Beth March would do just about anything to help someone in need. She's kind-hearted, loyal, and caring. So when she catches Sean O'Neill stealing apples from Aunt March's garden, Beth listens to the hungry boy's sad story. She's moved to hear that Sean's widowed mother and younger siblings are immigrants from poverty-stricken Ireland.
But times are hard in Massachusetts too. Sean's mother has been ill and out of work, and with sisters and brothers to care for, Sean has had to scrape up food for them any way he can. Promising to help, Beth gives him whatever food and old clothes her family can spare. It's not enough. Beth's big plan: stealing from wealthy Aunt March. But Sean's own thieving forces Beth to question what being a true friend really means--and together they discover generosity in someone who seems the most cold-hearted.