"Intrigued by the different grasshoppers inhabiting her backyard,
eleven-year-old Callie Vee finds herself suddenly enthralled by the
natural world--a fascination that leads her to bond with her famously
reclusive and standoffish grandfather. Voracious in her newfound love of
science, Callie launches herself on a summer of exploration that leads
to many new discoveries, not least of which is what it means to be a
girl in love with science in turn-of-the-century Texas. *Local Austin author!"
"Calpurnia, called Callie, is a feisty 11-year-old growing up in a small Texas town in 1899 with her loving parents, 6 brothers, and a grandfather who is an avid naturalist. With her interest in science, she longs to spend her free time with her grandfather in his laboratory or out in the fields near their house collecting specimens. But her mother has other ideas about what Callie should be learning and doing. At the center of the story is the struggle between Callie's hopes and dreams and what society expected of a girl back in 1899. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a book that appeals to readers of all ages. Jacqueline Kelly has created a character and a story that will surely become a classic!"— Kathleen
“Intrigued by the different grasshoppers in her backyard, 11-year-old Calpurnia Virginia Tate finds herself suddenly enthralled by the natural world -- a fascination that unexpectedly leads to a new bond with her famously reclusive grandfather. Voracious in her newfound love of science, Callie launches herself on a summer of exploration, which leads to many new discoveries, not least of which is what it means to be a girl in love with science in Texas in 1899.”
— Meghan Dietsche Goel, Book People, Austin, TX
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:
Who Gives a Hoot?
A Prickly Problem