The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly The summer of 1899 is a hot one in rural Texas. It's also the summer Calpurnia Virginia Tate (Callie Vee) discovers her grandfather. When Callie notices a new kind of grasshopper, she finds the courage to ask her taciturn grandfather where they came from. He assures her that she can work it out for herself and, when she presents her findings, he in turn presents her with two things, a copy of the On the Origin of Species and partnership in his own study of Texas flora and fauna. Callie thrives on both the attention from the grandfather and on the analytical thinking that science brings with it, but as the nineteenth century draws to a close, will the world change fast enough for her to pursue her new dreams of life as scientist? I loved the presentation of Callie's grandfather through her eyes. Though we can see a bit of self-preoccupation in him, Callie never does, even when he apologizes to her, time and again, for just that fault. The symbolism of the last scene is wonderfully balanced and deliciously satisfying.