Miss Agnes has arranged for her extraordinarily gifted student, Jimmy Sam, to go away to a college prep school “outside” – if he can pass the test. Miss Agnes starts Jimmy on a rigorous program of study for the test and Fred and the others learn right along with him.
The whole village is part of Miss Agnes’ school. She’s brought boxes of books and soon everyone in town is reading something from the school bookshelves. And she’s brought a movie projector so the village people can see movies for the first time.
The village’s anxiety increases as the school year goes on, waiting for Jimmy’s test. Grandma says it’s hutlaanee, bad luck, to talk about the test, but they can’t help it. If Jimmy doesn’t pass it he will have to leave school next year to do a man’s work with his father and brother, all his dreams of being a scientist come to nothing.