Solomon Henry, an 11-year-old African American, who feels oppressed by his heritage's lack of opportunity, runs away from his mother and older brother to chase his dream of attending school somewhere. He comes across Charles Ingalls in Mankato, secretly hitches a ride in the back of his wagon, and eventually earns a spot as a guest in the Ingalls' home. As he helps out around the farm and goes to school in Walnut Grove, Solomon's optimistic attitude is a true inspiration to the whole family--particularly Laura, who has been struggling in school recently. This experience prompts Solomon to grow in faith and hope that he will one day achieve great things in his life. However, after coming to the heartbreaking realization that racism will most likely limit his entire future, regardless of any education he receives, Solomon chooses to return home.