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Time and Again
Jack Finney
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death
Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, David Malki, Nathan Burgoine, Toby W. Rush, Rhiannon Kelly, Ryan Estrada, George Page III, Chandler Kaiden, Tom Francis, Grace Seybold, D.L.E. Roger, Daliso Chaponda, John Takis, Ada Hoffmann, Rebecca Black, Karen Stay Ahlstrom, Gord Sellar, M
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was an unexpected gem hidden away in my “to-read” shelf (my literal one, on a shelf in a closet at home). Calpurnia Tate has quickly become one of my favorite literary characters. There’s a lot to admire in her, and her tomboy-ish, scientifically-minded, and very eleven-year-old voice is brought to life vividly and very realistically.

In the book, Calpurnia is the only daughter of seven children in a home in Texas. It’s 1899, a few decades after Texas was admitted to the Union, and the state is a curious mix of the rural and the refined, the Wild West and genteel society. Calpurnia’s grandfather is a war veteran and an amateur scientist who spends his days by the river and in his laboratory, collecting specimens and working on experiments. He intimidates the children, but Calpurnia finds a special friendship with him once their bond over nature is discovered.

I really loved the description of each of the characters. Each of Callie’s six brothers are a unique character within themselves, the kind of boys everyone wants as a brother. Her parents have their own goals and thoughts, and her grandfather is rough but loving, very intelligent but battle-scarred.

The book itself is very intelligent. Though the intended reading level is probably fifth or sixth grade, there’s no talking down to children here. I imagine if I had read it at ten or eleven I would have been given a lot to think about. Coming of age, the scientific method, American history and family relations are all touched upon. I was left with a sincere hope that Callie’s life will turn out the way she wants it to. I would love to read more about her.