The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate
Written by Jacqueline Kelly
“Why can’t I go to college, too?” A heartfelt question asked by many a girl at the turn of the century when she first realized only the brothers would get the education they desired.
We first met the vivacious and wonderful, Calpurnia Tate, in Jacqueline Kelly’s Newberry Honor Book, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Now her story continues into the season of spring with many new science experiments with Grandfather, sibling fights with all those brothers and facing a world trying to put her into a “homemaker” box.
Kelly builds the realistic plot with impeccable research from both time and place. Readers learn of the devastation of the Galveston hurricane of 1900, the tragedy it caused for family members far away as many hurried to help.
The character development is spot on as Callie relates to each of her brother’s whims. She is always helping out Travis with whatever new animal he has brought home to rescue. Worry, humor and resourcefulness are often involved in taking care of these animals.
Teachers and librarians will fulfill many core curriculum standards in literature, history, geography and science using this text. Many will want to introduce it in read aloud time. Parents would find this a great gift giving book. Both of these books should be in every school and public library.
Grade four, grade five and grade six readers as well as those far beyond will begin this book and keep turning pages for hours without stopping. When it does end, they will be sad to part with these great new friends in this wonderful new place. And then what will we do? Wait impatiently while hoping Jacqueline Kelly is writing the next book about Calpurnia and her family.