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Child singing prodigy Doris Stanley performs a recital at the New York Concert Hall. Despite the objections of Doris' voice teacher, Professor Radowsky, and her press agent, McCarthy, Doris' greedy aunt Addie has planned an extended singing tour for her exausted niece. Doris becomes upset when her aunt continues to insist that the fourteen year old pretend to be ten and learns that her promised vacation has been postponed once more. Using her meager savings, Doris goes on a runaway vacation, and Addie is unable to call the police, as McCarthy warns her of the adverse publicity that would arise should her treatment of Doris ever be made public. Addie is then forced to hire Tucker, a private detective, to find the missing girl. Meanwhile, Doris travels to Summerfield, Connecticut, where she is immediately apprehended by the local constable, who takes her to a nearby orphanage. In order to escape the orphanage, Doris goes to the home of a childless couple, Stephen and Ann Winters, who decide to take her in. She then meets her new next-door neighbor, high school student Jimmy Arnold, to whom she takes an immediate fancy. Jimmy, however, is stuck on Elaine Sterling, but has a rival for her affections in Ronald Stacey. The Winters agree to enroll Doris at Canbury High School, and the young girl soon makes friends with Elizabeth "Betty" Blake. During a music appreciation class taught by Miss Roberts, Doris starts to argue with Elaine, and the two young girls nearly come to blows. After school, Doris tries to convince Jimmy to take her to the junior prom by telling him that it would make Elaine jealous. That night, Stephen and Ann tell Doris that they want to adopt her, but she convinces them to wait until she is sure that she wants to be adopted, as she had been forced to work by her previous foster family. Later, Stephen and Ann see a front page newspaper story about Doris, in which her aunt offers a $5,000 reward for the teenager's return. The couple confronts Doris, and she tells them the sad story of her life with Addie. Moved, Stephen decides to quit his profession as a golfer and goes to insurance agent George Arnold, Jimmy's father, in hopes of obtaining a higher paying job that would allow him to fight to keep Doris. George offers to give him a job and a $1,000 bonus if he can sell a large policy to "old man Stacey," Ronald's rich father. Stephen manages to convince Stacey that he is a dying man, and the wealthy man buys a $250,000 policy. In the meantime, Miss Roberts, who has also recognized Doris' picture in the paper, travels to New York, where she learns of the child prodigy's misuse by her aunt. Miss Roberts then tells Addie that she was mistaken in thinking that she had found Doris, but the aunt knows better and orders Tucker to follow the music teacher. On the night of the high school musical contest, Elaine learns that Ronald has gotten the mumps, so she asks Jimmy to take her to the junior prom. Later, Betty tells Doris of Elaine's numerous deceptions, so the young singer pleads with Miss Roberts to allow her to appear in the show. After her performance, her aunt arrives, but Doris convinces Jimmy to help her escape. The various parties are then brought before Judge Rumsey, who announces that Addie had never properly adopted Doris and grants custody of the teenager to the Winters. Later, while Elaine lies in bed, also suffering from the mumps, Jimmy escorts Doris to the junior prom, where their relationship blooms.