12-year-old spider-phobic Lala Mankowicz wants two things more than anything in the world: to get a dog, and to go to the end-of-the-sixth-grade camping trip with her best friend, Haley Blaine. Unfortunately, Lala's mom is afraid of dogs. To make matters worse, Lala's own fear of spiders may keep her from going on the camping trip. Classmates David and Teddy find out she's deathly afraid of spiders and, while teasing her, Teddy asks, "How are you going to go on the camping trip? The forest is crawling with spiders." The boys make Lala so mad, she won't even admit to herself that David is cute. At least, not at first.
If Lala can get over her fear of spiders, maybe she can go to camp and perform with Haley's dog, Shandy, in the Dog Tricks Competition. Maybe she'll win. And maybe her mom will finally let her have a dog. Maybe...