Friday, 26 July 2013

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Finished July 26
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

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.

1 comment:

  1. We loved this book! Our at-the-time-9 year old thought it was fantastic.