Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

How I Heard About It:  There are some books that I look forward to their release and then there are some novels that I'm over the top excited about the release date.  That was the case with this newest book.  Last weekend while I was in Lawrence, Kansas visiting my son at KU, I stopped by several local bookstores.  I was surprised when I saw a copy of this novel.  It wasn't suppose to be out until Tuesday, but was on the shelf on Saturday.  It was a GOOD day!  

What It Is About:  Raymie's father has just left her and Raymie's mother.  She comes up with plan to enter a local pageant in order to win, get her name in the news, have her father see it, and return home.  When Raymie begins to practice for the pageant she meets Beverly and Louisiana.  Both of these young girls are also entering the contest for their own reasons.  As these three "friends" get to know each other, an adventure in their town awaits them.  Raymie decides to accomplish some good deeds which leads her to the local nursing home.  All three girls have their own reasons for assisting in the good deeds, but ultimately each one wants to become a better person.  

What I Thought Of It:  I started the book right on the streets of Lawrence, Kansas and loved it right from the get-go.  There really isn't a writer quite like Kate DiCamillo.  Her writing style is so wonderful and every word is necessary and beautiful.  The plot was unique, special, and heart-warming.  I not only loved the character of Raymie, but so enjoyed Beverly and Louisiana.  Each of these girls brought such spirit to the story.  There were so many "tweet able" lines throughout the entire book.  I found myself racing through the story because I was loving it so much that I know I will reread it in the near future.  

Who Should Read It:  This is an easy one to answer - everyone should read this masterpiece.  I have signed up for the online broadcast with Kate in May where she will be talking about all things Raymie Nightingale.  Before my class participates in this event, I will share the story with my fourth graders.  It would make for an incredible read aloud in grades four, five, and six.  Adult readers that enjoy middle-grade fiction, have to experience the wonder of this story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5+ STARS out of 5 Stars

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