Monday, December 5, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by Jacqueline Kelly

Flap Copy description:
     The summer of 1899 is hot in Calpurnia's sleepy Texas town, and there aren't a lot of good ways to stay cool. Her mother has a new wind machine from town, but Callie might just have to resort to stealthily cutting off her hair, one sneaky inch at a time. She also spends a lot of time at the river with her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist. It turns out that every drop of river water is teeming with life - all you have to do is look through a microscope!
     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 learns just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.

My thoughts:
Jacqueline Kelly's debut novel The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, will tug at your heart at every turn. Written in first person, the main character, Callie, finds a shelter of solace in her eccentric grandfather as she looks to a new and uncertain century for young women - especially if their dreams include science. Ms. Kelly's character development, dialogue, and pace are perfect. She won a Newbery Honor Award for her brilliant effort. I would highly recommend this book to all middle grade girls - especially those who enjoyed the character of "Jo" in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

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