Way back in the hills, the events which excite Cliff Carter, his brothers and sisters, will not arouse the curiosity of those to whom shoes are standard stuff. Cliff's attitude towards school changes when a new teacher, young Miss Stevens, arrives to take over the class. Left back for a year, Cliff suddenly comes through and proves he's interested in more than his parrot which he loves ""somethin' fierce"". The scene shifts from the one-room school toward the end, when a flash flood causes a torrent of confusion, and once again gives Cliff a chance to use his brains. The back-country dialect and a talking parrot are not enough to hold the reader's attention; Miss Paradis, who has written many books, has slipped from her usual level both in plot and style.