Reader Reviewed Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale

Written by Kate DiCamillo

9+ readers   11+ readers   Summer Reading   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Some momentous things happen in the course of this book: a father leaves, buildings are burgled, a cat is lost and found, hearts are broken, good deeds attempted, and someone is saved from drowning. More affecting than all of that however, is the friendship formed between three girls, and the anxieties soothed as a result. In the hope of becoming Little Miss Central Florida Tyre, Raymie is having baton-twirling lessons with the fearsome Ida Nee. There she meets Louisiana, orphaned daughter of high wire stars the Flying Elefantes, and Beverly Tapinski, gruff, stubborn and fearless. Together they become the Three Rancheros, and as such their worlds are changed. DiCamillo lets readers see through Raymie’s eyes, live through the summer with her and it’s an unforgettable experience. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Jasmine Harris-Hart - 'A wonderful story about friendships between three girls and how they helped each other throughout their ups and downs.'
  • Zoe Basson, age 8 - 'Raymie Nightingale is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.'
  • Joshua Zinkin, age 11 - 'It's a clever friendship story that raises questions, is very enjoyable and makes you laugh, despite being sad in places. Perfect for the age group and easy to read.'


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

In her seventh novel, international bestselling author and twice winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal Kate DiCamillo tells a masterful story that blends pathos and humour.

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 has run away 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, but she has to compete with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante with her 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 them to come to each other's rescue in unexpected ways.

For fans of Jacqueline Wilson, David Almond and Katherine Rundell.


“As wise and tough and funny as it is beautiful; this book is a reminder that courage comes in many different forms. I loved it.” Katherine Rundell

"A touching story about love and loss." Jacqueline Wilson

About the Author

Kate DiCamillo

As a child

Kate was often ill as a child. She says, “You name it, I got it. Pneumonia, impetigo, pink eye, scarlet fever, mumps, measles, chicken pox. And because I got it, I missed a lot of school and spent a lot of time at home by myself. I am grateful for all that illness. Because I was alone for so much of the day, I learnt to entertain myself. I lived in my imagination. And I lived in books. For a writer, it was an excellent beginning.”

As an adult

Kate studied English at the University of Florida, and then worked on a whole series of very different jobs. She says, “I worked at Walt Disney World (telling people to watch their step), I sold tickets at Circus World (I did not have to dress like a clown), I called bingo at a campground, and grew plants in a greenhouse. I cleaned bathrooms (I wasn’t very good at it) and sold advertising (I was even worse at that).” But all the while Kate she knew that what she really wanted to do was write.

As an artist

When Kate was almost thirty years old, she had what she calls “a small epiphany: if I wanted to tell stories, I was going to have to do the hard work of sitting down and writing them. I started to write. For six years I wrote and wrote and wrote. And most of what I wrote was bad. But here is the beautiful thing about doing something every day; you are bound to get better. And this is true, even for someone as dense as me.” When Kate was thirty-five years old, she sold her first short story, This is Me, Lona Bretweiser, Leaving the Amusement Park of Love. That same year, she sold her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie. “Now,” Kate says, “I feel as if I have been extraordinarily blessed; I tell stories for a living.” Kate's The Tale of Despereaux won the prestigious Newbery Medal in 2004.

Things you didn't know about Kate DiCamillo

She doesn’t know how to cook. She refuses to learn how to cook. She loves to eat. She is an aunt to a dog named Henry. He is not a good dog. She is a neat freak. Her favourite movie is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. She wanted to be a vet when she grew up. She has never grown up. She used to dress up her poodle, Nanette, as a disco dancer. When unobserved, she likes to dress the aforementioned Henry up in strange outfits.

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Kate DiCamillo
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

12th April 2016




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