After Holling tells Mrs. Baker that he does not want to be anything like this dad, including an architect, Mrs. Baker decides they need to go on a field trip and see all the architectural points of interest. During the field trip they go in to a Catholic church and admire the architecture. While in there Holling lights a candle and says a prayer asking for the safe return of Mrs. Baker's missing in action husband.
After their field trip Holling realizes that the things that are important to his dad, money and prestige, are not what's important for an architect. He also realizes how much he misses his sister who ran away.
One night in May Holling's sister called and said she wanted to come home but did not have enough money for a bus. When she left their dad said she was on her own so he was not going to send her any money. The next morning he went to the bank and cashed a savings bond he had and sent them money to his sister so she could get home.
As the 7th grade year wrapped up Mrs. Baker took the students on her annual camping field trip. Holling realized that his friends were important to him and that Mrs. Baker really did like him.
At the end of the year Holling stands up for himself to his father and tells him that being a man is more then just doing a good job. Holling is comfortable in his skin and knows what is important in life.
And oh yeah...... Mrs. Baker had her happy ending when they found her husband who was missing in Vietnam and he came home.