Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale

4.0 2
by Kate DiCamillo
     
 

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Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the

Overview

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

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.

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
4/7/2016
We read for lots of reasons. We read to laugh, to cope with life, to learn, to be inspired; even to be frightened. Some books fall into our hands, are read and enjoyed, but then put away. They're like literary treats—sweet, delightful, but fleeting in our memories. And then there are the other books. The ones that remain in our minds and on our hearts long after we turn the final page.Raymie Nightingale is that kind of book. Written by two-time Newbery Medalist, and former Ambassador for Young People's Literature Kate DiCamillo, this book is a gem. Read More
The New York Times Book Review - Amber Dermont
With its short, vibrant chapters and clear, gentle prose, this triumphant and necessary book conjures the enchantments of childhood without shying away from the fraught realities of abandonment, abuse and neglect…DiCamillo uses her light touch and boundless humor to deliver the difficult news that adults are fallible and that children must learn to develop an unwavering sense of self-reliance and self-acceptance. Summoning the wit of Flannery O'Connor and the sweet melancholy of John Prine, she elegantly connects her characters' wild actions to their roiling emotions. She writes with compassion and grace about both childhood traumas and adult transgressions…Twirling a baton requires flair and confidence, in addition to an understanding that the baton is always balanced just a tiny bit off-center. There is something wonderfully off-balance, too, about DiCamillo's storytelling. It allows her characters to sparkle and soar. DiCamillo has called this novel, based partly on her own fatherless Florida childhood, "the absolutely true story of my heart." What a beautiful and generous heart it is.
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/18/2016
Set in 1975, this tender novel shows how even when life seems out of one’s control—people die, parents disappoint—persistence and belief pay off. The story is told from the perspective of Raymie Clarke, whose father has just run off with a dental hygienist. Raymie, however, has a plan to bring him back: she will win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest, get her picture in the paper, and her father will come running home. The plan inspires her to take a baton-twirling class, where she meets Beverly Tapinski—a girl with a chip on her shoulder, who vows to sabotage the contest—and ingenuous Louisiana Elefante, an orphan who claims to be the daughter of the famous Flying Elefantes. With extraordinary skill, two-time Newbery Medalist DiCamillo traces the girls’ growing trust in each other while using understated confessionals and subtly expressed yearnings to show how tragedies have affected each of them. The book culminates with a daring cat-rescue mission: fraught with adventure, danger, and a miracle or two, the escapade reveals how love and compassion can overcome even the highest hurdles. Ages 10–up. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
With its short, vibrant chapters and clear, gentle prose, this triumphant and necessary book conjures the enchantments of childhood without shying away from the fraught realities of abandonment, abuse and neglect…Twirling a baton requires flair and confidence, in addition to an understanding that the baton is always balanced just a tiny bit off-center. There is something wonderfully off-balance, too, about ¬DiCamillo’s storytelling. It allows her characters to sparkle and soar. DiCamillo has called this novel, based partly on her own fatherless Florida childhood, "the absolutely true story of my heart." What a beautiful and generous heart it is.
—The New York Times Book Review

As in her previous award-winning books, DiCamillo once again shows that life’s underlying sadnesses can also be studded with hope and humor, and does it in a way so true that children will understand it in their bones. And that’s why she’s Kate the Great.
—Booklist (starred review)

DiCamillo's third-person narrative is written in simple words, few exceeding three syllables, yet somehow such modest prose carries the weight of deep meditations on life, death, the soul, friendship, and the meaning of life without ever seeming heavy, and there's even a miracle to boot. Readers will approach the tense and dramatic conclusion and realize how much each word matters. Raymie may not find answers to why the world exists or how the world works, but she can hold onto friends and begin to see more clearly the world as it is...Once again, DiCamillo demonstrates the power of simple words in a beautiful and wise tale.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

