recognized by the press, which is why they publish a picture of her. Although members of her team appreciate her help, she immediately feels like an outsider again. In the past, Melody felt like an outsider because her classmates didn’t think she was smart enough. Now, she doesn’t feel like part of the group because she’s gotten too much acknowledgement for her talents.
Melody is disheartened, and when she gets back to H-5 she tells Catherine she feels like her teammates don’t even want her on the team. Melody thinks her teammates think that she looks funny and that she makes the whole team look weird on television. Catherine comforts her, and after school Melody goes to her first practice for the Championship. Melody starts to feel better answering questions with the team, but she notices that no one mentions the newspaper article, and Rose, Claire, and Molly all whisper together as she leaves.
Melody continues to feel as though she is not a real member of her Whiz Kids team. No matter what she does, her team will come up with excuses not to fully welcome her in, whether it’s that they don’t think she deserves to be on the team, or that they’re jealous that she’s gotten so much attention for being on the team.