DiCamillo, Kate. Raymie Nightingale. Fiction. Candlewick, 04/2016. 263pp. $16.99. 978-0-7636-8117-3. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-7.
When her father runs off with a dental hygienist and as a result her mother withdraws emotionally, Raymie plans to enter and win the Little Miss Central Tire competition so her father will see her picture in the paper, realize his mistake, and come home. Also entering the contest are Louisiana, who needs the prize money, and Beverly, who plans to sabotage the event. Enrolled in the same baton-twirling class, the Three Rancheros, as Louisiana names them, have all suffered loss and are working on learning to cope. Slowly learning to trust each other as their stories are revealed, the girls embark on an adventure to rescue a lost cat and end up saving each other. Using simple yet evocative language, DiCamillo builds a well-meaning but distant community around these three children and key adult characters are as fully realized as the children. An extremely satisfying read, this is DiCamillo at the top of her game.
Eva Volin, Alameda Free Library