Christina's Reviews > The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
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's review
May 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical, favourites, middle-grade
Recommended to Christina by: Minli
Read from May 08 to 14, 2011 — I own a copy

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is simply divine! The writing is beautiful, the cover art is gorgeous, and the heroine is a spunky little gem.

Set at the turn of the 20th century, it is the tale of Calpurnia Tate, a soon-to-be 12 year old girl who lives in Texas with her family. The only girl in a family of 7 children, Callie Vee, as she refers to herself, is expected to be a proper young lady and learn how to cook, sew, and knit. The problem of course is that Callie would like nothing more than to spend hours with her grandfather either in the shed doing experiments or in the bush collecting insect samples. As Calpurnia discovers a world beyond her own, she starts questioning her path. Little girls are expected to become either wives or teachers... not scientists!

Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin's The Origin of Species, which I found very fitting considering Callie's discovering of the natural world. The writing is endearing and funny, and the author does a splendid job of giving the reader glimpses into the other facets of Callie's life. The ending is rather open-ended, but that's rather perfect in my opinion, and as a science teacher I applaud Callie's desire to become a female scientist in an era when that simply wasn't done. I think this book could be inspirational for young girls everywhere.

Overall, it's definitely a gem of a book!


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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Sabrina Hey, me too! Am reading it at Faye's suggestion. :)

Christina LOL! Are you enjoying it? When I asked if it was a library-borrowing book, or a purchase book, I was specifically told that it was a purchase book cause I would love it that much... so I'm excited to start reading it this weekend!

Sabrina So far I am! Am only 20% through it so far, probaby will finish by weekend. :)

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