Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo
Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale

Candlewick Press, 2016
ages 10 and up
ISBN 978-0-7636-8117-3

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.

Awards and Honors

  • ALSC Summer Reading List
  • ALSC Notable Children’s Book
  • Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • Children’s Book Council Reading Beyond Booklist
  • Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices Book List
  • ILA/CBC Children’s Choice
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle, Junior
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • Massachusetts Children’s Book Award
  • National Book Award finalist
  • NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • NCTE Notable Children’s Books, Language Arts
  • Parents’ Choice Award
  • Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • Southern Book Prize
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association Just One More Page List

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)

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)