In the summer of 1854, after a long and dangerous journey on a small ship, Kirsten Larson and her family arrive in America. Everything in the new land is different from the small village Kirsten left behind in Sweden. The way people dress, how they talk, and the ways they travel all seem strange to her. Will she ever feel at home in this new place? Getting lost in a big city and parting with her best friend make her wonder. It is only when the Larsons arrive at a tiny farm on the edge of the frontier that Kirsten believes Papa's promise -- America will be a land filled with happy opportunity for all of them.