Friday, June 21, 2013

"The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" by Jacqueline Kelly

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Ever since I read "Heaven is Here..." by Stephanie Nielson, I've been checking in on her blog every now and then. In one of her posts, she mentioned this being one of her new favorite books. I was planning a 20 hour drive to see my parents and saw this in the audio books section at the library and thought it would be perfect for my trip.

Calpurnia Tate is 11 in 1899 and is the only girl in a family of all boys. Her mother is intent on making her more domestic in the arts of homemaking, but Calpurnia has much different interests. She is fascinated with the world around her and why things are the way they are. As she explores her world, she begins to also see her grandfather in a much different light.

I loved being able to listen to this book- especially when I was all alone in my car for hours at a time! :) It's a great book for girls that are more interested in things other than what the social norm expects of them. However, I felt like it smacked a little too much of feminist ideals. Calpurnia is constantly asking why: "Why can't girls be scientists? Why do girls have to stay home and cook and knit?". Questions that I'm sure girls had during that time period, but I don't know. Something about it just made me think the author may have been trying too hard to let girls know they can be anything they can.

Anyway, other than that little bit, it was a great book. I laughed out loud a couple of times at the wit and humor the author displays and loved the characters' development throughout the story.

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