To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
|Evolution of Calpurnia Tate|
Author: Kelly, Jacqueline
In central Texas in 1899, 11-year-old Callie learns about love from an older brother and studies the natural world with her grandfather which leads to an important discovery.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 130075
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 20.0 Quiz: 46816
Newbery Honor, 2010
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2009 Gr 5–8— A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. As the only girl in an uppercrust Texas family of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of The Origin of Species and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie's mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather's influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society. Callie's confusion and despair over her changing life will resonate with girls who feel different or are outsiders in their own society. Callie is a charming, inquisitive protagonist; a joyous, bright, and thoughtful creation. The conclusion encompasses bewilderment, excitement, and humor as the dawn of a new century approaches. Several scenes, including a younger brother's despair over his turkeys intended for the Thanksgiving table and Callie's heartache over receiving The Science of Housewifery as a Christmas gift, mix gentle humor and pathos to great effect. The book ends with uncertainty over Callie's future, but there's no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly's debut novel.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2009 *Starred Review* Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie realizes that her aversion to needlework and cooking disappoints her mother. Still, she prefers to spend her time exploring the river, observing animals, and keeping notes on what she sees. Callie’s growing interest in nature creates a bond with her previously distant grandfather, an amateur naturalist of some distinction. After they discover an unknown species of vetch, he attempts to have it officially recognized. This process creates a dramatic focus for the novel, though really the main story here is Callie’s gradual self-discovery as revealed in her vivid first-person narrative. By the end, she is equally aware of her growing desire to become a scientist and of societal expectations that make her dream seem nearly impossible. Interwoven with the scientific theme are threads of daily life in a large family—the bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandings—all told with wry humor and a sharp eye for details that bring the characters and the setting to life. The eye-catching jacket art, which silhouettes Callie and images from nature against a yellow background, is true to the period and the story. Many readers will hope for a sequel to this engaging, satisfying first novel. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2009 The twentieth century hovers right on the horizon, but almost-twelve-year-old Calpurnia isn’t convinced that it holds much promise for her beyond the customary expectation that she’ll become a wife and mother, just like the generations of wives and mothers in the family before her. Her interest in nature and her incessant, but largely internal, questions about her observations lead her to approach her generally unapproachable grandfather, who now spends his retirement years puttering in the old slave quarters of their Texas estate. Granddaddy quickly proves himself to be a kindred spirit, and although his scientific investigations center on distilling liquor from pecans in their orchard, he is a challenging teacher and good-humored advocate for Calpurnia as she pursues her own interests. While her tolerant but slightly befuddled parents try to prepare her with a set of domestic skills, she seizes every opportunity to follow her own course. She and Granddaddy discover a variety of plant they cannot identify; they have it professionally photographed and send the documentation to the Smithsonian for verification, hoping with all their might that they have discovered a new species-a discovery that very well might be the only professional accomplishment Calpurnia will ever enjoy. Kelly’s debut novel combines the episodic pleasures of Anne of Green Gables with the girls-can-love-science-too sensibility of Klages’ The Green Glass Sea (BCCB 1/07). Narrator Calpurnia’s voice is fresh and convincing, and Granddaddy is that favorite relative most readers would love to claim as their own. Historical fiction fans are in for a treat. EB - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.