Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Calpurnia Tate series
Source: eGalley through Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book is the sequel to the book The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was a book I absolutely adored so I was incredibly excited to hear that a sequel was coming out. However, I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first one…it just didn’t have much of a point to it.
Travis, Calpurnia’s younger brother, keeps bringing home strays. Whether it’s stray rabbits, stray armadillos, or stray half coyote pups Callie is having a heck of a time hiding all the animals from her mother. When a horrible hurricane takes out Galveston Texas things change for Callie’s family. They end up taking in one of Callie’s older female cousins and a new veterinarian comes into town introducing Callie to a new career that she’s very interested in.
I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first one because it didn’t have anything to really drive the plot forward. It was still an engaging read; very nostalgic and provides an interesting look into the life of a young girl trying to make her way in science in a time when women didn’t really do that.
I love reading about Callie and her family. However for the first half of the book things are very wandering and pretty much just detail day to day life of this family. There is absolutely nothing to drive the plot forward (there really isn’t a plot). Things get more interesting when the hurricane goes through Galveston; there is some intersting history in this part and it shakes things up for Callie’s family quite a bit.
The veterinarian doesn’t even come into the story until the second half of the book and Callie doesn’t get involved working with him until the last quarter or so. There is a rather compelling scene where Callie finally puts her foot down and lets it be known that she has plans for a career in science, but her family still brushes her off and doesn’t take her seriously.
Although the book is well written and fairly engaging by the end of it I couldn’t really tell you what the point to the whole thing was. The first book Callie and her Grandpa here discovering a new species and trying to get it recognized. In this book Callie spends time learning about animals but the story is very defocused.
Overall I enjoyed the book but struggled a bit with the lack of any plot. I still enjoy reading about Callie and her family, however I wish the author had maybe focused on Callie’s want to become a scientist or focused on something that gave the book more cohesion. I still recommending reading this if you enjoyed The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and I still think everyone should read The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate…however this second book wasn’t as impressive.
This book goes toward the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge