Raymie Nightingale

Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale
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Raymie Nightingale

Kate DiCamillo

In her seventh novel, international bestselling author and twice winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal Kate DiCamillo tells a masterful story that blends pathos and humour.

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.


Another modern classic from Kate DiCamillo, Raymie Nightingale is a beautiful story about friendship. Raymie’s father has left her and her mother for a dental hygienist and Raymie concocts a foolproof plan to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition so that her picture goes in the paper, her father sees it and returns. But in order to win the competition she needs to do a good deed and learn how to twirl a baton. This is a sweet, fun read that leaves the reader fulfilled and warm, with gentle prose and vivid, interesting characters. The backdrop of Florida in the 1970s is brightly realised in classic Kate DiCamillo style, and overall this is yet another feather for her already full cap of children’s books. I absolutely loved it and it really left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside!

Isobel Moore is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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