Kate DiCamillo

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Kate Di Camillo, winner of two Newbery Medals, and author of such popular favorites as “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Bink & Gollie,” “Tale of Despereaux,” has written a new book “Raymie Nightingale.”  Since she is such an old hand at writing you would think that the publication of a new book would be old hat.  But, she stated in a recent interview, “It’s like putting your kid on the bus for the first day of school, and you don’t know what is going to happen.

Part of her apprehension about this book is that it evolved into her most autobiographical book yet.  Raymie Clark is the 10-year-old main character who is taking baton-twirling lessons during the summer of 1975.  Her goal is to become Little Miss Florida Tire. She hopes that this fame will win back her father, who has run off with his dental hygienist.

 

9780763681173_p0_v1_s192x300.jpgWhen DiCamillo was six, she and her mother and brother moved to Florida because of Kate’s medical problems.  Her father who was a dentist was expected to follow the family.  He did not.  “Raymie’s story,” DiCamillo said, “is entirely made up.  Raymie’s story is the absolutely true story of my heart.”

During the course of the book, Raymie and her friends Beverly Tapinski and Louisiana Elefante get into all sorts of crazy adventures, including a night raid on the Very Friendly Animal Center in search of Louisiana’s cat Archie.

Despite the outlandish antics that the girls who called themselves the Three Rancheros get into, DiCamillo feels that their thoughts and words ring true.

“Raymie Nighingale” is suited for readers ages 10 and up.

 

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