It is 1880 when the widow Sarah McAllfry is approached by the son of a former slave who asks her to teach him in her all-white schoolhouse. As a cold resolve claims Sarah, she decides that education is a right for every citizen in a post-Civil War world and ushers little Henry Jackson to a seat in her classroom, all while knowing there will surely be repercussions for her actions.
Two days after, Sarah is promptly fired, and the Klu Klux Klan sets a fiery cross in her front yard. Still, Sarah remains determined to persevere, befriends Henry’s mother, and invites her and Henry to live and work on her farm. Eight years later, Henry is entering manhood, the farmland is fertile, and the three unlikely friends have formed an unbreakable bond. When a tornado destroys her farm and propels a personable ox into their lives, the three friends invite Babe to join their family. But as the threat of persecution by the Klan eventually forces them to escape to northern Minnesota, they all soon discover that their destinies are different than they ever imagined.
In this historical novel, a widowed schoolteacher, a blue ox, and a mother and son form a friendship that leads them from East Texas to a Minnesota logging camp where each embraces a new beginning.