In this historical fiction novel, it is 1839, and Ethan (who is nine years old) becomes an indentured servant to Mr. Lyman, the storekeeper. There is a strong secondary character Daniel (often called the derogatory term "Paddy" because he is Irish) who is older. Mr. Lyman is abusive and although Ethan is only nine, he at times seems much older - since kids were put to work very young in the past (despite the young protagonist, this is not for a younger audience). Ethan and Daniel find evidence that incriminates Mr. Lyman in theft and dishonesty (including stealing Daniel's land) and they have to try and find the right actions to take. This was a very strong novel, although I have some concerns about teen appeal, I vote yes.