Set in Western Pennsylvania, this is the story of eight little girls who in the 1870's, fatherless, try to earn their way in the home of a reluctantly hospitable uncle. Amanda, nine-years-old, is diligent, but not until an itinerant peddler offers her the job of touring with him for the summer does she have a chance to make profitable her diligence and good will. Amanda's summer not only reveals to the child (and the reader) the complexities of life away from home, it provides her with the possibility of earning money throughout the year. This is a cozy story with a heroine who is beyond reproach and a nice feeling of rural life in Pennsylvania nearly a century ago. Based on experiences of the author's great grandmother.