Book Reviews

Review: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate By Jacqueline Kelly

Published: July 7th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.                                                                                                                               

Source: Local Library

Summary: Callie Vee, Travis, Granddaddy, and the whole Tate clan are back in this charming follow-up to Newbery Honor–winner The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.

Callie’s younger brother Travis keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the animals—Travis included—away from her mother’s critical eye.

When a storm blows change into town in the form of a visiting veterinarian, Callie discovers a life and a vocation she desperately wants. But with societal expectations as they are, she will need all her wits and courage to realize her dreams.

Whether it’s wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, the trials and tribulations of Callie Vee will have readers cheering for this most endearing heroine.


Spoiler Free Review:

The first book, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was my favorite book ever when I first read it at age 9 or 10. I was a bit skeptical about the second book. The first book came out in 2009 and six years later a sequel suddenly came out. I screamed when the I saw on Goodreads, because more Calpurnia Virginia Tate and her crazy family! After all these years. I wasn’t sure if after all this time is the sequel really going to live up to the first so I kept my expectations pretty low. Additionally, the synopsis of the second book was pretty vague. 

Jacqueline Kelly proved me wrong. Maybe it took her a really long time to finally finish and publish the sequel but it was definitely one of the best sequels I have read. It definitely lived up to the first. Callie Vee was just as witty as she was in the first and everyone who were in the previous book were  in character. Whats different in reading the second book I’m  seeing the story through different eyes. When I first read this book I loved it for the humor, for Callie’s wit and sarcasm. I could really relate to her even if it did take place in the very late nineteenth to early twentieth century. 

I learned that you can really relate to anyone whether there century is long before you were born or in your time.  I thought the historical fiction aspect was that it took place two centuries ago which was one aspect of it. I was pretty oblivious to the amount of sexism put into this book. I knew that women at the time were meant to take care of the household and children. I didn’t pay much attention to that.

Now that I’m older, I noticed it a lot in this book. The sexism in the book is completely realistic because that was how women were treated back then. What made me love this book even more was that Calpurnia was always questioning that. Why are females treated this way? The series main synopsis is for Calpurnia to take control of her destiny. She wants to go to college not just for one year to become a teacher but all the years to achieve her ambition. She wants to prove that a woman is capable of becoming who she wants to be.

I really loved the relationship between Callie and her Grandfather. He really respected her just as she respected him. He believed that she could become a naturalist despite being a girl. Throughout the book , he supported her especially when it came to her ambition. The science in the book I found fascinating especially with Dr. Pritzker. Callie definitely proved to him a great assistant.

Travis and Callie Vee’s relationship was adorable. I really wish I had a younger brother like him. Except the fact that he’s terrible at keeping secrets. Aggie, on the other hand, I didn’t really like her which was expected. But, in the end, I guess she became a somewhat of an older sister to Callie. Although, I found the ending too be a bit rushed, this definitely one of may favorite books this year. Hopefully, there’s another book and I won’t have to wait six years. Please Jacqueline Kelly? But of course I’d like to thank you for writing an amazing first book and a sequel that was just as good as the first.


Rating: 5/5 


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