I wish I could be on the Newbery committee because here is another great candidate! Smart, funny and endearing. Along with the cover, debut author Jacqueline Kelly's writing style is classic. She captures the spirit of a spunky, unconventional young girl in 1899 perfectly. How exciting it must have been to be a child exploring nature and being part of the latest inventions that are so common to us today. Kids will marvel at the idea that Coca-Cola didn't always exist!— Brandi S.
Summer 2009 Kids' List
“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
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.
Debut 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" is a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award.