The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

In preparation for the release of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, I thought I would revisit my review of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. I originally wrote this review a couple of years ago, and I’m happy to share it here today.

I found The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate at my local library. I borrowed the audiobook version after noticing the pretty artwork on the case. I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but yes, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a children’s novel written by Jacqueline Kelly.
The story takes place in the last half of 1899. Calpurnia Tate is an 11-year-old girl who lives on a farm in Texas. She has the misfortune of being the middle child with three older siblings and three younger, and the even greater misfortune of being the only girl. Her family is relatively prosperous though, and Callie has a lot of free time. Read more

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

I found Echo at the library a couple of months ago. I had not heard anything about the book, but the plot sounded interesting, so I checked it out. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up using one of my Audible credits to purchase the audiobook version. This middle grade novel was written by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Echo begins with a fairy tale: a duplicitous monarch, the midwife following his orders, a witch, three magical little girls, and a little boy lost in the woods.

The bulk of the book is broken up into three sections that take place over a ten-year period in three different parts of the world. At first the stories seem decidedly modern, and not like fairy tales at all. But just like any good fairy tale, there are obstacles to overcome. Friedrich lives in Germany during a time when Hitler is gaining power. He loves music, and hopes to go to the conservatory, but the large birthmark on his face is considered to be a deformity that must be addressed. That, along with his father’s opinions regarding the new regime, is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Can Friedrich summon the courage to face his fears in order to help his father? Read more

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

I first heard about The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly a couple weeks before its release. I think I saw it mentioned on Goodreads, so I placed a request through the library network. This young adult novel was written by Stephanie Oakes.

Minnow Bly spent most of her life in a cult that lived in the wilderness, completely isolated from the rest of society. Discipline is swift and brutal: Minnow lost her hands because she was disobedient. Minnow no longer lives on the group’s compound; it was burned to the ground, and the prophet was killed. Minnow is confined to a juvenile detention facility, and as she adjusts to her new surrounding, she must come to terms with her past as she faces an uncertain future. Read more