Monday, March 11, 2013

Review of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate 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. 

Calpurnia, or Callie Vee, is a young woman who wants to learn more about the natural world, but this is not what her family wants.  Callie’s family want her to grow up and become a perfect wife.  Luckily, Callie’s grandfather indulges her adventurous, scientific side. 

(Summary from GoodReads)



If you love feisty, independent females, brilliantly drawn settings, and writing that is simply lovely, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a must read. Go on, I’ll wait while you pick up a copy.  Kelly’s novel is perfect for curling up with on a hot day (bonus points if you have lemonade) and I’m eager to recommend it to all of the young women in my life.

Calpurnia, or Callie Vee, is a young woman who wants to learn more about the natural world, but this is not what her family wants.  Callie’s family want her to grow up and become a perfect wife.  Luckily, Callie’s grandfather indulges her adventurous, scientific side.
 
I struggle to see how anyone could not love Callie or her grandfather.  Callie’s spunk, especially when combined with the behavior of her numerous brothers, made for some rather humorous moments in the book.  I don’t want to say too much about Callie’s grandfather at risk of ruining any surprises but I will say that if you root for Callie, you’ll adore her grandfather.

One of the richest elements of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is the setting. I could nearly taste the fried chicken melting on my tongue and feel the Texas heat on my back as I read this one.

Kelly’s novel is a slightly slower read, but definitely worth the read. I can see this appealing to anyone who has an interest in awesome female characters, science, or the south.  I’m so glad I finally picked this one up after years of staring at its gorgeous cover.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

Other reviews:
The Introverted Reader
The Book Rat 
The Book Smugglers

6 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you liked this book. I read it a few years ago, and I loved it. It's one of my favorites. I never wanted the story to end.

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  2. Just saw someone RT you so I came to check out your blog because I liked your tweet about Stacking the Shelves posts.

    This book sounds lovely, particularly the characters and the realistic setting!

    Now following your blog :)

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    1. Thanks for following! I'll definitely go check out your blog as soon as I finish typing this comment.

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  3. I'm glad that you review this book I might get this one out

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  4. Somehow, my book club did not love this book! I was shocked! I had absolutely adored Callie and her grandfather and fully expected everyone to come in raving about it. They liked it well enough but they didn't love it. Oh well. What can you do? I'm glad you loved it!

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