The summer of 1899 is hot, really hot. Calpurnia Virginia Tate (you can call her Callie Vee) finds ways unbeknownst to her mother to fight the summer heat. Callie's interest in nature and all things thereof leads to her tuition by a grumpy grandfather. Callie begins to question not only the natural world but the norms of society. Why must girls learn to cook and sew? Is marriage the only future for a girl?
What I thought: I've been meaning to read this book for ages. Everyone has been raving about it since before its publication. After reading it, I can see why it received a Newbery Honor. Callie is one of those immortal characters much in the way of Jo March or Anne Shirley. Like Jo and Anne, Callie has a unique voice. Callie is a character I want to know more about. Does he defy her mother and become something other than a debutante?
(Henry Holt, 2009)