RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE

Kate DiCamillo

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;

more …

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.

less …
  • Candlewick Press
  • Hardcover
  • April 2016
  • 272 Pages
  • 9780763681173

Buy the Book

$16.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Praise

“With its short, vibrant chapters and clear, gentle prose, this triumphant and necessary book conjures the enchantments of childhood without shying away from the fraught realities of abandonment, abuse and neglect.”The New York Times Book Review 

“From start to finish, Raymie feels her soul alternately shrinking and expanding like an indecisive balloon as she and her new entourage navigate the waters of friendship and heartbreak, love and loss, life and death.”Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“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 does it in a way so true that children will understand it in their bones. And that’s why she’s Kate the Great.”Booklist (starred review)

“Once again, DiCamillo demonstrates the power of simple words in a beautiful and wise tale.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fraught with adventure, danger, and a miracle or two, the escapade reveals how love and compassion can overcome even the highest hurdles.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The limited third-person narration gives Raymie her distinctive voice and spot-on pre-adolescent perspective of a young girl trying to make sense of the world around her. Here DiCamillo returns—triumphantly—to her Winn-Dixie roots.”The Horn Book (starred review)

“Poignant, insightful, and ultimately uplifting.”School Library Journal (starred review)

Discussion Questions

1. Raymie recites a nursery rhyme every time she thinks about her father’s leaving (page 3). Why do you think she continues to think of the nursery rhyme? How might a nursery rhyme make her feel better? Why does it anger her mother that Raymie recites the rhyme?

2. Why do you think Raymie calls Mrs. Sylvester when she is feeling down? How does it help Raymie feel better?

3. What “appropriate” book would you bring to read to the elderly if you were volunteering at the Golden Glen?

4. On page 73, Isabelle tells Raymie that “good deeds are pointless.” Do you agree with Isabelle? Why or why not?

5. There are hints throughout Raymie Nightingale about Beverly’s home life, such as the way her mother reacts when she picks up Beverly from baton class (page 34), as well as the bruise under Beverly’s eye (page 80) and her chipped front tooth (page 118). What do these things tell us? How do they help explain the way Beverly acts?

6. Louisiana and her grandmother often steal food in order to have something to eat, but Louisiana says it’s okay because they are stealing to survive. Do you agree or disagree?

7. When the girls are at the Golden Glen, both Beverly and Louisiana do something brave: Beverly holds Alice Nebbley’s hand when Alice asks, and Louisiana lets the yellow bird out of its cage. What do these actions tell you about the two girls’ personalities?

8. How would you describe the tone of Raymie’s voice at the beginning of the book as compared to the end? How does her tone change throughout the story?

9. In addition to Beverly and Louisiana, many characters are part of Raymie’s journey, including Mr. Option, Mrs. Sylvester, Mrs. Borkowski, Mr. Staphopoulos, Isabelle, Martha, Ruthie, Louisiana’s grandmother, Bunny/Buddy, the yellow bird, and the janitor. Which characters do you think affect Raymie the most, and why? Use quotes from the book to back up your reasoning.

10. Kate DiCamillo uses foreshadowing throughout the novel to give hints about the ending of the book — for example, Louisiana saying, “We’ll rescue each other” (page 87), Louisiana thinking Raymie’s last name is Nightingale, and Raymie receiving the light from Mrs. Borkowski in her dream (page 208). Did you catch these hints while you were reading? What was each hint foreshadowing? Why do authors include foreshadowing in their novels?