This book continues the adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. As the story begins Laura and her family have just endured a long and difficult winter in Dakota territory. Finally, after months of hardship and struggle, the weather has turned sunny and mild. Laura cannot get enough of the fantastic weather and the hearty outdoors. Laura spends her time helping Ma around the farm with chores, enjoying the outdoors and playing with her blind sister Mary. More and more people are migrating to the town of DeSmet, South Dakota and Pa finds work as a carpenter. As opportunties grow by leaps and bounds in the blossoming town, Pa finds a job for Laura working as a seamstress for 25 cents a day plus dinner. Although Laura hates to leave her carefree existence on the farm, she knows she cannot refuse such a high paying job. Laura and her family desperately want to raise funds so that Mary can go to the blind college in Iowa. The seamstress work is long and arduous; Laura dreams of getting her teacher's certificate when she turns sixteen. The Ingalls endure hard times as both Laura and Pa's jobs come to an end. Despite the setbacks, Mary is able to go to college, much to the family's delight. As Laura continues her education she comes face to face with her nemesis, the spoiled daughter of a storekeeper, Nellie Oleson. As Laura attempts to complete her education she comes up against the machinations of Nellie and the harsh treatment of her new teacher, Miss Wilder. As Nellie turns the new teacher against Laura, it appears that Laura's dreams of becoming a teacher may never be realized.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune