Caroline Quiner, who grows up to be Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, is a young girl living in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 1847. The Quiners are a large family, consisting of Mother, Caroline, Grandma, Henry, Joseph, baby Thomas, Martha and Eliza. Devastated by their father Henry's death on board a schooner during a storm, the Quiners struggle to keep a roof over their head and food on their plates. The Quiners are reeling from the knowledge that they have to leave their beautiful frame house in Brookfield and move to a small town named Concord. The man who owned the Quiners' homestead gave their house to his sister, forcing the Quiners to find a new home. Caroline is saddened to say goodbye to Brookfield and her best friend, Anna. Uncle Elisha arrives in his empty wagon prepared to move Caroline's family to Concord. Mr. Carpenter, the Quiners' neighbor, also loads down his wagon and helps the family move. His son, Charlie, who Martha has a mad crush on, also makes the journey. The journey to Concord is difficult and long. Along the way the Quiners stop at the homestead of Joe Albert, a friend who grew up with their father and Uncle Elisha in New Haven. Danger surfaces when Mr. Carpenter's wagon tips over as they make their way to the Albert homestead. As Uncle Elisha walks to the homestead for help, the Quiners and Mr. Carpenter are forced to build a fire and cook outdoors. As they settle in for the night Mr. Carpenter amuses them by telling them stories. The sound of wolves howling in the night terrifies Caroline. As Caroline peeps out of the wagon she sees hordes of yellow eyes circling the wagon. When Wolf, the Quiners dog, sees the wolves he barks and alerts Mr. Carpenter and the boys, who rescue the girls from the wagon. The group uses fire and sticks to ward off the wolves. When morning arrives the group finally makes their way to the homestead which is a clearing amidst woodland. When Caroline first lays eyes on the log cabin she thinks that it is the loneliest, saddest house in the world. Although Caroline is desperately homesick for her home in Brookfield, she knows deep in her heart that Mother will make their new home a place of warmth and love. Just as the Quiners are settling into their new home and making it their own, a raging storm threatens to jeopardize their new beginning.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune