Congress has ruled that settlers in Kansas Territory will decide whether Kansas will enter the Union as a free or a slave state. Charlie Keller's papa is an abolitionist, and he's moving the family to Kansas so he can cast his vote for freedom.
Papa and Momma, big sister Ida Jane, even baby Sophie, seem excited about being pioneers -- but not Charlie. Why couldn't they stay back home in Massachusetts with Grandpa and with Charlie's beloved old dog, Danny, who is too old to make the trip? Turning the wild Kansas prairie into a farm is hard work, filled with worries and danger. Will Kansas ever feel like home to Charlie?