Thursday, April 15, 2010

Year of the Historical: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia TateThe Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Jacqueline Kelly

It's the Texas summer of 1899 and it's hot and dry. Calpurnia is about to turn twelve and is the middle child of 7--and the only girl. She doesn't like to cook or sew (but her mother's going to make her learn.) She likes to explore and notice the world around her and this curiosity leads her into a friendship with her eccentric grandfather. There isn't a whole lot of plot going on, but rather chronicles Calpurnia's day-to-day life and outlines her struggles in turn-of-the-century society. She wants to go to the university and be a scientist. Her mother wants her to be a debutante.

It's a quiet book that will appeal to your more serious readers. Kelly paints such a fantastic portrait of a small town on the brink of change at the end of the century. The first phone line comes, people see their first automobile at the state fair. Calpurnia deals with the troubles of having six brothers, along with the trails of piano recitals and pie dough. I didn't think I'd like this one, but I was sucked into Calpurnia's world and her family, her experiments and friends. I ate it up in just a day.

Also, Liz says what I would like to say, but much better than I do, so you should just read what she says.

But this is just one of the reasons why I love Calpurnia:

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.

Book Provided by... my local library

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Charlotte said...

Someday I will read this one...someday...

But what I will never do is eat peaches and read at the same time--never a good thing for a book. I hope Calpurnia is eating her peaches during reading breaks.

Liz B said...

thanks for the link. I loved the details of the first phone and the automobiles and other firsts. i really hope there is a sequel because i want to see who callie does become.