Elizabeth Ann, a nine-year-old girl, is timid and small for her age; she is also an orphan. At first she lives with her father's aunt, Harriet, who expects her to lead a very sheltered life. When she is sent to live with her mother's family, on a farm in Vermont, she is then expected to do many of the chores that Harriet had thought too demanding of a little girl. Elizabeth Ann, nicknamed Betsy, discovers her own abilities and gains a new perception of the world around her.
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