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The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by…

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

by Jacqueline Kelly

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1741568,238 (4.16)5



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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
No fancy dresses and frills for Calpurnia Tate! Rather than knit and do needlepoint, Calpurnia is out exploring nature with her scientist grandfather. Instead of enjoying the domestic skills that a girl of the turn-of-the-century is required to learn, she enjoys dissecting an animal to learn how it lives. Instead of wanting to be a wife and mother, she wants, with all her heart, to be a veterinarian. As Calpurnia strives against a society in which she is a “second-class citizen”, as she calls being a girl, the reader learns the struggles of a girl who does not fit the mold.

This is a wonderful story in so many respects. First, it is very well written. It is descriptive and uses an excellent vocabulary, not “writing down” to children, for whom this book is intended. Second, as an historical fiction, this story vividly shows the reader what it was like to live in the late 1800’s and the beginning of the 1900’s, a time of great change. Third, it is an instructional book as well. It explains some scientific concepts that are valuable, making them interesting to children. Lastly, this is a wonderfully encouraging book for girls. It reminds them that they should not allow society to dictate to them what they should be. This is an unforgettable story for old and young alike. ( )
1 vote Sandralovesbooks | Feb 2, 2018 |
A nice follow-up t the Newberry Honor book, "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate."
Again, the book is not so much a single plot, but a series of episodes in Calpurnia's life with her large family. She continues her scientific education with her grandfather, assists her younger brother, Travis, with his various attempts at making pets out of wild animals, copes with having an irritating older cousin move in and take over her room, copes with the injustice of differing rights and opportunities for girls v/s boys in 1900, and develops an interest in veterinary medicine among other things. ( )
  fingerpost | Oct 28, 2017 |
Jacqueline Kelly is one of the very few authors I keep checking on to see if she has another book coming. I loved The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Finally she did! And bonus, it was a sequel! I would have been happy with another character, but Callie Vee again was almost too good to be true.

Here is a small quote: Calpurnia's friend is coming over to visit and her brother has a crush on her...

"'You should come and see [my pet armadillo]. He'll eat right out of your hand. I'll let you feed him if you like. Would you like to?'

'Gosh, you always have the most interesting pets. I'd love to see it.'

And that's how-probably for the first time in history-the nine-banded armadillo became a tool of courtship and an implement of wooing."

Read The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate first, then check out the sequel, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate.
  barefootcowgirl | Jul 29, 2016 |
Calpurnia Tate is this generation's [b:Caddie Woodlawn|205821|Caddie Woodlawn|Carol Ryrie Brink|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388281233s/205821.jpg|1231594]. If I have a daughter she is going to read these for sure. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
This is a sequel to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly's 2010 Newbery Honor Book, but you don't need to have read it in order to enjoy this one.

It takes up right where the previous book left off - the beginning of the year 1900, in the Tate home in Fentress, Texas. Twelve-year-old Calpurnia Virginia ("Callie Vee") Tate, the middle child among six brothers, is thrilled to find it snowing - a rarity in Central Texas in the winter.

This book continues the Darwinian theme with epigraphs for each chapter from Charles Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle. Fitting, too, because this time, Callie's scientific explorations - mostly conducted with her grandfather - focus on animals instead of plants, as well as the weather and stars.

Callie's younger brother Travis (all but the oldest brother are named for various early Texas heroes) plays a big part in this book, with his quest to find the ideal pet. He adopts a series of inappropriate ones - an armadillo, a blue jay, a raccoon - and finally a half-coyote dog he names Scruffy. Callie's involved in (trying to) help him keep them hidden from their parents, and in caring for them when they are ultimately discovered.

In an interview, Kelly said she'd wanted to write a sequel, "but our big old house in Fentress, Texas, which served as the inspiration for so much of the first book, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 2010. It was a horrible experience and it took me some time to get over it." She also said she "drew a lot of inspiration from our dog Laika, a stray living near the San Marcos River, who we are pretty sure is half-Chow and half-coyote." Laika is the inspiration for Scruffy.

Kelly, who lived for a while in Galveston, works the 1900 hurricane that devastated that city into the story. Callie sees a coastal gull that's flown far inland, and her grandfather has her build a homemade barometer and make observations. They predict the big storm and try to warn their family in Galveston. After the storm, Callie's father and oldest brother go to help, and return with Callie's older cousin Agatha who comes to live with the Tates for a while - getting the bed in Callie's room while our heroine sleeps on the floor - while her family home is being rebuilt. They are accompanied by a veterinarian who sets up practice in Fentress. Callie assists him with some of his patients, and is frustrated by 1900s customs that would seem to prevent her from becoming a veterinarian herself.

The gentle reminders that girls didn't have the kinds of opportunities in the early 1900s that they do today, plus Callie's interest in science, encouraged by her grandfather (she even dissects a worm and a frog, and builds astrolabe to learn about latitude and longitude), make this book especially appropriate for girls age 11 and up, as well as "all nature lovers, and all curious kids, and all strong readers," according to Kelly.

Once again, the beautiful silhouette on the cover was designed by the talented Beth White. And native Texan Natalie Ross also reads this audiobook, with her soft but musical Southern-accented voice, perfect for Callie, who tells her own tale.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[The audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my university library. This review also appears on Bookin' It.] ( )
1 vote riofriotex | Dec 8, 2015 |
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To Gwen Erwin - with love and gratitude for thirty years of encouragement, support, and laughter. Thanks, Gweni.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805097449, Hardcover)

Whether wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, Callie Vee and her escapades will have readers laughing and crying in this return to Fentress, Texas. Travis keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the animals—her brother included—away from her mother's critical eye. Will she succeed?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

"In rural Texas in 1900, when a storm blows change into town in the form of a visiting veterinarian, twelve-year-old Callie discovers a life and a vocation she desperately wants. But with societal expectations as they are, she will need all her wits and courage to realize her dreams"--… (more)

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