The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Kelly, Jacqueline

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805088410
Branch Call Number: J FIC K
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jul 14, 2014
  • green_rabbit_235 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A book for everyone... well-written, funny, touching and makes you think.

Mar 12, 2014

Good Book
It snows at the end

Nov 14, 2013
  • princesspupule rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

If you are interested in plants and relationships and history...this is the book for you. well done!

Nov 08, 2013
  • Cdnbookworm rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The year is 1899, the place is small town Fentress, Texas. Calpurnia is the only girl in her family, with six brothers, three older and three younger. She is a tomboy, not interested in cooking or needlework, a girl who sneaks out of her room when everyone is napping in the midday summer heat and goes to the river, stripping down and floating in the cool water.
Her interest in nature gradually brings her into contact with her grandfather, a man she has been wary of until the discovery of a shared interest. When the local librarian refuses to give her access to Charles Darwin's book without a note from her parents, her grandfather kindly loans her his copy. As the two spend time together, observing nature, gathering samples and noting what they observe, Calpurnia has a whole new world opened to her, but will she be allowed to break out of the traditional life her mother envisions for her to follow her own dreams?
Each chapter opens with a quote from The Origin of Species, applicable to that chapter's developments. It's a great book, seeing the expectations for a girl of her generation and place, and the changes coming in the future years. Her grandfather is encouraging and sympathetic, but is his influence enough to assist Calpurnia in her new dreams.

May 19, 2013
  • HuaGX rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is quite nice filled with animals and plants including the new species of vetch! Well,... Calpurnia's parents are all a little mean to her relationship with her grandfather Captain Walter Tate. Nevertheless the book was great with its audio version the discs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,and 8.

Dec 08, 2012

I love the cover of this book, so I got it out of the library, I haven't read the whole thing yet, but what I have read I didn't really like. I don't believe in evolution, and I did not think it was about it, but Culpurnia Tate growing up. Otherwise it is pretty good.

Dec 04, 2012
  • hmcgivney rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A very cute book about the life of a budding naturalist in 1899. Calpurnia bonds with her intimidating grandfather and struggles with her parents' expectations for their only daughter, which are in competition with her desire to be a scientist.

Jun 28, 2012
  • kclaura2003 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great book with a great character. Ending is a little abrupt but unlike anything I've read in awhile. I'm not big on science but I still enjoyed this.

Mar 15, 2012

"The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" is a nicely written, but limited book. It's main themes are feminism and science, and the author does a fair job of showing us the challenges a white girl from the richest family in a small town in Texas had to face around 1900. But, like a pretty painting, it's only two dimensional. Left out, except for the barest sketches of maids and other help, are African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans. Calpurnia, a spirited child, admires Confederate generals. Um, weren't they fighting for SLAVERY? Some of Calpernia's relatives were "Indian fighters." Um, what happened to all the Native people in the West and the Southwest upon whose land the Tates make their fortune? One could argue, "The author is trying to create a realistic picture of life in Texas in 1900 before the era of African American or Native American of Chicano Studies. That's how they talked." Well, one of the marvelous things about literature - and I write children's books - is that one is free to fly about, to enter the minds, hearts, and lives of many different characters. But, the young reader will never get that chance to explore life in Texas in 1900 as experienced by former slaves, or of Mexican farmers, or Native people forced onto reservations. Perhaps their lives are not pretty enough. Perhaps their problems are greater than being forced to make an apple pie. Students seeking to understand the richly diverse history of Texas are like the moth Calpurnia keeps that is way too big for the jar. (Calpernia sets the moth free, eventually.) Sadly, this book is the jar. Readers will have to search far and wide for books by Native authors and authors of color to spread their wings and their minds. The recent decision in Tucson Arizona to remove Chicano and Native Studies programs - and even books - from their schools is an attempt to go back to 1900. I doubt they will ban Jacqueline Kelly.

Feb 21, 2012
  • hope1982 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Another one of my library finds. Actually I've picked up this book at least ten times before I decide to take it with me. I really liked the cover of this book it was simple yet very true to the story.

Calpurnia was such a refreshing character, she is funny, sarcastic, smart, headstrong and independent. She is a twelve year old girl who starts to realise what it means to be a girl in 1899, the limitations that the time that she lives in puts on her gender. But that never stops her from going on adventures of scientific discovery. It is refreshing to read about a girl who is interested in something other than dresses and dolls. There is one passage that stuck out for in this book, and felt bad and sad for Calpurnia:

"I had never classified myself with other girls. I was not of their species; I was different. I had never thought my future would be like their. But now I knew that was untrue, and that I was exactly like other girls. I was expected to hand over my life to a house, a husband, children."
Page 220

Calpurnia and her grandfather were my two favourite characters, I like how their relationship develops thought the book. Her grandfather was funny and interesting character, I though it was so funny that he does not even know the name of his granchildren, except for Calpurnia.

Overall this was a very good read, it was fast and entertaining and i wished that I read it sooner. I give this book 5/5 STARS

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Feb 11, 2015

Meghouston thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jan 30, 2015
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Apr 06, 2013
  • Red_Coyote_13 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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Mar 31, 2013
  • Sounddrive rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sounddrive thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Kelly, Jacqueline
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