Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book Review: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think it's appropriate to post a review of a superb debut novel with a science/naturalist theme on Earth Day!

A masterpiece of historical fiction, THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE is rewarding at every level. The protagonist, 11-year old Calpurnia, is the only daughter of seven children living at the turn of the last century in a sleepy Texas town. Calpurnia, who has a keen eye and a native curiosity, wishes to become a naturalist; her mother wishes to turn her into a respectable young lady. Calpurnia’s ally is her grandfather, and the lessons he imparts regarding the world at both large and small scales during the summer and fall of 1899 launch Calpurnia towards a promising life. The voice is winning; the setting is a rich tapestry of authentic period detail; the plot has charm yet moves with a lively pace. Altogether one of the best books I’ve read.

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