The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

by Jacqueline Kelly
4.2 129

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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 129 reviews.
Kateh12783 More than 1 year ago
This book is truly wonderful. At first, I thought I was going to have a hard time finishing it, but the farther I got into it, the harder it was to put down. I almost felt as though I was walking alongside Calpurnia in the summer of 1899 on her search for her identity among a family of six brothers and struggling for all intents and purposes, against fulfilling the traditionally female roles at the turn of the century. Calpurnia is a young girl, eleven years old facing the brink of puberty and what that means for the remains of her life - grooming to be a housewife and mother, not something that Calpurnia is the least bit interested in. As she sets out in hopes of avoiding her mother and the never-ending array of chores set aside for 'girls', Calpurnia ends up taking to her grandfather and is gradually drawn in to his love of exploration and all things science. Soon, Calpurnia begins reading Darwin's Evolution of the Species and despite struggling with the text, continues to show an interest in the topic. Together with her grandfather, Calpurnia is slowing recognizing exactly what it is she's searching for in her life and by the end of the story is more determined than ever to break the stereotypical role inflicted on women by society and dreams to attend college to study science. This is definitely a worthy read for girls in fourth-seventh grade, especially if they already show a budding interest in science or are struggling to appreciate science. The story would also fit well as part of an integrated unit on evolution, as the subject is highly touched upon in the story.
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
The summer of Calpurnia Virginia Tate's 11th birthday was a hot one. Everyone in her large family suffered from the heat in their Fentress, Texas home, but as Calpurnia was the only girl in a family of seven children, she also found freedom during afternoon naptime. That's when she stole away from her room and down to the river, where she floated dreamily in the cool water. During her outings away from the noise of having six brothers, Calpurnia discovers the natural world and starts making observations about it in her notebook. She also screws up her courage to talk to her grandfather, a shadowy figure who spends most of his time by himself caught up in reading or scientific experiments. But when her grandfather discovers that Calpurnia's interest is genuine, he begins to include her in his experiments and observations. When they believe they discover a new species of vetch, they send it in to the Smithsonian for judgment. Calpurnia's activities with her grandfather brings up a conflict with Calpurnia's mother, who believes that in the year 1899 girls must prepare to be women who run households, and nothing more. That means cooking, sewing, knitting and tatting, all occupations Calpurnia abhors. As she struggles to follow her heart's desire, Calpurnia must discover if there are options for women in her time who have interests other than the domestic. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly is historical fiction that reveals turn-of-the-last-century times in rural Texas. It was a time not very far removed from the Civil War, and Calpurnia's grandfather as well as many others in town fought in the war. The Tate family farms cotton, and they are wealthy by the standards of most people in town. They have a housekeeper and a cook as well as regular farm hands, and while the children have daily chores, they don't have the responsibility of making the farm productive. This was also a time when Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species was making an impact. It had been published for about 50 years, but his conclusions were still hotly debated, and as Calpurnia found out, some libraries refused to carry copies of the book. Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin that's applicable to the action to come. As the book progresses, Calpurnia grows in her ability to understand the people and the world around her through observations made with a microscope and her regular vision. This book is sure to delight mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 12 and up. Discussions can center on the differences between life for girls and women in 1899 versus life now, living up to the expectations of your parents versus following your heart, and scientific experiences. Girls may even find inspiration for a school science project, and groups can even tie in craft or sewing projects. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I could not put this book down!!!! :)
sueliu More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. Reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie series. Great for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fabulous historical novel for young and old. Helps readers understand the evolution of nature scienitists and opens your eyes to the wonders in your backyard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a very good read for learning about history of our country and discussing how traditions were in the past such as dating. It brings up life before phones and televisions and gives a parent an opportunity to discuss how male and female roles in the past were very established. Reading Calpurnia Tate with my daughter has given us a chance to discuss the avenues that are open for her today and really show how life has evolved in our country and how she is fortunate to have the ability to chose what she would like to do as a career for herself and not have societal pressures like there was in the past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it! This book is the bomb! Its pretty legit. Awesome! Totally read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it last year and it was really good
