The story opens with Lizzie Jones along with Ben Boy and July- all of the Hell’s Half Acre brats, as they are called watch the stage coming into Fort Worth around 1885. Lizzie notices Sallie McNutt right away. She’s refined and pretty. She’s on the same stage as Lizzie’s hero, Longhair Jim Courtright, but they are not together.
Miss Sallie is in Fort Worth to take over her uncle’s store and find out who murdered him.
It’s a fun story to read how Lizzie continues to take care of the little girl July along with Ben Boy and later Dicky-Bird, all orphans and who she knows need her help and care because there is no one else. But she finds she has to learn manners and etiquette because that’s what Miss Sallie wants. Lizzie mainly wants to be like Sallie, but her roots draw her back to the acre.
Lizzie and her little menagerie of kids are trying to find the murderer which leads to adventures and dangers Sallie doesn’t want the children to be involved, but Lizzie knows her way around.
Judy Alter has written a tale of a young girl and her struggle with coming from the wrong side of town, learning manners, and cleaning up that is so different from what she has known all her life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fast-paced story and recommend A Ballad for Sallie if you like a piece of the old west with a mystery and adventure along the way.
This book is available at Amazon.com here