First off, this book is definitely my favorite cover of the year. Amazon is doing a best cover of 2009 contest and I could not believe that this book wasn't on it. In fact, the cover is what led me to pick up this book in the first place.
The first page really drew me into the story. I didn't want to put it down and consequently finished it really quickly. I loved the story, and commend the author for writing her book based on what were the norms during the previous century for women but having a heroine who wanted out of that box.
What kept me from giving it five stars was the ending. I really got attached to Calpurnia and her granddaddy by the end of the book, as I never got to know either of my grandfathers, and I really wanted to know what happened when she grew up. Maybe there will be a sequel, but in the mean time I feel left hanging.
This book is brilliant for young girls, and boys for that matter. It's a story that shows if you work hard enough, and want it enough, that you can be whatever you want.