After the death of his mother, Miguel is sent to live with his Uncle Small Bear on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
A young Indian boy attends a school for Native Americans and is caught between the traditions of his people and the new ways of the white man.
Having finished his education at Blackstone School, Red Fox writes letters to his friend, Ellen, who is traveling in Europe, as he prepares to return to his family on the Nebraska plains.
As Three Willows spoke, she rose. She brought a bundle to the tiny fire. She untied the straps that held it. Then she unrolled the buffalo robe. It was large, soft and carefully tanned. Red Fox peered through the dim light of the tipi. He could see colorful drawings painted on the smooth side of the robe. Red Fox reached out to touch one scene. It was a man on horseback. He was racing across the prairie. Red Fox could almost feel the movement of the horse under the rider as they raced. That's your father, whispered Three Willows.
Paul, a young immigrant, has traveled to the prairie to work for his uncle but instead finds a family with Fern and Roy.
Fern learns why the Native Americans are forcing people from their farms and does what she can to help.
Fern and Roy must leave their mother in Denver to spend the summer with their Gran and Paw in the Rocky Mountains.