It is Summer, 1975, in Florida. This is a time before cell phones, social media, and video games. Kids in 1975 have to create their own adventures. They have to seek out their fun. Things are much more IRL.
Our story begins with three girls at their first Baton Twirling lessons. Each girl has her reason for being there: Raymie and Louisiana want to win the "Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest" and Beverly is being forced to attend by her ex-twirler mother.
But there are deeper reasons for why the girls wind up at "Ida Nee's" Baton Twirling Lessons. Raymie wants to win back the affections of the father who walked out on her. Louisiana wants to win prize money to avoid being taken from her Granny and sent to the "County Home." Beverly just wants to "sabotage" the whole thing to spite her mother.
The lessons, however, do not bring about the results the girls had expected. Instead of learning to twirl batons, the girls learn something far more important. They learn about friendship, and self-worth, and empowerment.
Kate DiCamillo is a master of her craft. Her writing is natural, engaging, and seems to grow straight from the roots of the earth. Raymie Nightingale is a powerful story about discovering and nurturing the power within your own soul, and the people who help you along the way.
Ages 10 and up
Review by Mrs. Sanborn
Jaime Sanborn's Book Reviews by Jaime Ann Sanborn, MLIS, SLMS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jfsanborn.blogspot.com.