Calpurnia Tate is the middle child out of seven, and the only girl. Can you imagine a worse situation? The time is 1899 and the place is central Texas, where it is hot and stuffy and there is no air conditioning. Callie Vee, as Calpurnia is called, is 11. She can spend some time outdoors, exploring the land and discovering lots of things about nature. Her grandfather shares this interest and helps Calpurnia along on her discoveries, including what might be a brand new species of plant. However, her mother has other ideas. In her opinion, Calpurnia needs to learn the “womanly arts,” such as cooking, playing the piano, sewing, and lace-making. Calpurnia is not particularly fond of, or good at, those tasks. Will there be a way for her to balance her love of science and what society at the time expects of her?
This is a work of historical fiction. I think it will appeal to those who enjoy that genre, as well as people who enjoy reading books about science, humorous books and books about families. The interactions between Callie Vee and her grandfather are quite well done.
-Sam, McArthur Public Library Children’s Room Assistant