During her usual summer's stay with her grandparents in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Carrie finds that the government is buying all the local farms and burning the homes to convert the area to the new Shenandoah National Park. Grandpa, who has a general store with a lunchroom run by Grandma, refuses to sell and fights every step of the way; but though he tries to get neighbors to join his battle, many are glad for the chance to move to towns and conveniences. Carrie is torn between admiring and believing in her increasingly obsessive Grandpa's cause and appreciating Grandma's common-sense approach. Staunchly, she stands up for Grandpa to local bullies and various officious people, meanwhile learning that it's a good thing to have strong feelings and to express them. Grandpa's battle may drag on a bit, but Carrie's increasing strength and her fierce loyalties hold attention as she learns that relations mean more than locations, and that losing may not be so bad if you have tried as hard as you can.