ages 10 and up
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.
Read the Reviews
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)
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