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Jacqueline Kelly (1)

Author of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

For other authors named Jacqueline Kelly, see the disambiguation page.

8 Works 4,371 Members 252 Reviews

About the Author

Jacqueline Kelly was born in New Zealand and raised in Canada. She is a practicing physician. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is her first novel. (Bowker Author Biography)


Works by Jacqueline Kelly

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (2009) 3,395 copies, 216 reviews
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate (2015) 410 copies, 23 reviews
Skunked!: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet (2016) 213 copies, 4 reviews
Return to the Willows (2012) 134 copies, 6 reviews


Common Knowledge



A slow, boring string a vignettes about a girl in Texas in 1899 who is not particularly interesting.

I almost started warming up to the narrator by the last chapter, but that may have been a case of Stockholm Syndrome, as my wife and I had been reading the book together for two months by that point.

I do have to say that it feels off-putting to be reading about this family that used to own slaves living on the plantation where their slaves once labored and Black people still pick their cotton, clean their house and cook their food, and the author addresses that issue about as much as I do right here. The whole family gets a pass for discussing slavery for the sake of having a pleasant children's book. Ugh. And this book is only 15 years old? Yikes.… (more)
villemezbrown | 215 other reviews | Jul 16, 2024 |
First off, what drew me to this book was the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous, and conceals so many important components of Calpurnia. I know, I know, "never judge a book by its cover" but I'm glad I did. I empathized so much with Callie who followed in her grandfather's footsteps and preferring to use her brain to study to natural world than her hands to sew or embroider. This book made me laugh, sigh with regret, want to scream and shake certain characters, and in the end, hope.
wisemetis | 215 other reviews | Dec 28, 2022 |
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly follows the above mentioned young lady through her eleventh year in 1899. Calpurnia lives with her parents, grandfather and her six brothers. She has an interest in the natural world and her curiosity and questions eventually lead her to her notoriously cantankerous grandfather. He spends his days in his laboratory or out hunting specimens.

She and her grandfather bond over their shared interests and Calpurnia yearns to be able to have more freedom from the expectations that are placed upon her. She has no interest in cooking, cleaning or sewing but she is expected to perfect these skills for a future as a wife and homemaker. She dreams of being allowed to go to university and becoming a scientist. Although there is no resolution to Calpurnia’s dreams, it is clear that she is a determined, ambitious girl and I can imagine that she will definitely have a say in what her future will look like.

I found The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate to be an excellent coming-of-age story. The author succeeds in making Calpurnia unique and believable, and the writing is engaging with humor and style. Written for middle-grade children, this senior citizen fell under the spell of this delightful book
… (more)
DeltaQueen50 | 215 other reviews | Dec 25, 2022 |
This story is set at the turn of the twentieth century in a small Texas town. The narrator is a likeable girl, and the ideas about Darwin and evolution that she learns from her grandfather are interesting, but the story itself moves incredibly slowly.
kamlibrarian | 215 other reviews | Dec 23, 2022 |



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