The beginning of the book starts with 11 year old Stella and her 8 year old brother Jojo see a Ku Klux Klan meeting in the forest by their house. Stella and Jojo ran back to the house as quietly as they could and woke up their mother and father.
They told their mother and father. Both parents were very shocked. They immediately told Stella and Jojo to go and knock on every neighbor's door and tell them to come to their house for a meeting about something urgent.
One day when Stella was walking back from school she saw in the distance a fire she realized that it was the Spencer house. She quickly started to run over there and then she suddenly stopped. Stella stopped because right behind her on some horses were members from the Ku Klux Klan. She froze in her footsteps until they had gone. She rounded up the neighbors and put the fire out. They realize that Hazel Spencer has gone missing and stella goes to find her and a little while later she finds her in a hidey-hole.
A few days later after school Stella finds her mother in the woods on the ground with a terrible snake bite in her leg. Jojo runs to get help while Stella tends to her mather the best she can. Jojo comes back with their father who tells them that Dr. Hawkins is at a meeting in Raleigh and won't be back for a few days, he also carries their mother back to the house and helps with the snake bite. They realize that they need antivenom to treat the snake bite so Stella runs and tries to get Dr. Packard the white doctor. He yells at her for asking and says that he doesn't care and that he only treats white patients.
One night Stella wanders off to the Kilkenny pond and starts to think and then hears somebody drowning. She stops thinking and gos in the pond to save the person. After they are both on land Stella asks "Why were you swimming in the middle of February?!" The person is a girl and that girl is Dr.Packards, daughter. She explains that her dad never pays any attention to her or her mom. She also said that he hits her and her mother, and he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan.Stella got really mad because she hadn't told her why her father didn't help her mother.
In the end, they went to the Christmas pageant and went home laughing because the three wise men bumped into each other and fell over. They all lived normal lives for the rest of their year.