Doe Sia, a ten-year-old Bannock girl, became known for her bravery when she and her heroic pet, Otterdog, saved a little boy from drowning. On the other side of the world in Denmark, Emma has also earned a reputation for courage by rescuing an elderly man from a burning barn. When Emma immigrates to America and joins the "Handcart Pioneers" she and Doe Sia meet and form an immediate bond. This bond is tested during a fierce mountain blizzard, in which Emma is sure she will die. But Doe Sia knows how to build a shelter from branches, get meat from a dead buffalo, and, most important, find her way back to her people. Together the girls face one of nature's greatest threats. Together the girls face one of nature's greatest threats. Together they must struggle to survive.