Samira is only nine years old when the Turkish army invades northwestern Persia in 1918, driving her family from its tiny village. They flee into the mountains, but the journey is so difficult that only Samira and her older brother survive. Beginning with a refugee camp run by the British Army, the children are shunted from one temporary home to another, finally ending up in an orphanage where it seems that they will live out their childhood. Then the new orphanage director, Susan Shedd, decides that she will take the 300 refugee children back to their home villages -- a journey of 300 miles -- through the mountains, on foot. Samira embarks on the journey with wonder and fear. Even if they make it, will there be anyone in her old village to take her in?