The story is largely based on the author's own childhood, and is told with the warmth of pleasant recollections. Tressa was ten and her older brother thirteen when their family moved from a city in Iowa to a farm in Texas. The stark landscape and plain way of life in Texas during the 1920's, where luxuries ""for pretty"" were rare but especially appreciated, is well described through Tressa's own discouraged eyes. She is a natural tenderfoot and her dislike of horses will be refreshing relief for many girls otherwise reluctant to read this type of story. The loosely held together incidents never seem terribly vital, although they include an attack by a rattlesnake, a dust storm, a fire. More enjoyable are the agreeable characters and a very competent handling of the problems a young girl can face in adjusting to a new environment.