Like this author's earlier Ridge Willoughby, the locale of this story is the hills of Missouri. The special qualities of the area have been well evoked here in the descriptions and in the natural flow of the dialect. In 1902, his 12th year, red-headed Punk was rescued from the severe, Bible upbringing of the last of his kinfolks, his granny-woman, by his friend, Hummy Humphries, a trapper. Hummy lets Punk stay with him in the countryside, and the boy's discoveries about the life in the wilderness are portrayed with a special charm. The book is a little disappointing after Punk returns. Granny seemed to be made of iron, but with just a little prodding from her grandson and from Hummy (an old beau) she softens up and even replaces her plain black clothes with a red petticoat and flowered hat. Despite the loosely created plot, the story is appealing for the sensitive portrayal of an often forgotten region.