From the Jacket: This delightfully warm and often funny story begins with the Run of 1893 which opened the Cherokee Strip, a part of the Oklahoma Territory. Joe (Papa) Richardson was among the thousands who made a dash for land and staked a claim for his family. And such a family! There is Mama, of course; Nell, who writes poetry; Tom, who wants to be an outlaw; and Betsy, who writes this story. Behind a cottonwood tree the Richardsons build their one-room sod house. Soon Mama begins to agitate for a "real" house. She's tired of holding an umbrella over her head every time the roof leaks. (Betsy hates to leave the soddy.) Then Mama wants a school, and a school means a teacher, so pretty Miss Charity comes to stay. It isn't long before Tyler Evans, the cowboy on the next claim, begins to spend more and more time at the Richardsons'. And with each visit he loses a little more of his heart to Miss Charity as Betsy jealously stands by. Betsy's story is of genuine people who lived at the close of a turbulent century. Betsy said of a loose tooth: "It hurts good." And so does this story hurt good. But the hurt is tempered with an abundance of joy.
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