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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1
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Series:
Calpurnia Tate volume 1.
Published:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) 2009
Accelerated Reader:
IL: MG - BL: 5.3 - AR Pts: 12
Lexile measure:
830L
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

In this witty historical fiction middle grade novel set at the turn of the century, an 11-year-old girl explores the natural world, learns about science and animals, and grows up. A Newbery Honor Book.
"The most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. . . . Callie's struggles to find a place in the world where she'll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today." —The New Yorker

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones. With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.
Author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award. This title has Common Core connections. This is perfect for young readers who like historical fiction, STEM topics, animal stories, and feminist middle grade novels.
Don't miss the sequel!
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate
To follow Calpurnia Tate on more adventures, read the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet chapter book series:
Skunked!
Counting Sheep
Who Gives a Hoot?
A Prickly Problem

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/12/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781429993074
ASIN:
B002LA09MG
Accelerated Reader:
MG
Level 5.3, 12 Points
Lexile measure:
830
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jacqueline Kelly. (2009). The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR).

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jacqueline Kelly. 2009. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR).

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jacqueline Kelly. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 2009.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Jacqueline Kelly won the Newbery Honor for her first book, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. She was born in New Zealand and raised in Canada, in the dense rainforests of Vancouver Island. Her family then moved to El Paso, Texas, and Kelly attended college in El Paso, then went on to medical school in Galveston. After practicing medicine for many years, she went to law school at the University of Texas, and after several years of law practice, realized she wanted to write fiction. Her first story was published in the Mississippi Review in 2001. She now makes her home with her husband and various cats and dogs in Austin and Fentress, Texas.
      • name: Jacqueline Kelly
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fullDescription

In this witty historical fiction middle grade novel set at the turn of the century, an 11-year-old girl explores the natural world, learns about science and animals, and grows up. A Newbery Honor Book.
"The most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. . . . Callie's struggles to find a place in the world where she'll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today." —The New Yorker

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones. With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.
Author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award. This title has Common Core connections. This is perfect for young readers who like historical fiction, STEM topics, animal stories, and feminist middle grade novels.
Don't miss the sequel!
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate
To follow Calpurnia Tate on more adventures, read the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet chapter book series:
Skunked!
Counting Sheep
Who Gives a Hoot?
A Prickly Problem

seriesId
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      • value: Grade 5
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content: "In her debut novel, Jacqueline Kelly brings to vivid life a boisterous small-town family at the dawn of a new century. And she especially shines in her depiction of the natural world that so intrigues Callie... Readers will want to crank up the A.C. before cracking the cover, though. That first chapter packs a lot of summer heat."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Each chapter of this winning...novel opens with a quotation from 'On the Origin of Species'--a forbidden book that her own grandfather turns out to have hidden away. Together they study Darwin's masterpiece, leading to a revolution in Callie's ideas of what she might accomplish on her own."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
      • content: "Callie's transformation into an adult and her unexpected bravery make for an exciting and enjoyable read. Kelly's rich images and setting, believable relationships and a touch of magic take this story far."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, Starred Review
      • content: "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."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 4, 2009
        Life at the turn of the century is not easy for a girl who loves books and science. Kelly's first novel presents spirited heroine Calpurnia (Callie) Virginia Tate, a middle child with six brothers, growing up in the isolation of Fentress, Tex., in 1899. To her family's dismay, Callie is stubborn, independent and not interested in darning socks or perfecting her baking skills like a lady. “I would live my life in a tower of books,” she thinks to herself. She spends most of her time with Harry, “the one brother who could deny me nothing,” slowly befriending her Granddaddy, a mysterious naturalist who studies everything from pecan distillation to microscopic river bugs. Together they dream up experiments and seek answers to backyard phenomena, discovering something new about the invisible world each day. Callie follows her passion for knowledge, coming to realize her family “had their own lives. And now I have mine
        .” Callie's transformation into an adult and her unexpected bravery make for an exciting and enjoyable read. Kelly's rich images and setting, believable relationships and a touch of magic take this story far. Ages 10–up.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2009
        Grades 4-7 *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. Callies 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 Callies 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 familythe bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandingsall 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        January 1, 2010
        In Texas, 1889, eleven-year-old Calpurnia tries to carve a place for herself as a scientist. Trouble is, the only other family member interested in nature is misanthropic Granddaddy. With his help, Calpurnia starts cataloging her observations and formulating hypotheses--culminating in the discovery of a new plant species. Without anachronism, Kelly has created a spirited young woman who's refreshingly ahead of her time.

        (Copyright 2010 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        September 1, 2009
        Eleven-year-old Calpurnia is the middle child (and only girl) of seven siblings. It's summertime, 1889, in Fentress, Texas, and hot enough to fry an egg outside: the local newspaper reports that "the temperature was 106 degrees in the middle of the street." After Callie's letter to the editor is published ("It seemed to me that the temperature in the shade would be a lot more useful to the citizens of our town"), her favorite brother encourages her to spend the summer writing down her scientific observations. Trouble is, there's only one other family member with any interest in science, not to mention a copy of Charles Darwin's new and controversial book, The Origin of Species: gruff, intimidating, misanthropic Granddaddy. After some initial icebreaking, the two bond over insatiable curiosity about the natural world, culminating in their thrilling discovery of a new plant species. Along the way, Callie learns to carefully catalog her observations, noting questions ("Why don't caterpillars have eyelids?"; "When does the young human organism get a grasp of time?") and formulating hypotheses. She also tries to carve a place for herself as a scientist amidst very different expectations for her future. Calpurnia's perseverance and confidence gained working side-by-side with her grandfather are evidence that she's more than capable of meeting her goals. Kelly, without anachronism, has created a memorable, warm, spirited young woman who's refreshingly ahead of her time.

        (Copyright 2009 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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In this witty historical fiction middle grade novel set at the turn of the century, an 11-year-old girl explores the natural world, learns about science and animals, and grows up. A Newbery Honor Book.
"The most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. . . . Callie's struggles to find a place in the world where she'll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today." —The New Yorker

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones. With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates...

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Calpurnia Tate Series, Book 1
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      • description: JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / Environment