Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

‘Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father – who has run away with a dental hygienist – will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton, but she has to compete with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante with her show-business background and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship – and challenge them to come to each other’s rescue in unexpected ways.’

Kate DiCamillo has a beautiful way of making storytelling feel new. Her characters are so brilliantly created; they shine from the page and hold your heart. DiCamillo manages to explore the whirlwind of emotions children feel as they grow up and learn about the world, all with the lightest touch. She really is magical.

But what I really love about this book is the way it celebrates friendship and shows the positive power of listening to, and learning about each other and allowing yourself to be a part of something bigger. This book feels like a return to the style and themes DiCamillo wrote about in Because of Winn Dixie. And there’s no greater praise than that. 

Source – bought from my lovely local indie bookshop, The Book Nook. You can order your copy here


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