Jacqueline Kelly

Premiere date: November 21, 2009

This November, our guest will be Jacqueline Kelly, author of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. The book is set in Texas in 1899, where eleven-year-old Calpurnia Tate lives on a large farm with her parents, grandfather, and six brothers.

Calpurnia is being groomed for a typical 19-century female future of cooking, piano lessons, sewing, knitting, and debutante parties. But what she really wants is to be a scientist. Calpurnia is utterly fascinated by the natural world around her and longs to go to University. Her only ally is her imposing Grandfather, an amateur naturalist who divides his time between his library, his laboratory, and the fields, streams, and woods around the house.

Narrated by the frank, insightful, defiant, and delightful Calpurnia, the book is an amazing and humorous combination of personal story, natural history, and life in turn-of-the-century Texas. The audiobook version is due out this month.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was named a Newbery Honor book in 2010.

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Author photo by Deanna Roy