The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Book review by Debra Bogart, Common Sense Media
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Newbery Honor book about a smart Southern tomboy in 1899.

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 20 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 7+

Fabulous for all ages

Calpurnia captivated our entire family. It is a coming-of-age story about an 11 year old girl living in Texas at the turn of the century, but it is much more. Every chapter opens with a quote from Darwin which is worthy of discussion all its own, and the stories from her grandfather’s experience in the Civil war gives nuance rarely provided in children’s books. The family dynamic with Calpurnia’s brothers and parents is rich in warmth and hilarity. My nightly reading aloud of this book became the ‘main event’ in our house for a few weeks and we were all a bit sad when it ended. Good thing there are more Calpurnia stories out now!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Looking forward to reading The Curious Life of Calpurnia Tate!

Just finished reading this book with my 8 year old daughter. She loved it and I loved. It was a really fun read and a wonderful opportunity to talk about life in 1899.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love history and smart girl characters

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a girl
    Great Girl Role Models
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a map and jug
    History
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate