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Summer 2009 Kids' List
“Intrigued by the different grasshoppers in her backyard, 11-year-old Calpurnia Virginia Tate finds herself suddenly enthralled by the natural world -- a fascination that unexpectedly leads to a new bond with her famously reclusive grandfather. Voracious in her newfound love of science, Callie launches herself on a summer of exploration, which leads to many new discoveries, not least of which is what it means to be a girl in love with science in Texas in 1899.”
— Meghan Dietsche Goel, Book People, Austin, TX
The summer of 1899 is hot in Calpurnia's sleepy Texas town, and there aren't a lot of good ways to stay cool. Her mother has a new wind machine from town, but Callie might just have to resort to stealthily cutting off her hair, one sneaky inch at a time. She also spends a lot of time at the river with her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist. It turns out that every drop of river water is teeming with life -- all you have to do is look through a microscope As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and learns just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. Debut author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing an unusual year with unique sensitivity and wit.