Thirteen-year-old Calpurnia Virginia Tate of turn-of-the-20th-century Texas—introduced in the 2010 Newbery Honor–winning The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate—is more focused than ever on unlocking the secrets of the natural world.
But Callie Vee has her hands full with her tender brother Travis, who never met a wild animal he didn’t want to adopt (including a possibly diseased armadillo), and her ever exasperated mother, who wishes her one daughter among six sons would master the domestic arts instead of fixating on her Scientific Notebook and Charles Darwin (the source of the chapter-opening excerpts). In fact, of all Callie’s daily trials, the hardest to stomach is the injustice of being treated as a “half citizen” just because she’s a girl. But not to worry….Callie, the witty and sincere narrator, is “smart as a tree full of owls” and won’t be denied her dreams of being a veterinarian or anything else she puts her mind to. Animal lovers will revel in the abundant anecdotes about the benevolent country vet and Travis’ mangy strays—some heart-wrenching, some hilarious—while learning plenty about nature (“from pond water up to the stars”), the deadly 1900 Galveston hurricane, and early Texas history as recounted by Callie’s scholarly and beloved Granddaddy.
A warm, welcome stand-alone companion to Kelly’s lauded debut. (Historical fiction. 10-14)