The long tale of homesteading days in Idaho centers on eleven-year-old Margie and her rebellious sixteen-year-old brother. Margie fits into the new rugged life easily, but Philip seems more difficult than ever. He thrives on catching ""slick ears"" -- wild, unbranded horses. When he and his father return from helping with the harvest in another region, Philip has grown beyond his scowling days and is more of a man. He still loves horses, but decides to also give some time to school work. The episodic story is recorded in long sentences; while some of the events are interesting, the book is much longer than it needs to be for good reading.