The O'Dells are a poor mountain family with plenty of sweetness and strength in the frail mother, muscular fight in the struggling father, fun in the brother and able ambition in young Dixie, the heroine. Sharp-tongued old Gran, a hound dog and a brand-new baby complete the family. Pappy is in almost constant trouble because of his yearning for liquor to relieve his tiredness and because of his old feud with his neighbor. Fortunately, Si Rector, the neighbor's son, is determined to patch up the old quarrel and helps Dixie both in the field and at summer school, he brings her impressions of the outside world which increase her love of book learning. The local color is excellent and should bring understanding of the mountain people to more fortunate children. The language of this section is fascinating, most descriptive and full of wonderful similes and unusual phrases.