Raymie NightingaleBook - 2016
From the critics
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Louisiana smiled a very big smiled and opened her arms wide, and Raymie walked toward her, stepping on both white and green tiles (even though someone told her stepping on the white ones was bad luck.) She didn't care anymore. She stepped on all the tiles because bad things happened all the time, no matter what color tile you stepped on.
"You never know what's going to happen next. It keeps you on your toes.”
“It was the strangest thing, how happiness came out of nowhere and inflated your soul.”
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Three girls each has a unique reason (and secrets of their own story) in why they want to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, but in the end, their friendship teaches them much more valuable things than winning a contest.
Raymie’s actual surname isn’t “Nightingale”. It’s “Clarke”. However, like Florence Nightingale, she manages to accomplish some very big “good deeds” in this book – including saving a life.
Raymie’s father has recently left town with a dental hygienist. Raymie’s mother is in shock. Raymie wants her father back home, and her response is to come up with a far-fetched plan. If she can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition, her father will surely see her picture in the newspaper, recognize that he has a very talented daughter, and promptly return home.
Does life ever go according to plan?
As the competition draws nearer, Raymie forms an unlikely friendship with two other competitors: Louisiana (an orphan who lives in poverty with her grandmother) and Beverly, whose father left home some years ago.
Soon each girl is challenged to come to the rescue of someone in an unexpected way. And each will rise to the challenge with help from their new friends.
Life is full of the unexpected, and it is this fact that author Kate DiCamillo has highlighted so well in this gentle, middle-grade novel. As Louisiana’s grandmother says, “It’s important to be on your toes because you just never know what might happen next in this world.”
Inspired by the author’s own childhood (in a single-parent family, in small-town Florida), Raymie Nightingale explores some very large, fundamental universal truths about life. The plot is not fast-paced, nor is it meant to be (in fact this is part of its charm), but the characters (some of them quite quirky) are endearing, and the fittingly unanticipated ending will make readers smile.
** Recommended for ages 9 years and up.
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