Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jaqueline Kelly

Genre: young adult, historical
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2009
Pages: 340
Content: G, nothing offensive.

Thoughts in a line: Calpurnia learns about who she is and what she wants and how to deal with life with the help of her scientist grandfather.

Almost twelve Calpurnia, being the only girl out of seven, and living in 1899 in Texas, learns a lot about what is expected of her as a girl and as a girl who carries the name of Tate. Her mother wants her to be a socialite and learn to cook and sew and swoon so she can catch a good husband. But all Calpurnia wants to do is learn and be who she wants to be.

The summer of 1899 Calpurnia finds to courage to go talk to her "scary" grandfather who spends all of his time doing experiments in the shed out back. Her grandfather is so excited to share what he knows with her and to have someone actually in the family care about what he is doing, he takes Calpurnia under his wing and begins to teach about science and how to apply it in her everyday life.

Nothing huge happens in this story. It takes place over about six months. It is just the telling of how a little girl begins to dream and begins to see how she can realize her dreams. She can do and be what she wants; it's her decision. Her mind opens up and expands to take in the whole world. This is such a beautiful novel. Every young girl should read it.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


  1. Yay! Agreed, every young girl SHOULD read it!

  2. This sounds like a throw back to the old school stories that little girls grew up with like Caddie Woodlawn and Anne of Green Gables.

  3. This sounds very good! I have seen this book at the library, but didn't think I would really like it. Now I have to go back!! ;)

    Great review!


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