Raymie Nightingale

A new book by Kate DiCamillo is always big news.  This author of Newberry honored books Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses always challenges kids to find the bigger meaning in her stories and creates a cast of characters that are quirky, inspiring
and unique.

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Title: Raymie Nightingale
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Target: Grades 4-7
Series: No but there is a companion book Louisiana’s Way Home
What this book is about:
Raymie’s father has unexpectedly run off with a dental hygienist, leaving Raymie and her mother to fend for themselves.  Raymie is convinced that if she wins the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition of 1975, her father will feel compelled to return.  To win she feels she must be able to twirl a baton, so off she goes for lessons where she meets Louisiana and Beverly, two girls who have also suffered loss and with whom she will forge a deep connection.  Now if she can only figure out the meaning of it all.
Why I love this book:
  • This book is written in traditional Kate DiCamillo style.  Straightforward chapters with well placed, challenging vocabulary, creative repetition to reinforce concepts and a story that is always full of charm.  She continues to challenges kids to find a bigger meaning in her stories to which they can relate.
  • I appreciate that there is plenty of sadness in this book.  Kids know that life is not always fair and that they have to deal with heartbreak, but there is also hope, optimism, and friendship to temper the difficult times.
  • I love the characters that DiCamillo creates.  They are always a little quirky and homespun which makes them far more interesting than the individuals in most books.
Who this book is for:
Great for kids who like DiCamillo’s other books.  Kids who like realistic fiction with some eccentric characters thrown in will certainly appreciate the story.  This isn’t a book for everyone, but it is great for the right kid.
Final thoughts:
I love DiCamillo’s writing style.  What she can convey in short sentences and chapters by being so deliberate with the choices she makes is genius.  I also appreciated that this book was more relatable than some of her other more recent work.
To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Raymie Nightingale.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.