Angela's Reviews > The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
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Aug 23, 09

bookshelves: animals, bibliophilia, fiction
Read in August, 2009, read count: 1

If we were allowed half-stars, I think I would have given it 3.5. There were enough great things about it to round it up to a 4, but I've gone back and forth a lot on how I should rate this book. There were things I absolutely loved about it: Callie's feisty little personality is darling, and I loved following along with her scientific explorations that were so aptly matched to a precocious 11-nearly-12-year-old; her relationship with her brothers was refreshing and fun, especially the special bond she shared with Harry; the way she blossomed under her grandfather's tutelage; the cultural richness that Kelly injected into the little town of Fentress; even the cover art is fantastic.

On the other hand, there were things that drove me crazy about it, too. There were times when the plot lagged, there is some language (mostly from the grandfather) and casually mentioned violence that would make me leery of recommending it to a pre-teen, and - for crying out loud - if an author feels it necessary to talk about people relieving their bursting bladder, could she please not interject that during a hushed and profound scene right at the end of the book? Callie's sassy independence seems stretched rather thin near the end, too, making her seem a little whiny. Most of all, though, I was bothered by the lack of closure at the end. It's as if Kelly ended the book with the caterpillar still in the cocoon. While disappointing, however, none of these things ruined the book for me.
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Quotes Angela Liked

Jacqueline Kelly
“One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.”
Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Jacqueline Kelly
“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.”
Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate


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