11 February 2010
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Kelly, Jacqueline. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2009.
In the summer of 1899 in Texas, Callie Vee does not have much to look forward to. Her mother is convinced that Callie needs to prepare for "coming out," which involves cooking lessons, sewing lessons, and deportment lessons. In her attempt to escape both the summer weather and the pressure from her mother, Callie befriends her grandfather, the one member of her family who is usually ignored and barely tolerated. Grandfather inspires in Callie an interest in science, and Callie dreams of going to a university and becoming a naturalist.
Although this book does not fit into one of my typical genres, I appreciated both the period-appropriate descriptions of the setting and the relationship Callie develops with her grandfather. It was neat to watch the two of them interact and to see Callie's brothers' reaction to her friendship with Grandfather. This book will not make it to my classroom shelf this year, but once it is printed in paperback, perhaps I shall add a copy to my library.