With extraordinary skill, two-time Newbery Medalist DiCamillo traces the girls’ growing trust in each other while using understated confessionals and subtly expressed yearnings to show how tragedies have affected each of them. The book culminates with a daring cat-rescue mission: fraught with adventure, danger, and a miracle or two, the escapade reveals how love and compassion can overcome even the highest hurdles.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The girls don’t form an immediate bond, but their initial association of convenience eventually turns into a friendship of understanding and fierce loyalty. After christening the trio the Three Rancheros, Louisiana delivers these prescient words: "We’ll rescue each other." And in a beautifully layered set of adventures, they do. The limited third-person narration gives Raymie her distinctive voice and spot-on pre-adolescent perspective of a young girl trying to make sense of the world around her. Here DiCamillo returns—triumphantly—to her Winn-Dixie roots.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

In short, precisely crafted chapters, DiCamillo once again demonstrates her ability to create unique characters that touch readers’ hearts. Raymie, in particular, is observant, thoughtful, and sensitive as she struggles to make sense of the world around her. Her story unfolds in uncomplicated prose, even as the themes explored are complex. Surrounded by the fully realized Louisiana and Beverly, not to mention the adults in her town, Raymie searches for meaning, a search that will resonate with readers. Poignant, insightful, and ultimately uplifting.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

From start to finish, Raymie feels her soul alternately shrinking and expanding like an indecisive balloon as she and her new entourage navigate the waters of friendship and heartbreak, love and loss, life and death. Most of the characters in this fine, funny, meticulously crafted novel live life "wishing for things that are gone," but there's certainly no chance that Raymie's lovely and large soul will ever completely shrivel with a "Phhhhtttt."
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Although this story is fictional, DiCamillo describes it as the true story of her heart...DiCamillo does a wonderful job of allowing readers into the depths of Raymie’s feelings and even into her soul. By the end of the book, readers feel like Raymie, Beverly, and Louisiana are true and lasting friends of their own. It is truly a heart-filled and heartfelt book.
—VOYA

Fans will recognize DiCamillo's unique wry voice as it gives readers vivid images, dizzying ideas, humor, heart-wrenching emotions, and gorgeous, gorgeous language. You all have something to look forward to this April, I promise.
—Huffington Post

DiCamillo writes with her usual easygoing delicacy; the portray- als of the girls are swift, telling, and gentle, with elliptical hints at Beverly’s and especially Louisiana’s homelife challenges (lack of money clearly limits Louisiana’s diet)...While DiCamillo fans will certainly enjoy reading this on their own, it’s also excellent classroom material, encouraging kids to stretch their decoding—and also to realize that even if you don’t get the outcome you want, it’s still possible to find closure.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

It’s an inspired choice, for surely this coming-of-age story is a fairy tale for our times. The young damsels in distress test their courage and rescue one another; and the book closes not with a conventional "happily ever after" but with a shared vision of the world as vast and yet intimately connected.
—Washington Post

DiCamillo, who has just ended her tenure as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, understands that children can handle the tough stuff in fiction–after all, they have to handle problems like divorce, grief, abuse and poverty in real life. And a book like this can help. As Raymie’s neighbor told her before dying, "If you were in a hole that was deep enough and if it was daylight and you looked up at the sky from the very deep hole, you could see stars even though it was the middle of the day." For children looking up from their own deep holes, the Three Rancheros could be those stars.
—TIME Magazine

Kate DiCamillo seems always to write with an understanding heart and a gentle archness of tone...As the summer progresses, the girls find poignant points of commonality and a surprising comradeship in this wistful, tender, funny novel for readers ages 10 and older.
—The Wall Street Journal

Raymie Nightingale is filled with humor, poignancy, and life-sized lessons. It is predictably unpredictable: a hallmark of DiCamillo’s brilliant writing.
—New York Journal of Books

…though this book is awash in personal tragedies, it’s not a downer. It’s tightly written and full of droll lines and, yes I admit it. It’s meaningful. But the meaning you cull from this book is going to be different for every single reader. Whip smart and infinitely readable, this is DiCamillo at her best.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)

"Raymie" is fast and fleet — a crystalline ode to childhood friendship that shines as brightly as anything that DiCamillo has written.
—Chicago Tribune

