The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

This is the best middle reader historical fiction that I’ve read in years.  As a girl growing up at the end of the 19th century, Callie doesn’t feel like she has any control over the path her life will take; the only girl in a house full of brothers, she is all too aware that her future is full of cooking, cleaning, sewing, and raising children.  But what Callie loves more than anything is observing nature and conducting scientific experiments.  Fortunately, Callie finds an ideal companion and mentor who shares and nurtures her interest in science- her grandfather.

Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin’s Origin of Species, mirroring Callie’s own “evolution” and the awakening of her ambition.  The characters are smart and endearing, and I love Callie’s touching relationship with her grandfather.  This Newbery Honor book is a must-read if you missed it the first time around.
 
-Caitlin, one of four Children's Lit experts from our Palo Alto Store