Ralph “Little Britches” Moody at age thirteen moves with his mother, Mary Emma, and five siblings “back East” to begin a new life. They survive their first bleak winter in Massachusetts through the help of close relatives and caring friends. Money and prospects are few, but not faith and resourcefulness. Despite their efforts they face run-ins with local authorities, hardships including broken furnaces and plumbing, and difficulty keeping a small family business alive so they can have food to eat. Triumphing over the challenges the Moody home is filled with a warm family life.