The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

This year’s Newbery Honor book presents a very charming main character, Calpurnia (“Callie Vee”) Tate , who is growing up surrounded by six brothers on a cotton and pecan plantation in Texas. It is 1899 and girls are expected to learn to sew, cook, play the piano, and dream of getting married someday. What do you think Callie Vee would rather do? Study nature! She loves observing plants, bugs, and animals, and her mysterious old Grandaddy, an amateur naturalist, begins to teach her what he knows about science and the great outdoors. Her favorite brother gives her a notebook to write down her observations, and Callie’s new scientific life is officially “launched”. There are humorous sections where Callie struggles to please her mother and lots of vivid details of family life with her older and younger brothers. (If you liked Our Only May Amelia, you will understand that Callie and May Amelia would be wonderful friends!) Throughout the book there is mounting anticipation: will Callie be able to pursue her dream of being a scientist? Read this wonderfully engaging story even if science and nature aren’t your favorite subjects: it’s a wonderful eye opener about growing up 100 years ago.

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2 Comments on “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly”

  1. Abbie Says:

    This book was awesome! Callie was funny and I loved hearing her grow and learn. I also enjoyed her relationship with her grandfather. It’s definitely one of those spunky girl books you can not miss!

  2. lilo Says:

    Mrs. Raymond, That was such a good book. I loved it. Who is going to read it next?

    Lilo


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