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Raymie Nightingale

by Kate DiCamillo

Published by Candlewick Press, 2016
272 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8117-3

Ages 8-11

Raymie, 10, is determined to become Little Miss Florida Central Tire so her father, an insurance agent who recently ran off with a dental hygienist, will read about her in the paper and realize his mistake. At baton twirling lessons she meets Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski. This story set in a small Florida town in the 1970s moves quickly while capturing the hot, timeless feel of summer as the three girls form an unlikely, not always easy friendship. Bold, brash, seemingly fearless Beverly; naive, sweet Louisiana; and uncertain Raymie first bond trying to reclaim a library book about Florence Nightingale from the nursing home where Raymie left it in a panic after the resident to whom she was going to read started screaming. Later, the three try to liberate Louisianaís beloved cat, Archie, from the grim shelter where her Grandma took him because they canít afford cat food. (They canít afford human food, either.) In between, the girls discover things about one another and about themselves. It turns out they all are bold and fearless and uncertain and sweet in a tender and funny novel that exposes the hope in their connection. For Raymie, who wants to be special enough to bring her father home, friendship changes nothing, and yet it changes everything.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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