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review 2017-04-20 19:12
*pleased sigh*
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

How could I have neglected this book so long! I have found me a new all time favourite. You have no idea how lucky you are that most of the time I was too entertained to post. I have saved quotes at the rate of one-a-chapter, and I was trying to be conservative.


I read, and I kept researching things mentioned, from taxonomy to music or history, and having a blast through-out. I couldn't stop laughing, even during the turkey debacle (there was something inherently funny in that tragedy of childhood).


“Why do you want a donkey?” said Harry.
“Because I don’t think people eat donkeys. Do they?”


The thought that I have to get my mom to read this poped continously too. Mom is a school librarian, and has a project going where she narrates to the kids in a bi-weekly basis. Lending is at an all-time hight since it started. They discuss a lot of what she reads them in a free way, and they come up with the most interesting questions and observations. They also end up researching a lot on their own, (or plain finish the book in a weekend) since there's no obligation *snickers*. Now imagine what this book could spawn. I pestered her on the phone the whole morning (whenever I surfaced from the pages, that is).


There are some narrow anachronisms in general, and I reckon there must be more in particular for the region, since the author apologises in the note at the end. But really? Like one can place every bit acuratedly on ones own timeline. And no child is that aware of herself and her place in the world (hell, most adults aren't that awere of themselves), but while many observations might be too clearly worded, they still ring true to some memories of childhood impressions. Children instincts are an uncanny thing.


So, is it imperfect? I really couldn't tell you, since after reading six glorious months on the life of this child, my only true complain is that I wanted more when I got to the end. More pages, more time with her, more of and for her future.

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text 2017-04-20 13:25
Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 338 pages.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

"...then broke into song, something rude about a drunken sailor and what should be done about him. To pass the time, he taught me the words."


Those too eldery to give a damn anymore are best part of your coming of age. I had a grandfather that taught me to cook, and kept reminding me not to rush stupidly; a great-grand-aunt who would talk to me about sex and relationships, kept encouraging me to try whatever as long as I was careful; a great aunt who included me in the after-coffee shots, and told me stories about getting roaring drunk with my great-grandmother, and about the joys and difficulties of raising a kid alone (she adopted while single, one damned tough lady). Goodness, did I love and admire them.

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text 2017-04-20 06:15
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 338 pages.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

That lady librarian had ruined my day, and I was determined to ruin someone—or something—else’s day. I ducked my head underwater and let out a long, loud scream, the sound burbling in my ears. I came up for air and did it again. And one more time, just to be thorough. The cooling water gradually soothed me. After all, what was one book to me? Really, it didn’t matter. One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.



So much win in less than a paragraph. I can't stop laughing, nor can I help being charmed.

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text 2017-04-20 05:48
Reading progress update: I've read 12 out of 338 pages.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

I'm already in love with this.

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review 2017-04-02 23:08
The Blue Sword
The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley

This book is one of my favorite tales. The heroine is a woman named Harry Crewe, an orphan, that comes to live near her brother in the desert country of Damar. Her life is quiet and ordinary until she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hill King, who takes her deep into the desert to the land of his people. She is alone surrounded by people who do not speak her language and she has no idea why she was kidnapped being herself to be truly ordinary and dull. However, everything happens for a reason and Corlath has Harry trained in the arts of fighting and war until she can pass for any of the Hillfolk. Why have her trained? Why kidnap her at all? What is all this leading to? What is in store for Harry?

I won't give away the reasons or ending but I encourage you to read it for yourself if you have not already. Robin McKinley truly brings this wonderful world alive and you find yourself getting lost and never wanting to come back.  This Newbery Honor book is perfect for older grades. It would be a good book to get the students curious and involved in heavier topics. This unit study would have to come with a twist though and I would make it more about diversity and what would they do about living in a foreign country where no one spoke their language. 

Reading Level: 4th grade and up

LEX 1030L

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