The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, Callie Vee, as her six brothers and parents call her, is disappointed to find that life in the year 1900 goes on pretty much like always. She goes on rambles with her scientist grandfather. She makes meticulous notes in her notebook. She is by turns bedeviled and beguiled by her brothers. And she disappoints her mother and baffles her father almost weekly.
Almost every other chapter tells of her struggles with Travers, her wild animal loving younger brother, and his latest "find". The armadillo is a bust. The raccoon is fated for failure, but the coy-dog?? Really???
Then there is the hurricane of 1900 that wiped Galveston, TX, off the map. The barometer and Callie's chance sighting of a strange bird sends Callie's grandfather to the telegraph office to send wires to the coast. Callie has to give up her bed to a cousin she barely knows - a greedy, penny-pinching cousin who has no appreciation of nature. That and the disappearance of Callie's gold piece add up to a recipe for high drama.
In between, Callie runs errands for the new veterinarian, learns how to type, gets even with a conniving brother and deals as well as she can with her parents' expectations for her future.
This feels like a bridge book. I am eager to see if Callie prevails.
In Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko, there are rumors that plague has broken out in Chinatown. Lizzie's uncle, the owner of one of the biggest newspapers in town, refuses to believe the rumors without proof. But Chinatown is quarantined and trapped inside is Lizzie's cook and friend, Jing. Jing leaves behind a secret - a real LIVE secret. And that secret teaches Lizzie to look at her world in a whole new way.
There are a lot of secrets in this book; secrets that endanger a whole city; secrets that hide the way people really feel; secrets about how to fit in. Lizzie has to find Jing, learn how to be friends with people her own age, survive her first ball, and prove her worth as a nurse.
It all happened in 1900!