This is book number 3 in the Allister of Turtle Mountain series.
Satisfied with a Grade 8 education? Not fourteen-year-old Allister McRuer. The first step to realizing his dreams requires high school, but will his father ever allow him to leave the farm and live in town to attend? Allister's one thread of hope for more education involves waiting for their one-room school to get a teacher with a high school diploma, and then persuading that teacher to help him study Grade 9. However, when fire spreads from Turtle Mountain towards the McRuers' farm and the school, Allister must work quickly to prevent this hope from disappearing into ashes.
In the midst of his fight for an education, Allister meets Sam Pollack in the fall of 1896, an itinerant worker from Ontario who comes to the farm. He asks Allister a pointed question: "What do you want to do with your life?" Will answering truthfully change anything? And if he ever gets his wish to attend high school in Cherry Creek, what name should he ask his classmates and teachers to call him by? Certainly not Allister