The story in based in 1899 Texas. The main character, Calpurnia, develops an interest in science as she gets to know her grandfather more closely. At the same time, her mother pushes her to learn the domestic skills necessary to catch a husband instead of further pursuing an education.
I recommend this book for kids over the age of 10 simply because there are a few references to animal reproduction. Calpurnia briefly mentions that she has seen dogs mating and a man recommends that her brother rent out his rabbit for stud services.