Casey is eleven when her mother is killed in a terrible accident. Her father is ill-equipped to help his grieving daughter, but Casey clearly needs some mothering.  

Her two choices, though, aren't very promising: a nasty shop owner who hates kids or an African-American newcomer who greets her with a shotgun! Slowly, Casey discovers the loving, tender person beneath the prickly exterior.


What a Gem! by M. O'Reilly
You'll be thinking about eleven-year-old Casey long after you've finished reading this book and uncovering the many layers of her riveting and heartfelt story. Casey's spunk and unexpected reactions keep you wanting more, page after page. If you liked Because of Winn-Dixie, you'll love Pearl of Baxter Grove.

A Refreshing Coming-of-Age Tale by Angela Frame

Pearl of Baxter Grove is a refreshing coming-of-age tale for any child who is learning to navigate life's choppy waters. The main character, Casey, is at that precarious stage in life--not quite a child, not quite a teenager, yet she's precocious and wise. Life through her eyes is immediate. You feel her pain and her loneliness. But you also grow with her and feel her strength. Mary Kay Abbott has woven a unique life-affirming story filled with well-developed characters and a rich setting that any child will relate to.

Pearl of Baxter Grove