Thursday, April 21

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale
Kate DiCamillo

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0763681173
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of publication: April 12, 2016
Age: Grades 5 - 8
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: family, friendship, beauty contests, death, courage

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 left town two days ago 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; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a 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 each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

I hope I not booed off of the internet for not loving this book. I mean, goodness knows I loved Flora & Ulysses, so it's nothing against DiCamillo's style. I just wasn't pulled in with this one. I wasn't invested in the characters. It's still deep and intriguing and (I'm sure) a Newbery contender, but I, myself, felt rather "meh" after the whole thing.

Here's some specifics: I felt that the book and the individual chapters were too brief. And yet, the story itself was rather slow—the friendship between the main characters and the move to resolve the various problems took a while. So it was left a big lacking. The ending, however, was quite fantastic and had me satisfied. The characters, as I mentioned, were not my favorite, though they were quite the characters—each with their own set of problems and individualities (I did admire Louisiana more than I thought I would). In the end, I'd recommend it to the DiCamillo fan, sure, but I'm not rushing to put it into people's hands.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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