An unusual historical segment forms the well-integrated background for an exceptional book, a first rate story for girls in the teens. The scene is New York around 1811 when the expanding town is displacing the farming community. Ann, ""mother"" to her orphaned sisters and brothers, runs the farm with her brothers' aid. Every morning they take produce to the market of the growing city. Then comes threat of eviction, as what is now 23rd Street is surveyed for absorption into the city. As part of the planning board responsible, young Elliot is blamed, though he has long been a friend of the family. Ann, knowing the fight is futile, faces still greater heartbreak as she realizes that her brothers are glad to leave the farm and go their ways, while she is sent to work for a disagreeable aunt for her ""keep"", while the younger children go to more comfortable homes. Then Ann and Elliot make up and the story ends on a brighter hope for the future. Unsentimentalized characters -- excellent background- a well-paced plot.