Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

evolution I know a book is good if I don’t want it to end, and that is definitely how I felt about this one. With one chapter left, I found myself putting the book down to finish the next day. I wanted to put off saying goodbye to Calpurnia, her family, and her interesting life. Eleven-year-old Calpurnia Virginia Tate lives in Texas, and is smack-dab in the middle of three older brothers and three younger brothers. During the hot summer of 1899, she starts to explore the animals and plants near her home. Her grandfather, impressed with this, shares his own nature observations with her, and shows her the correct way to make scientific observations in her notebook. But not everyone is pleased with Callie’s new hobby. Her mother thinks she should spend more time learning needlework and cooking, in preparation for when she’ll one day be a wife. This is a charming and humorous story of a girl on the verge of growing up, and not sure if she’s ready to. Callie’s brothers are also growing up, learning that it’s best not to make pets out of farm animals, and developing crushes on Callie’s best friend. The rest of Callie’s family is as interesting as she is, making for a book that is hard to put down, and hard to finish. Review by Katie Corrigan

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