Penny's father is going to work on the Grand Coulee dam and even though she begs, he won't take her with him. She gets to go to Alaska to stay with her uncle. The sea journey makes her sick and when she arrives in Juneau her uncle is no where to be seen. She finds a friendly dog, though, even if she is deaf.
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She asks where she might look for her uncle and gets sent to the local restaurant. He's not there either. She finds out he has gone to Skagway and that's no place for a girl. The lady with the restaurant also has rooms for boarders, so Penny goes back there. The lady had just fired her dishwasher, so Penny volunteers to do that to pay for her room. Bitty, the woman's daughter, becomes her friend. Penny sends her father a telegram.
She works well and the woman is pleased with her. She finds out Bitty is getting electrical treatments to help her quit dreaming. The dreams went away but now she has awful headaches. She even thinks about suicide. But Penny and the dog save her from that.
Will everything settle down finally? It has a good ending and it was a good read.