Raymie Nightingale by the wonderful Kate DiCamillo

Raymie is a young girl whose life has been turned upside down by her father leaving her and her mother to go off and find happiness with a dental hygienist. Raymie is bereft and becomes obsessed with the idea that she can make her father come back by doing something wonderful, getting her photo into the paper and making him proud.

Her strategy is to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition by dazzling the judges with her baton twirling skills. Problem: she isn’t very good at baton twirling, but lessons with Miss Ida Lee, baton twirling champion will hopefully fix that. Her old friend Beverley and a new friend Louisiana are also learning to baton twirl an Raymie starts to suspect that Louisiana’s need for the prize money might be greater than her own.

Raymie is a sweet and gentle character so it’s hard to watch her disappointment when things don’t go to plan. Beverley and Louisiana have their difficulties as well, but they all find that when things aren’t quite how you want them, friends can help you feel better, not happier maybe, but better.

Another charmer with humour and heart. Kate DiCamillo is a treasure. Suitable for 10 and up.

Raymie Nightingale is a lovely small hardback for $20.

1457656550138

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