Nellie and Stephie Steiner are young Jewish children who have been sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis in Austria. They are staying in two different homes and both miss their past lives very much. They eagerly await the day when their parents will send for them, and they will all go to America.
The Swedish families are nice enough, but Stephie has a hard time adapting. Not only is the language strange, but some of the kids in school are mean to her. She finds it difficult to know who really wants to be her friend.
"Nellie, we're in Sweden now," Stephie assures her sister. "There are no Nazi's here. The police in this country don't come and take people away during the night. That's why Mamma and Papa sent us here."