DiCamillo...wryly captures the adventure and confusion of childhood with a gut-wrenching lack of sentimentality and a razor-sharp wit.
—Star Tribune

Kate DiCamillo shines once again with her latest somewhat autobiographical children’s novel...Their adventures are fraught with conflict and humor, as they try to do good deeds, rescue animals, and even participate in some breaking and entering. Through their zany antics they realize some things are more important than winning a contest, and Raymie discovers happiness and friendship can exist despite unpleasant realities of life.
—School Library Connection

Kate DiCamillo is the author whose books I anticipate with the most delight. I read them over and over. In simple but elegant prose, with grace and great humor, she writes truthfully about the human experience but always with hope. Raymie Nightingale is beautiful, a celebration of life, as are all her books.
—Dean Koontz, bestselling author

Newbery winner DiCamillo at her best.
—People

"Modest" and "tour de force" don’t usually go together, but they perfectly describe this quirky but melancholy coming-of-age novel.
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Raymie Nightingale" is striking for its portrait of 10-year-old Raymie Clarke, who hopes to win the contest and push her father, who has abandoned the family, to come home.
—Orlando Sentinel

While Raymie Nightingale is written for a middle-grade audience, it is a moving novel that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
—Providence Journal

It is an expertly layered and beautifully crafted story with not a wasted word or moment. The characters are living, breathing humans in whose struggles the reader becomes invested. And it’s a novel that shimmers with hope at its close, even if that absent father never actually pulls through.
—Kirkus Reviews (blog)

Readers will once again be treated with a novel that is rich and important on multiple levels by the exceptional writer Kate DiCamillo.
—Books to Borrow...Books to Buy (Kendal A. Rautzhan column)

Everyone should read Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. It’s a classic tale of friendship, which we can all relate to.
—On Our Minds (Scholastic blog)

DiCamillo's original, loveable characters bring with them a hint of magic and an abundance of humanity and humor.
—News-Gazette

Two-time Newbery Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo has crafted a unique and deeply appealing character in Raymie, and young readers will love watching her finally find a degree of peace.
—A Mighty Girl (blog)

Kate DiCamillo featured promoting summer reading
—Panorama Magazine

VOYA, April 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 1) - Dawn Talbott
Raymie Clarke’s father left. He ran away with a dental hygienist, leaving Raymie and her mother behind. Raymie is convinced that if she wins the Little Miss Central Florida Tire 1975 pageant, her dad will see her picture in the paper and will come back home. It is a lot of weight for one small pair of shoulders. It is a good thing two little girls that Raymie just met will become friends to help her carry this burden and make her feel lighter. Although this story is fictional, DiCamillo describes it as the true story of her heart. As with other work by DiCamillo, it is a bit challenging to keep everything straight at first because the action moves around from place to place quickly. However, once readers begin to know Raymie, they will start to understand her deep pain and the struggle she is fighting within herself to make sense of her world. The chapters in this selection are short, which makes it a great choice for readers who do not have a lot of stamina. DiCamillo does a wonderful job of allowing readers into the depths of Raymie’s feelings and even into her soul. By the end of the book, readers feel like Raymie, Beverly, and Louisiana are true and lasting friends of their own. It is truly a heart-filled and heartfelt book. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 03/01/2016
Gr 4–7—Raymie Clarke has a plan. Her father has run off with a dental hygienist without a word, but Raymie is certain that if she wins the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, her father will see her picture in the newspaper and return. To this end, she begins baton-twirling classes with two other girls, Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski. Both girls have their own reasons for entering the competition: Louisiana needs the prize money, and Beverly wants to sabotage the event. While they never actually learn to twirl, the classes are nevertheless invaluable because of the unlikely friendship the girls form. All three have lost people close to them, and each girl deals with her loss in different ways. With each small adventure, whether it's finding a lost book or rescuing a beloved pet, their friendship grows into an undeniable bond. In short, precisely crafted chapters, DiCamillo once again demonstrates her ability to create unique characters that touch readers' hearts. Raymie, in particular, is observant, thoughtful, and sensitive as she struggles to make sense of the world around her. Her story unfolds in uncomplicated prose, even as the themes explored are complex. Surrounded by the fully realized Louisiana and Beverly, not to mention the adults in her town, Raymie searches for meaning, a search that will resonate with readers. VERDICT Poignant, insightful, and ultimately uplifting.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-01-15
Ten-year-old Raymie Clarke of Lister, Florida, has a plan to get her father to come back home. Raymie feels "alone, lost, cast adrift." Her father has run off with a dental hygienist. She is determined to learn how to twirl a baton, win the title of Miss Central Florida Tire 1975, and get her photograph in the newspaper. Her father will see it and be so proud that he'll return home to be with her. Raymie and her quirky new friends, Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski, have all lost parents and seek ways to move on with their lives and to protect one another along the way. DiCamillo's third-person narrative is written in simple words, few exceeding three syllables, yet somehow such modest prose carries the weight of deep meditations on life, death, the soul, friendship, and the meaning of life without ever seeming heavy, and there's even a miracle to boot. Readers will approach the tense and dramatic conclusion and realize how much each word matters. Raymie may not find answers to why the world exists or how the world works, but she can hold onto friends and begin to see more clearly the world as it is. Raymie's small town is populated by quirky, largely white residents, many of them elderly, all distinct characters in their own rights. Once again, DiCamillo demonstrates the power of simple words in a beautiful and wise tale. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763681173
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
04/12/2016
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
7,347
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
March 25, 1964
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A. in English, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1987

