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The Resource The evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly

The evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly

Label
The evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Title
The evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Statement of responsibility
Jacqueline Kelly
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie realizes that her aversion to needlework and cooking disappoints her mother. She prefers to study the natural world with her grandfather, which leads to an important discovery
Member of
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2010
  • Amelia Bloomer List, 2010
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2009
  • International Reading Association Children's Book Award for Intermediate Fiction, 2010.
  • Josette Frank Award, 2010.
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2010
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2009.
Review
  • Gr. 4-7 /*Starred Review*/ Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie realizes that her aversion to needlework and cooking disappoints her mother. Still, she prefers to spend her time exploring the river, observing animals, and keeping notes on what she sees. Callie’s growing interest in nature creates a bond with her previously distant grandfather, an amateur naturalist of some distinction. After they discover an unknown species of vetch, he attempts to have it officially recognized. This process creates a dramatic focus for the novel, though really the main story here is Callie’s gradual self-discovery as revealed in her vivid first-person narrative. By the end, she is equally aware of her growing desire to become a scientist and of societal expectations that make her dream seem nearly impossible. Interwoven with the scientific theme are threads of daily life in a large family—the bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandings—all told with wry humor and a sharp eye for details that bring the characters and the setting to life. The eye-catching jacket art, which silhouettes Callie and images from nature against a yellow background, is true to the period and the story. Many readers will hope for a sequel to this engaging, satisfying first novel. -- Phelan, Carolyn (Reviewed 05-01-2009) (Booklist, vol 105, number 17, p80)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 5–8— A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. As the only girl in an uppercrust Texas family of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of The Origin of Species and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie's mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather's influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society. Callie's confusion and despair over her changing life will resonate with girls who feel different or are outsiders in their own society. Callie is a charming, inquisitive protagonist; a joyous, bright, and thoughtful creation. The conclusion encompasses bewilderment, excitement, and humor as the dawn of a new century approaches. Several scenes, including a younger brother's despair over his turkeys intended for the Thanksgiving table and Callie's heartache over receiving The Science of Housewifery as a Christmas gift, mix gentle humor and pathos to great effect. The book ends with uncertainty over Callie's future, but there's no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly's debut novel.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA --Jennifer Schultz (Reviewed May 1, 2009) (School Library Journal, vol 55, issue 5, p110)
  • /* Starred Review */ Life at the turn of the century is not easy for a girl who loves books and science. Kelly's first novel presents spirited heroine Calpurnia (Callie) Virginia Tate, a middle child with six brothers, growing up in the isolation of Fentress, Tex., in 1899. To her family's dismay, Callie is stubborn, independent and not interested in darning socks or perfecting her baking skills like a lady. “I would live my life in a tower of books,” she thinks to herself. She spends most of her time with Harry, “the one brother who could deny me nothing,” slowly befriending her Granddaddy, a mysterious naturalist who studies everything from pecan distillation to microscopic river bugs. Together they dream up experiments and seek answers to backyard phenomena, discovering something new about the invisible world each day. Callie follows her passion for knowledge, coming to realize her family “had their own lives. And now I have mine .” Callie's transformation into an adult and her unexpected bravery make for an exciting and enjoyable read. Kelly's rich images and setting, believable relationships and a touch of magic take this story far. Ages 10–up. (May) --Staff (Reviewed May 4, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 18, p51)
  • /* Starred Review */ "Mother was awakening to the sorry facts: My biscuits were like stones, my samplers askew, my seams like rickrack." The year is 1899, the place Texas and the problem is 11-year-old Calpurnia Virginia Tate, who is supposed to want to cook, sew and attract future beaux, not play in the dirt, examine insects and, perhaps most suspect of all, read Darwin's controversial The Origin of Species, the source of the novel's chapter introductions. A natural-born scientist, she alone among her six brothers has discovered the rare specimen under her own roof—a funny-smelling, rather antisocial grandfather who preoccupies himself with classifying flora and fauna...when he's not fermenting pecans for whiskey. Their budding friendship is thoughtfully and engagingly portrayed, as is the unfolding of the natural world's wonders under Calpurnia's ever-inquisitive gaze. Calpurnia is not a boilerplate folksy Southern heroine who spouts wise-beyond-her-years maxims that seem destined for needlepoint—her character is authentically childlike and complex, her struggles believable. Readers will finish this witty, deftly crafted debut novel rooting for "Callie Vee" and wishing they knew what kind of adult she would become. (Historical fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2009)
Awards note
A Junior Library Guild selection
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
320593
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kelly, Jacqueline
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
830
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.K296184
LC item number
Evo 2009
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Calpurnia Tate
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nature
  • Family life
  • Grandfathers
  • Naturalists
  • Naturalists
  • Nature
  • Families
  • Grandfathers
  • Texas
  • Texas
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
The evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
340 p.
Isbn
9780805088410
Lccn
2008040595
System control number
(OCoLC)262143062
Label
The evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
340 p.
Isbn
9780805088410
Lccn
2008040595
System control number
(OCoLC)262143062

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797
    • Senoia BranchBorrow it
      148 Pylant Street, Senoia, GA, 30276, US
      33.297709 -84.561283

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