In 1931, Isabelle Norton, otherwise known as Izzy, had no intention of growing up to be a farmer's wife like her mother. Instead, Izzy dreams of attending a university and becoming an engineer so she can improve the equipment on the farm to help with the monotonous chores.
Times are tough in rural Wisconsin as spunky Izzy enters the seventh grade. It's an eventful year at the one-room school for the eighteen students. Under the tutelage of the new teacher Miss Webb, they learn the basics of democracy when they elect students to perform special school chores like stoking the fire and carrying water from the nearest farm. Izzy even finds herself in a leadership role when the woodshed next to the school catches on fire.
Life is just as interesting at home for Izzy. The tough times force her to sell her favorite pony; she gets the measles during her exams; and she finds out her mom is going to have a baby. In this wholesome coming-of-age story, Izzy rises to the challenge of life on the farm and demonstrates not only her leadership qualities, but her commitment to family.