Packed with action and information, this follows 14 year old Jan Harris, his family and his neighbors, on their trek from post-Revolutionary Boonesboro to a new town site in Shawnee territory. It is a trip into new maturity for Jan as well as a moving venture, for he assumes a man's role with the death of his father at the hands of a Shawnee bowman. (This is a theme that Mr. Davis handles well. It was a major theme in his well received Time of the Wolves.) Jan has been soundly taught, but the skills necessary to a pioneer have been only half learned. The equally necessary control of a responsible adult he has only partly achieved. Readers will learn along with Jan how town sites were selected, fortified and provisioned. Even more important, the book provides an unpretentious glimpse at how the simplest communities worked -- the shared tasks, cooperation and motivation. Thus American history is brought to life and the very practical ""hows"" are added to the ""whys"" already encountered in history textbooks. Jan emerges here as a likable, believable hero and boys are sure to respond to the book. The illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats are well placed and in their rough, shaggy strokes catch the image of the people and their territory as they are described by the author.