Stories of ""instant families"" have immediate appeal, and this has a special pemmican twist. A Sioux Indian orphan, twelve-year-old Melody, and her four younger brothers and sisters are adopted by a childless Montana white couple. At first Mamma's neat, exacting ways frustrate and antagonize Melody, who is accustomed to freedom and disorder. She is hurt by being called ""nigger"" by two hostile children at school. In despair, she wishes she could run away and live like a real Indian. Gradually, however, she is warmed by the affection of neighbors and brought closer to her adoptive parents through helping a poor Mexican family in a time of trouble. Gradually, too, Mamma relaxes. Melody learns that ""you should not criticize another person before walking for a while in his moccasins."" She even comes to enjoy a clean house. No whoops for style or plotting, but a small holler for sincerity and readability.