Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

3.97 (24,484 ratings by Goodreads)
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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. This title has Common Core connections.show more

Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 340 pages
  • 129.54 x 193.04 x 30.48mm | 249.47g
  • Palgrave USA
  • Square Fish
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 031265930X
  • 9780312659301
  • 15,119

Review quote

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" is the most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. Callie's struggles to find a place in the world where she'll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today. The New Yorker, "Book Bench" section In her debut novel, Jacqueline Kelly brings to vivid life a boisterous small-town family at the dawn of a new century. And she especially shines in her depiction of the natural world that so intrigues Callie Readers will want to crank up the A.C. before cracking the cover, though. That first chapter packs a lot of summer heat. The Washington Post Each chapter of this winning novel opens with a quotation from On the Origin of Species'--a forbidden book that her own grandfather turns out to have hidden away. Together they study Darwin's masterpiece, leading to a revolution in Callie's ideas of what she might accomplish on her own. New York Times Book Review 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. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 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. Booklist, Starred Review Readers will finish this witty, deftly crafted debut novel rooting for "Callie Vee" and wishing they knew what kind of adult she would become. Kirkus, Starred Review A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century there's no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly's debut novel. School Library Journal, Starred Review Narrator Calpurnia's voice is fresh and convincing, and Granddaddy is that favorite relative most readers would love to claim as their own. Historical fiction fans are in for a treat. BCCB Kelly, without anachronism, has created a memorable, warm, spirited young woman who's refreshingly ahead of her time. The Horn Book Review That rare book that will appeal to child and adult alike. Austin American-Statesman Introduces a turn-of-the-20th-century heroine for modern times. Shelf Awareness "show more

About Jacqueline Kelly

Jacqueline Kelly won the Newbery Honor for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, her first book. She was born in New Zealand and raised in Canada, in the dense rainforests of Vancouver Island. Her family then moved to El Paso, Texas, and Kelly attended college in El Paso, then went on to medical school in Galveston. After practicing medicine for many years, she went to law school at the University of Texas, and after several years of law practice, realized she wanted to write fiction. Her first story was published in the Mississippi Review in 2001. She now makes her home with her husband and various cats and dogs in Austin and Fentress, Texas.show more

Rating details

24,484 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 34% (8,314)
4 39% (9,602)
3 20% (4,775)
2 5% (1,201)
1 2% (592)

Our customer reviews

The story is about a girl named Calpurnia Tate. Before I read the synopsis and remembered one characther in To Kill A Mockingbirf, I would never know that Calpurnia was a name of a girl. It was too weird for me. I would love to question her parents for the reason. Particularly same thought was in Callie's mind. Lucky us, her grandfather had the answer As stated in the synopsis, the Whole story took a place in Fentress, Texas 1899 during summer till the beginning of winter. I have no pictures but all scenes in The Little House on Prairie. From their dress, school, even the horse cart. It helped me a lot to get what Callie try to describe. Thanks to the translator. It was easy for me to connect with this smart young girl who could not stop observing something. She was not another ordinary girl. She was not interested in kniting or cooking. I enjoyed all her words and felt amazed with her thoughts. She had many ways to make me giggle with it. I felt something missing when I was in the last page of this delightful novel and found there was no more to read. What I also loved from this book with 28 chapters inside was the paragraph that told me Callie's relationship with older and younger brothers. Most of them were so touching. I was looking forward to read it in every chapters. Not only with her brothers, but "quality time" with her mother was also counted. I was completely entertained and laughed couple of times reading those parts. Her mother could read Callie's mind easily. That might what people called as mother's instinct. Callie and also all her brothers had no option but obeyed all her rules. Actually I really want to give 5 but 4 stars is enough. I enjoyed when Jacqueline wrote about the exploration and observation stuff but I thought it was too much. For those of you who enjoy all things about evolution, spices of plants or animals, I highly recommend this book.show more
by Asriani Purnama
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