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Raymie Nightingale 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
WhisperingStories 9 months ago
June 1975 was a period in Raymie Clark’s life she would never forget. This was the year her father ran away with dental hygienist Lee Ann Dickerson, and the year she made two friends for life. Raymie had come up with a plan to bring her father back home. She would enter the ‘Little Miss Central Florida Tire’ competition, as a baton twirler. She would win the competition and get her picture in the paper. Her father would see her and declare “I must return home immediately. Everything has changed. My daughter is famous now”. Then her family would be back together again. There was one tiny problem with her plan. She didn’t know how to twirl a baton. So she went to Ida Nee’s baton twirling class, where she met her two new best friends, ‘swampy lungs’ the ever-fainting Louisiana Elefante, the daughter of the famous ‘Flying Elephante’s’ and tough-cookie Beverley Tapinski, who didn’t want to win the competition, she wanted to sabotage it. Raymie Nightingale is a beautiful story of loss, hurt, betrayal, love, fun and ever-lasting friendship. Kate DiCamillo has written some peculiar, yet outstanding characters into her book. From Mrs Borkowski, with her ever-wise words that she gives Raymie, in exchange for having her toenails cut, along with some sweets, to Mrs Sylvester, her father’s secretary, who Raymie rings up often just for reassurance, and her large jar of popcorn she has on her desk. The three girls together, or the ‘Three Ranchero’s’ as Louisiana called them, were inseparable from day one. They were each complex, and you wouldn’t have thought three uniquely different girls would bond like they did. Louisiana lived with her eccentric grandmother, in a house with no furniture. She reminded me a lot of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books, as she lived in her own little bubble. She wore bunny clips in her hair and according to her, she was ‘filled up with feathers and regrets. And fears. Lots of fears.’ Beverley Tapinkski was a force to be reckoned with. She carried a knife, a knife she was going to use to sabotage the contest. Her father was a policeman and she was learning how to pick a lock. She was also very, very secretive. Raymie was a problem solver, well she liked to think of herself as one. She often flexed her toes to isolate her objectives and clear her mind, just like her lifesaving coach had taught her. She was also a lonely young girl until she met her new friends and her heart swelled up. The three girls need one another to try to bring some normality to their lives, and this is the reason I feel that they get on so well. They each have lots of personal problems, yet when they are together, their problems melt away and they can enjoy themselves. The book is full of well-placed phrases that show the author’s philosophical nature, and put the lives of the characters fully on show for us to completely understand and connect with. Such a perfect, easy-going book that has the reader submerged into the lives of three young girls, and the summer of 1975.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I think this book is a little confusing ar first. I like the book, and the detials in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago