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Monday, August 2, 2010

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

I listened to the audiobook of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (read by Natalie Ross). This is one of the best books I’ve listened to/read all year. I am so sad that the cover of this book will turn off boy readers, because there is so much they would enjoy about this book. The setting is 1899 in a small town called Fentress in Texas, between San Antonio and Austin. Narrator, Calpurnia Tate, is the only girl in a large family of boys. She spends her days exploring different species and recording her findings in a notebook. She, with the help of her knowledgeable grandfather, makes observations and identifies various species of plants and animals. This naturalist is way ahead of her time; consequently, she faces the challenges of coming into womanhood at a time when women were expected to marry and run the domestic side of the household. I enjoyed her grandfather’s stories of war, the scientific process, and the geography of Texas. I treasured being a part of Calpurnia’s evolution. Girls (AND BOYS) – you have to read this book!

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