The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Calpurnia Tate is smack dab in the middle of six brothers, and the only girl. She loves to float in the river and walk through the woods. When she confesses studying the surrounding flora and fauna to her oldest brother, Harry, he gives her a journal to "write down (her) scientific observations." With this she embarks on a whole new journey into scientific discovery. It isn't too long before Callie Vee finds a fellow naturalist in her grandfather. But this is 1899 Texas, where girls are supposed to cook and sew, boys are supposed to hunt and get dirty, and no one is supposed to look at, let alone read, Darwin's The Origin of the Species. With a little help from her grandfather, Calpurnia enters this forbidden world.
Boys and girls alike will enjoy this book, especially if they love nature and discovery. Adults will enjoy seeing the relationship between Calpurnia and her grandfather grow and blossom through the course of the book. The late 1800's and early 1900's was a time of wonder and discovery, with new inventions happening everyday. The telephone, automobile and even a simple window fan are all exciting and new for the characters in this book. Seen through Calpurnia's eyes, the reader get a taste of the wonder and awe that discovering something new inspires.
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