Again this popular author is concerned with the influence of ""civilization"" and community life upon a backwoods boy. Little Lihu, ten-years-old and the thirteenth member of a Middle Tennessee family, had some bad luck -- as everyone predicted -- but mostly good. Lihu ran into a bear, but captured him, which brought a reward with which he bought a bad-tempered mule. But Lihu gentled the mule, and received a present of a fine book. Then of course he had to learn to read, to read the present-book and the family Bible. The family is a bit disappointed when he is unable to read the Good Book after the preliminary ABC's at school, but Lihu gives them a wonderful Christmas surprise as he reads the Bible story in the school.