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“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” Awarded 2009 Law Book Award

May 24, 2010

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee is pleased to announce that the 2009 Virginia M. Law Award for the Most Distinguished Book for Young Adults on Texas History is awarded to Jacqueline Kelly for her book The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, published in 2009 by Henry Holt and Company, New York.

The announcement was made Friday, May 14, 2010, by Mrs. Elaine Milam Vetter, Chairman of the DRT Library Committee, at the 119th Annual Convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Each year, a three-member panel of judges comprised of historians, educators, and librarians evaluates the Law Award entries. The 2009 committee included chairman Dr. Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, and committee members Dr. Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children’s Services, San Antonio Public Library, and Mrs. Amy Carter, English Department Instructional Facilitator, Floresville High School, Floresville, Texas.

In the book, eleven-year-old Calpurnia Tate has an innate talent as a naturalist that is recognized and nurtured by her brusque Granddaddy. On the family plantation in Caldwell County in 1899, Callie’s mother insists on ladylike behavior, piano lessons, and housekeeping skills; however, Grandaddy and Callie have other plans. The committee noted that Kelly’s carefully detailed text explores the Tate family’s lively, but structured, family life, the reserved warmth of an inter-generational relationship, and the evolutionary nature of scientific investigation.

The Virginia M. Law Award for the Most Distinguished Book for Young Adults on Texas History, endowed by Mrs. Law’s daughter, Nancy Law, and sponsored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, is given annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished fiction or nonfiction book for young adults, grades 7-12, that accurately portrays the history of Texas. Mrs. Law, for whom the award is named, was an active member of the Alamo Mission Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas; an enthusiastic supporter of the purposes and efforts of the DRT; and a strong proponent of education.

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