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Shane Stenlund has always resented life on the family farm located a few miles west of Twin Pines and a few miles east of the North Dakota border. With his parents and older sister, Danni, Shane lives on a six-hundred-acre farm in Minnesota’s Red River Valley. To Shane, farm life is oppressive and boring. Instead of daily chores like picking eggs, feeding pigs, and milking cows, he dreams of life on the open range where he can ride his closest friend and companion, First Mate, his Shetland pony, or in the big city free from the onerous daily duties. His dissatisfaction is fueled by his perception of his older sister who, in his opinion, does nothing but fix her hair or smile at herself in the mirror. A Christmas vacation ski accident kick starts a series of events that intensifies Shane’s rejection of farm life. Unsatisfactory grades during his senior year and a devastating conclusion to the prom fuel his decision to leave home. Shane seeks refuge in the big city, ironically in his sister’s Minneapolis condo. With dismay, he discovers life in Minneapolis doesn’t mesh with his earlier vision of the freedom the city would allow. He begins to change when he meets Max Hawkins and Alisha Sanders, both homeless teens, and Nick Karpin, a local entrepreneur.

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