Tough times on the frontier. Bess Morgan's parents gave up their comfortable life in Missouri to take a wagon train west and settle in Oregon. Now Bess, 10, must manage on her own, for her mother has come down with swamp fever, and her father is more than a month overdue from his journey back east to guide more settlers. To make matters worse, the house is attacked by Indians, and a moneylender is threatening to foreclose on the house and farm if he is not paid. Bess hopes to get the money by winning the quilting competition at the local fair. Young readers who enjoy frontier fiction, for whom the ""Little House"" books are still just a bit too hard, should enjoy Love's first book, a fairly straightforward period piece. It is a no-frills book, with little in the way of characterization and a predictable plot, and the Indian subplot is gratuitous. Still, Bess is a strong, hardworking heroine; stories where the kids take charge are appealing to children; the details of pioneer life are always interesting. With quaint b&w illustrations.