- First edition
- Physical Description
- 263 pages ; 20 cm
- Main Author
*Starred Review* As 10-year-old Raymie tells it, the only way to bring back her father, who has run away with a dental hygienist, is to become 1975's Little Miss Central Florida Tire. Surely when he sees her photo in the newspaper, he will come home. But first Raymie must learn to twirl a baton, which is how she comes to be at a twirling lesson flanked by world-weary, subversive Beverly Tapinski and fabulist Louisiana Elefante, a girl stronger than her penchant for fainting would make her seem. DiCamillo's terse third-person narrative chronicles the everyday agonies of her characters, which include testy old women, a comforting insurance clerk, a swim coach with the secret of life, and two indomitable animals: one dog, one cat. Leaving behind the more fantastical surroundings she brought to The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and The Magician's Elephant (2009), DiCamillo returns to her southern roots and, in some ways, to her own story (albeit a perhaps more adventurous version), as the girls somehow figure out how to save the world—or at least their own. 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 she does it in a way so true that children will understand it in their bones. And that's why she is Kate the Great. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Books by the two-time Newbery medalist and former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature are always publishing events, and this will be no exception. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLCReview by School Library Journal Reviews
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 [Page 127]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 4–7—Hoping to attract the attention of her father, who has left home, and her mother, a young girl takes up twirling. While the baton lessons go south immediately, Raymie befriends two similarly vulnerable, lonely kids confronting their own family issues and who, like her, are trying to make sense of a sometimes bewildering world. Filled with heart and hope, DiCamillo's latest masterpiece is populated with characters whom readers won't soon forget.. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.
Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds while outmaneuvering a drama queen and a saboteur who become her unlikely friends and allies during a painful challenge. By the Newbery Medal-winning author of The Tale of Despereaux. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 2
A 2016 National Book Award Finalist!As featured on The Today Show’s Read with Jenna Jr. Book ClubTwo-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.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.Review by Publisher Summary 3
A 2016 National Book Award Finalist!Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.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.