These are stories set in a small Northern town, Whilomville, after the Civil War. They concern the children of the town, mostly, and are told from a child's "eye-level." For the most part they are trivial; the two best are "Hunting Lynx" and "The Stove." Crane uses dialect a lot.
The story, "The Knife," is unfortunate. It concerns two adult black men, each plotting to steal . . . watermelons. The English used by blacks in the stories is permissible in small doses--it's likely there were not too many Harvard educated black men in small towns and they probably talked the way Crane records. But a story done entirely in Stepin Fetchit dialect is excruciating, and hardly less insulting to black culture than gangsta' rap.
Crane died the same year this was published. It has the feel of minor stories knocked together in a book and rushed to print. It isn't very good.