Friday, March 26, 2010

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

genre: middle grade literature

Oh, this one is a gem. A glorious turn-of-the-century story of a precocious Texan girl who finds inside herself a passion for living things. Being of the female persuasion, and a bright one to boot, Calpurnia doesn't excel at those things a genteel mother would want her only girl out of seven children to excel at. But, slowly, the magical relationship that grows between her and one member of her family will teach her the thrill of the natural world and a longing to observe and discover.

I LOVED this piece of historical fiction. I loved her coming of age - that long for change but need for stability. I loved this picture of Texas and its 1899 culture and I appreciated how Kelly explored some of the deeper issues of womanhood and the place of women at the time. I loved that it made me excited to look out my window and remember what treasures the world has to offer us. It's hopeful and vibrant, funny and charming. Two thumbs up from me.

3 comments:

Melissa said...

Oh, I KNEW you'd love this one!! :-) I'm so glad.

Amanda said...

I just found your blog from 5minutesforBooks.com and I am glad I did! I am always on the look out for book club picks and "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" sounds good. She reminds me of Flavia de Luce in "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."

Amanda said...

I just found your blog from 5minutesforBooks.com and I am glad I did! I am always on the look out for book club picks and "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" sounds good. She reminds me of Flavia de Luce in "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."

(Sorry for the double comment! I was under the wrong gmail account.)

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