Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Callender Papers” as Want to Read:
The Callender Papers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Callender Papers

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  699 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Edgar Award Winner, NYT When Jean Wainwright takes a job at a remote Berkshire mansion in the summer of 1874 she begins to uncover secrets that put her life at risk.
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Callender Papers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Callender Papers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 977)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Natasha ZettaCrepeauStypayhoralikson
I got this when I was a little girl, about 5, at a book festival. It sat on my shelf for six years, dubbed as boring. When I opened it up, it drew me in. I loved the entire book, and the characters just jump out on you, real and diverse. I'm a minor still, so it actually appeals to me more than a thirty year old. Anyway, it is a beautiful book.
Brett
I teach school and this is a great period piece. It is a great mystery and every student I have suggested it for loves it.
Josiah
"People can be unimaginably foolish...and they can be unimaginably grand, at times."

—Aunt Constance, The Callender Papers, P. 9

"Men, and women too, are unpredictable creatures. You have seen little of this. I wonder now if your innocence is enough protection for you."

—Aunt Constance, P. 17

I would give two and a half stars to this book.
Cynthia Voigt has delivered a solid family mystery story that stretches back a full decade before this book begins, populated with strong, realistic characte
...more
01kylies
Personally, I liked this book. It had a fun plot idea. I thought it was better at some points than others though.
The basic idea of the plot was that, a young girl went to live with a man for the summer in a small town, to help him with some work. While she was there, she began finding a deeper meaning to her work. Things began to come together, and fall apart in her understanding as time went on. As she digs deeper into her research, her life begins to be put on the line. Finally she uncovers
...more
Jess
I was a big Cynthia Voigt fan as a kid - but not her realistic fiction. Homecoming depressed me, although I think I worked my way through the whole thing. I much preferred stories with some mystery or fantasy to them, so The Callender Papers really worked for me then (as did Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom, which I've yet to reread). Coming back to it as an adult, I know exactly why I enjoyed it then, but the mystery elements don't work quite as well because the ending felt obvious.

But here's
...more
Maggie Turner
I found this book while browsing with my mom in the young adult section of the public library. The description caught my eye because the story was about a young girl who was charged with going though and organizing personal papers. I thought what a great author to write about record retention and the screening of archival papers !

Without revealing too much of the story which lead to my conclusions, I will say that being an older reader, I suspected the direction in which the plot was heading by
...more
Danielle
I read this book in fourth grade. It was recommended to me by my teacher, Mrs. Stevenson. I remember that part, at least. The details of the story elude my memory. I remember not being enthralled but feeling like I was supposed to be.
Incidentally, it may have been this book that inspired my desire to choose a book for each of my children where the main character shared their name. When I was 9 I had already picked all five of my kids' names. My second daughter was to be named Constance Marie, a
...more
Tressa
I liked The Callender Papers. The mystery and the surrounding reasons were apparent to me, but I am older and have had more experiences than the protagonist, Jean. Even so, I enjoyed this story.
Laura
I found this in a box of books in my niece's bedroom while on vacation in AK so I decided to reread it. It's not my favorite of Cynthia Voigt's but still an enjoyable but also sad read.
Rusty
While the narrator of this little book is just thirteen, the story is appropriate for this age and up. Winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Award, the mystery begins with a young girl sorting family papers for Mr. Thiel. Even though he's a friend of her Aunt Constance, she finds him a little terrifying. Instead, she finds herself drawn to another man whose warmth and friendly manner is more appealing to a young person. As the mystery unfolds, she finds herself the center of it all. To tell more about t ...more
Merilee
Loved this as a child- read and re-read it!
Hank Wyborney
This author has always impressed me. She's a master at developing characters. It was fun to re-discover her after not reading any of her work for several years. I noticed in this book that she writes clearly and cleanly, but not with the elegance of a Phillip Pullman or the fiery, jaw-dropping poetry of Gormeghast which I'm also reading. She shines on her clean story line and beautiful character development.

I enjoyed this book immensely though the mystery part of it is something you will probabl
...more
Hilary Tesh
A Gothic novel, first published in 1983 and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, written in the style and tone of a good old-fashioned classic, for young teenagers. This is a good introduction to the Gothic genre, without the modern trend for vampires round every corner! Several reviewers have mentioned predictability in the plot, but I think that is because it ticks off the typical elements of a Gothic novel in a style accessible to its target readers. I love the dedication in my copy: "Fur Cla ...more
Fashiongirlgoldberg
This was a good book and it seemed fairly classic. But I do have to say one thing, I found the plot highly predictable. It really was pretty obvious that she was the daughter all along and that Mr. Callender was trying to murder her. I even had a vague idea of what was going to happen before they even introduced half the characters. I'm definitely not saying it's not a good book, it totally was. But reader beware, you shall find no suspense (except in one scene) here.
Kim Oja
Mysterious father figures are my jam.
Sara
Solid story about a 12-year-old girl in the late 19th century who spends a summer working for a mysterious and cantankerous acquaintance of her adoptive aunt. She's smart and plainspoken, but is believable as a 12 year old. The writing style didn't feel dated at all. Some of the plot twists seemed obvious to me early on, but I'm pretty sure I've read this one before (albeit probably at least 15 years ago), so maybe I'm just remembering the story from an earlier reading.
Lisa
In spite of its predictability, this YA mystery was a fun read. Kind of like a mini-Jane Eyre or The Secret Garden. I was amused by the main character's refrain about the importance of "thinking carefully." It was pretty cute, how devoted she was to the idea that thinking carefully could solve all of her problems. It made a funny contrast with how many things were actually beyond her understanding or control.
Tracy
A relaxed little mystery, told from the perspective of a (mature) 12-year old girl. It took a long time for the mystery part to become apparent, but the story leading up to it was still satisfying.

