Newport Librarians'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: ms-kathy, ya-fiction

Even if science gives you hives, even if the thought of Darwin makes you dizzy, even if a tale set in the hot Texas summer of 1899 sounds old and icky, this book is for you! Here's a story that can be enjoyed on many levels. First, for those who do like science, Calpurnia Tate provides a perfect description of how natural observation can take root and scientific thinking can grow in an eager young mind. Second, for those who are devoted to Darwin, here they'll find passages from The Origin of Species used cleverly as epigraphs, but more importantly, they'll find the exploratory spirit of Darwin informing the story. And third, for those who think they don't like historical fiction, here is a touching, realistic family drama--full of Callie's many annoying brothers, by the way--about people who just happened to have lived a century or so ago. But in the end, for anyone who's loved a grandparent, or been confused by the world around them, or been afraid to grow up, this is the perfect story. Towards the tale's conclusion, Calpurnia's granddaddy says that "the only question, really, is how are we to spend the brief time that is allotted us?" Do spend part of that time reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate!

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