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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

by Jacqueline Kelly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,481None4,999 (4.14)67
  1. 20
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (foggidawn)
  2. 20
    The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (stevedore)
    stevedore: Similar light-hearted quirky characters and lack of dramatic tension.
  3. 00
    Deadly by Julie Chibbaro (kaledrina)
  4. 00
    The Danger Box by Blue Balliett (keeneam)
    keeneam: Also deals with Darwin at the present time rather than the past.
  5. 00
    Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth by Sandra Dutton (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: Calpurnia is a little more of a difficult read than Mary Mae, but both girls deal with similar issues.
  6. 00
    Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (kaledrina)
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» See also 67 mentions

English (143)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  Finnish (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
I love Calpurnia. I love how she cuts her hair a little at a time because its too hot, but she doesn't want her mother to notice. I love how she loves her family even if they do try to make her fit into the proper young lady mold she doesn't want to be in (at least not all the way). And I love her relationship with her grandfather. She is a strong girl who will change the way her piece of the world perceives her.
This book would make a fine assigned reading book, but I don't think I would do that. I think this is too much a girls book. Mind you, it is a girl trying to break the mold (having brother will do that, having 4 of my own I can testify to that), but none of my brothers or my nephew would have any delight in this book. I honestly think Caddie Woodlawn would be a better female lead to get young boys reading about girls. Or The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, no boy is falling asleep during a mutiny. ( )
  Jill.Haner | Mar 17, 2014 |
A fresh new take on a period piece/coming of age tale. I especially enjoyed Calpurnia's relationship with her grandfather. A wonderful tale for anyone - but especially for science-minded girls, or those who don't feel they "fit in."
  mariekagreene | Mar 15, 2014 |
This book was as good as all the hype. If you liked the Little House series I would bet you would appreciate this too. Calpurnia is a lovely character and someone I would have loved to have as a friend. Her scientific discoveries were fun to be apart of. Loved how Darwin was tied into the story line. The scenes at the County Fair made me want to travel back in time.

I LOVED this book and will look forward to reading it again when my daughter is older. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
Good. I wanted more resolution at the end. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This is a story about 11-year-old Calpurnia Virginia (Callie Vee) Tate. In 1899, being born a female would not amount much until one gets married and bears children.

The book invites us to get to know this special young lady who is curious about nature and loves science. Fortunately, her grandfather, at first unknown to her since he's always locked up in his 'lab' started to pay attention to her growing curiosity of things around her. He took Callie for nature walks, and encouraged her to read science books. Meanwhile, Callie's mother is exasperated because naturally, she wants to prepare her daughter properly, to bring her up as a lady, fit for marriage and not university.

This book follows Callie's adventure through the year, and ends in the eve of the year 1900, much like the modern people like us awaited the year 2000. Honestly, I don't know what to say about the ending, it's supposed to be up to reader's imagination, but as the book falls into the Children's category, I wish the author have written a more creative ending. All in all, this is a perfect book for girls, especially those who are budding scientists! ( )
  pwlifter300 | Feb 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
In her debut novel, Jacqueline Kelly brings to vivid life a boisterous small-town family at the dawn of a new century. Readers will want to crank up the A.C. before cracking the cover, though. That first chapter packs a lot of summer heat.
 
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children's Literature)
Calpurnia is an active, inquisitive eleven-year-old girl, living in a small Texas town in 1899. She takes no interest in cooking or sewing and is, in fact, inept in all household duties. Calpurnia is the only girl in a family of seven children, so her mother keeps trying to domesticate her, but Calpurnia consistently resists. She has developed a special relationship with her eccentric grandfather, a scientist and naturalist. They explore the nearby river and woods and are excited about the possibility of having discovered a new plant. Granddaddy loans her his copy of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, and a quotation from the book appears at the beginning of each chapter. Calpurnia reads this book and others, records her findings and questions in a journal, and aspires to become a scientist. Other than her grandfather, her family does not support her in this quest. Her future is left uncertain, but readers will be rooting for her to achieve her goal. This book presents an engaging piece of historical-fiction depicting the roles and expectations for women at the turn of the twentieth century. 2009, Henry Holt and Company/Macmillan, $16.99. Ages 9 to 12.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Phyllis Kennemer
 
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Epigraph
When a young naturalist commences the study of a group of organisms quite unknown to him, he is at first much perplexed to determine what differences to consider... for her knows nothing of the amount and kind of variation to which the group is subject...
[Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species]
The laws governing inheritance are quite unknown; no one can say why...the child often revert in certain characters to its grandfather...
[Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species]
Seedlings from the same fruit, and the young of the same litter, sometimes differ considerably from each other, though both the young and the parents...have apparently been exposed to exactly the same conditions of life...
[Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species]
We may conclude...that any change in the numerical proportions of some of the inhabitants, independently of the change of climate itself, would most seriously affect many of the others.
[Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species]
Dedication
For my mother, Noeline Kelly

For my father, Brian Kelly

For my husband, Robert Duncan
First words
By 1899, we had learned to tame the darkness but not the Texas heat.
Quotations
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.
It was too bad, but sometimes a little knowledge could ruin your whole day, or at least take some of the shine off.
'The lesson for today is this: It is better to travel with hope in one's heart than to arrive in safety. Do you understand?'
'There are so many things to learn, you see, and so little time is given us.'
"The lesson for today is this: It is better to travel with hope in one's heart than to arrive in safety....we should celebrate today's failure because it is a clear sign that our voyage of discovery is not yet over. The day the experiment succeeds is the day the experiment ends. And I inevitably find that the sadness of ending outweighs the celebration of success."
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones.With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.

Debut author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805088415, Hardcover)

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones.With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.

Debut author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.
 
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.… (more)

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