Calpurnia Virginia Tate is the only daughter in a family of seven kids. She is a naturally curious child who loves spending time with her grandfather. Her grandfather is teaching her all about the natural world, evolution and science. They have even found a new species of plant. This wouldn’t be so unusual except it is 1899 and girls are not supposed to be scientists. Calpurnia’s mother wants her to learn womanly arts like tatting and embroidery and cookery. She does not want her to go tromping through the fields and woods looking for bugs or plants. Through all the scientific adventures with her grandfather and the antics of her six brothers, Calpurnia discovers who she is and who she wants to be.
Callie is definitely a spunky young girl. She has a very inquiring mind and isn’t afraid to ask questions even questions that aren’t necessarily appropriate for a girl her age at that time. I found Callie to be very realistic and interesting. She is exactly the type of girl you want to read about: smart, funny and inquisitive. I listened to the book on audio and thought the narrator did a great job. My only real complaint is that I never really felt like I got to know any of the brothers. They all seemed to run together, except for Harry the oldest. I really enjoyed Callie’s relationship with her grandfather. It was really the heart of the book.