It's a bit strange that the adults seem to treat the young girl as an equal or contemporary in conversation, especially in the time period when (I believe) children were to be seen and not heard.
Ashley
This book is set in the late 1800s, and follows Jean, a young orphan who is given a job sorting through some old family papers in the attic of a trustee of her aunt's school for girls.
It was an interesting read, and was able to keep my attention for most of the story. Although much of it was predictable, it was a forgivable predictablity. 3.5 stars would be more accurate. If only...
Elizabeth
This wasn't quite as exciting as it's claimed to be. The story was thrilling, but a tad bit unrealistic. The main character is only twelve, but she's solving mysteries and having mature conversations that I found hard to believe - the author should have put her at least 5 years older because that's how she appeared. All in all, I did like how it the story resolved.
joyce lynn
was a good, short book that held my interest, especially towards the end. the only thing that didn't see so plausible, was that the girl was that smart, and could hold that adult a conversation, at 12. of course, i SHOULDN'T be surprised, as i had/have a few kids like that myself, but ... don't know that i would have hired on for the job this character was!
Emily
I read this book when I was younger, and I re-read it over the last couple weeks while my students were reading. It's a wonderfully-written mystery, even if the main character sounds a little stuffy. I think it's a good read for young adults (and anyone) who like historical fiction.
Laurie D'ghent
One of the best books I've ever read. I'm amazed at how Ms. Voigt can change her writing style so completely from book to book. This novel has all the beautiful, lilting characteristics of the classics, without the excess description or terribly antiquated terms. A modern "classic"
Liz
I read this years ago and it sounded so good that I thought I'd read it again. I was disappointed that the girl didn't actually go back into the past. She just discovers some family secrets- and secrets about herself- while sorting papers for a "family friend".
Lindsay
I Own this book and I love it and I do not remember when or where I got it but I read the whole thing and I cried somewhat when reading. If you have not read it I storngly you read it.

I have not read it anytime soon but I may in a few weeks or months again.
Joanne Chan
Such junior high school nostalgia. I hope I'll remember to read this when I'm 50 or 60 and just sit there and smile and remember how we were in B10 and I was in the inner U of the classroom in the third seat from the row facing the windows.
Sally
This was another one of the books I'm reading in my rediscovery of Voigt.

This was a pretty stable mystery, but I'm thinking I would have enjoyed more as a tween - especially since I had it figured out before half way through ;)
Nancy
More of a children's/young teen's book but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Not much of a mystery (if you're an adult reading the book). I knew the answer the whole time but it was "interesting" how they played it out.

Not too bad.
Elizabeth
I read this multiple times as a kid and am re-reading it. I hope it's as good as I remember.
Update: It was as good as I remembered. I enjoyed the mystery and the writing.
Chazzi
Very enjoyable read with good plot twists. Lead character has a head on her shoulders and takes time to think. A true puzzle solving mystery using thought and research.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Depend On Katie John
  • As the Waltz Was Ending
  • The Headless Cupid (Stanley Family, #1)
  • A Murder for Her Majesty
  • The Mansion in the Mist (Anthony Monday Mysteries, #4)
  • A Parcel of Patterns
  • Shakespeare's Scribe (Shakespeare Stealer, #2)
  • A Ride into Morning: The Story of Tempe Wick
  • For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy
  • Burying the Sun  (Angel on the Square, #3)
  • Conned Again, Watson: Cautionary Tales Of Logic, Math, And Probability
  • With Love from Karen
  • I, Houdini
  • King's Arrow (Crown and Covenant, #2)
  • The Ramsay Scallop
  • The Court of Stone Children
  • Steal Away Home
  • Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow (Codebearers, #1)
7540
Cynthia Voigt is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse.


Awards:
Angus and Sadie: the Sequoyah Book Award (given by readers in Oklahoma), 2008
The Katahdin Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Anne V. Zarrow Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Margaret Edwards Award, for a body of work, 1995
Jackaroo: Ratte
...more
More about Cynthia Voigt...
Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1) Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2) A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Cycle, #3) Jackaroo (Kingdom, #1) Izzy, Willy-Nilly

Share This Book

“You must not let yourself become too respectable. Keep yourself a little wild. What is life for, if not for the living of it?” 11 likes
“People can be unimaginably foolish...and they can be unimaginably grand, at times.” 6 likes
More quotes…