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
Kelly's debut novel is a wonderful exposé on Southern society life at the turn of the 20th century, rife with subtexts and references to post-slavery issues and mindsets, the rise of modern machinery like the car and telephone, and the clear and unbalanced gender lines that existed and the struggle of one girl to overcome those. In particular, this is an important novel for those looking into pursuing sciences, especially because of the constant references and education around naturalism, its rise into society, the opposition it received from schools and a predominantly Christian culture, and the important role it played in the emergence of a new humanity in over the 20th century. Calpurnia is a delight to follow as she begins to notice the world around her. In her own evolution, she begins in the larval stage and moves through pupae, cocoon, and eventually becomes a bright and beautiful butterfly (or moth as is a symbolic reference in the book). Kelly is witty and clever in her treatment of Calpurnia's growth as a person, a scientist, and a courageous and curious mind. She exhibits a vast range of human emotion, showing empathy, sadness, self-sacrifice and exuberant joy, clearly a believable and lovable character. Kelly also has deftly woven passages from Darwin's Origin of Species, cunningly breaking the 4th wall for the reader in an effort to compare the evolution of Calpurnia and her world to that of Darwin's scientific expositions. For those looking for an excellent read that contains layers of depth that can be turned to several times before fully comprehending everything, then this is the perfect novel. I recommend it to all readers 10+. -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Besides being a nice book, it has more! The evolution of Calpurnia or "Callie V.", perfectly describes my life. I am a girl Callie's age who is curiuos about everything, but her mom makes her learn how to be a lady. I, to, is stuck with knitting and silly piano lessons that I seriously DO NOT LIKE!!! I mean, whats the point if a. you dont like it and b. it wont help you at all in later life? DONT YOU AGREE????!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and recommend that all girls over the age of nine read about Calpurnia’s journey to understanding herself and realizing what she wants to do with her life. As a girl who loved to explore her makeshift garden and grew up in a big family, I completely empathized with Calpurnia Tate’s busy life and easily submersed myself in her enthralling world. Calpurnia, a tomboy who would rather inspect animals and plants than stitches or ribbons, lives on a Texas plantation in 1899 with her six brothers, father, ladylike mother, and her mysterious grandfather. Bored with her mother’s lectures on housewifery, Calpurnia slowly befriends her grandfather and learns about naturalism from him. She realizes that she wants to become a scientist even though her family and society want her to become a wife and mother. Calpurnia deals with the obstacles of being a girl in 1899, and all readers can sympathize with her plight to break out of the mold. Kelly’s beautiful prose and feisty heroine make this poignant novel resonate with readers and encourages them to find their way in the natural order of things.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful story, beautifully written. The author knows how to get inside the character of her heroine and portrays her in a way that will make young readers identify with her.  This is an inspiring heartwarming book for all ages. I highly recommend it for good readers age 11 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let the suckish description stop you from reading this awesome book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read it yet but it looks really good and i am excited to read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the book it is good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not started this book but I am very excited about getting it. I am hoping this will be a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv the book!!!!!"""!!!!!!!&i couldn't put it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Calpurnia Tate is eleven years old in 1899. She has so many questions about the world and nature. She wants to grow up and be a scientist, but her mother has other plans. With the help of her nature scientist grandfather, Calpurnia discovers many things in her Texas backyard. As the story goes on, Calpurnia and her grandfather answer many questions about the world. They even find and name a new species! With the century turn right around the corner, Calpurnia learns just what it mens to be an eleven year old girl at the turn of the century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Accurate historical fiction that is fun to read is hard to come by. But this book is in that catergory. It was a great insight into what the world was like at the time. The main character was also very likeable. The young feminist protaganist seems very realsitic. I would reccomend this book tanyome looking fir a quick engaging read. ~ Eleanor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is inspiring but in some places it is boring because it talks about something over again but u should get this book u wont regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is wonderfully written, and it deserves 10 stars. It is a touching story, and I was hooked from when I started reading it until the very last word! I hope more people will take the time to read this exceptional novel, which I read for science. Thanks Mrs. Kirshen for having us read this! And kudos to Jacqueline Kelly for writing such an amazing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book don't insult it dweeb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made you look:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is dry, boring, and there is no suspence or action. This book is terrible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago