The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Narrated by: Natalie Ross
Length: 9 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (453 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Children Ages 8-12, 2011
Newbery Honor Book, 2010

The summer of 1899 is HOT in Calpurnia Virginia Tate's sleepy Texas town, and there aren't a lot of good ways to stay cool. Her mother has a new wind machine from town, but Callie might just have to resort to stealthily cutting off her hair, one sneaky inch at a time. She also spends a lot time at the river with her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist. It turns out that every drop of river water is teeming with life - all you have to do is look through a microscope!
 

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.

©2009 Jacqueline Kelly (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A Lovely Coming of Age Story

Set in turn of the century Texas, this sweet coming of age story is fun and informative. Calpurnia is the only daughter in her farm family, but she's not interested in learning how to cook or sew or be a lady. She's interested in science, and especially in Mr. Charles Darwin's new book on The Evolution of Species. She isn't allowed to check it out from the library, but then discovers her gruff old Grandfather who is always off in the woods and keeps to himself, not only has a copy of Mr. Darwin's book, but has exchanged letters with him! Calpurnia and her Grandfather traipse around the woods, observing and categorizing the many species of plants, animals and insects they encounter. As Calpurnia learns about the world around her using the scientific method, she also begins to learn about life and growing up and what her own dreams and expectations are.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Evolution of Capurnia Tate

A nice story about the relationship between a young girl and her grandfather. I listened to this book because it was on my daughters summer reading list. Begining was a bit slow but looking back, I really enjoyed the story. and so did my daughter.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

This was a delightful story about the love of family, nature, and life in general. I really enjoyed this story and the fun relationship between Grandfather and Granddaughter. Despite the name of the book evolution isn't use in it's typical argumentative state in this book. Rather it refers to the ever changing and evolving person we become as we grow and mature.

9 people found this helpful

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Light-Hearted Historical YA Fiction

It is the turn of the 20th century and 12-yr old Calpurinia Tate lives with her family on a somewhat prosperous farm in Texas. What follows is a year in the life of this curious girl, who has more interest in shadowing her botanist-loving grandfather than learning the duties of a proper young lady of that age (embroidery, knitting, cooking). This is a light-hearted read which is reminiscent of classic coming-of-age tales such as Little Women and An Old Fashioned Girl, but with an updated voice. I found this an appealing feel-good read and would recommend to anyone interested in historical fiction.

The narrator was fine... I didn't care for the sound of her voice at first (seemed strained or like a free LibriVox recording) but I became accustomed to her about halfway through.

3 people found this helpful

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Is this on a kids list?

What did you love best about The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate?

Calpurnia was a spunky girl in a time when spunky was not appreciated. We enjoyed the story but it seemed to be dummied up a bit. I assume it was written for young girls. If that is the case it was well done and inspiring to young girls who would take a path less traveled.

Would you recommend The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate to your friends? Why or why not?

To young female friends most certainly.

2 people found this helpful

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Charming, endearing, loved it!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version but the audio version was wonderful.

What other book might you compare The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate to and why?

It's just a great book, on the order of The Secret Life of Bees, or Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the scene where Grandfather has Calpurnia help him taste test his pecan whiskey.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to savor it and did not want it to end.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. The relationship between an 11 year old girl and her grandfather was so sweet and endearing. For me, this book was magical. It reminded me that life is full of possibility and wonder if we have the courage to live our dreams.

2 people found this helpful

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Very nice but sort of boring

I enjoyed this book but the story didn’t have many ups or downs but if you want a nice book to have in the background this is a good choice

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Cute middle grade novel

Calpurnia Tate is the type of female protagonist I like- stubborn, inquisitive, and protective of her family. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Calpurnia and her grandfather.

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Excellent strong female character

My family listened to this story on a long road trip. We all enjoyed it (girls are 9 and 11) particularly the strong female character, relationships and scientific discoveries.

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Instant classic

A great, relatable heroine (especially for girls, but many boys will like it too) and excellent narrator.