Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels


Steampunk and Darwin

leviathan-cover.jpgThe concepts in Leviathan (Simon Pulse, 2009) by Scott Westerfeld are interesting and felt real. I cared about the two main characters from opposing camps in this alternate world. It’s funny, too. And had wonderful illustrations by Keith Thompson. This is another one of those books where I’m waiting not very patiently for the sequel (Behemoth coming out in October 2010).
Okay, you have to watch the book trailer on Scott Westerfeld’s site for Leviathan. The ending of it made me laugh.
This book is an early YA and like The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate deals with issues of evolution, plus both are set in the early 1900s.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

CalpurniaIn The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Henry Holt and Company, 2009) 11-yea- old Callie Vee is the middle child between 3 older brothers and 3 younger brothers. She’s also caught in the middle of wanting to learn about nature with her grandfather and her mother’s desire for her to learn womanly pursuits. This historical novel by Jacqueline Kelly is funny, interesting, touching. I love the relationship between Callie and her grandfather, her struggles in the kitchen, the music she likes to play, her conversations with Viola their cook, her misunderstandings of what the future might be, the excitement and interests as new things like the phone and automobiles begin to affect their lives.
I believe the Newbery honor award for this book was well deserved.
And it’s Jacqueline’s first book! Read about Jackie at her publisher’s site or on her own website. There’s also a fan page on Facebook.