How can John learn to love a new stepfather? When John Klessig's father dies suddenly, Mama marries Mr. Ernst - who is very different from Papa. His beard and his boots are big, and he doesn't want to help new families the same way Papa did with the inn. Without warning, fire threatens the village. John and all the neighbors, including the Indians, help each other as friends. But where is Mr. Ernst? How can John and his new stepfather learn to love and respect each other?
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How can one boy change the minds of his neighbors? When Matthew LaCraft's father gives up his ship, the Mary Jean, Matthew is going to have to stay home and go to school. Worse, it's a new school his father helped to build. Matthew would much rather go to school with the boys he knows in Boltonville. When a Potawatomi boy, Green Leaf, attends the new school, not all the neighbors are happy. What can Matthew do to help everyone get along? Will his plan work?
How can Ann find a grandfather who's just right? With so many aunts and uncles, why doesn't Ann Riley have a grandfather? Her friend, Katie Murphy, has a special grandfather who tells stories and remembers all the things he did at home in Ireland. When Katie's little sister tells Ann that everyone has to have a grandfather, Ann decides to find one of her own. She asks all her neighbors around Boltonville to be her grandfather.