Book review: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly

Kelly, Jacqueline. The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. Holt, 2015. $16.99. 309p. 9780805097443. Ages 10-14. P8Q8

Kelly Curious World of Calpurnia TateDespite the societal restraints that face 12-year-old Calpurnia Tate in 1900 Texas, the intrepid protagonist of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate continues to overcome these in her drive to learn about science and protect her younger brother Travis who keeps trying to adopt unsuitable pets. The droll humor of a Southwest voice lends delight as Callie collaborates with her grandfather to learn about the incoming hurricane that devastated Galveston, copes with the older cousin who takes over her room, and convinces the newly arrived veterinarian that she is capable of helping him. Callie works to overcome her female position as a “half citizen” when her father rewards her six male siblings with twice as much money and with the promise of sending them to college for twice the length of time that Callie needs to become a veterinarian herself. Practical and determined, Callie’s progress, in spite of her inequality, is combined with fascination pieces of scientific information and animal lore.

October/November 2015 review by Nel Ward.

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