by Kate DiCamillo
published by Candlewick
April 12, 2016
"Raymie's story is entirely made up.
Raymie's story is the absolutely true story of my heart."
These words are in the inside cover of the ARC of Kate DiCamillo's upcoming Raymie Nightingale, publishing April 12.
I hope her letter appears in the published book too. I feel like it's important for readers to know.
When I think of this book, I want to remember:
1. The writing.
Kate uses such wonderful vocabulary. She uses words that I never would think of using, but after reading them, I know no other word would've fit. I love the word 'malevolent', but it's hard to throw it around in conversation. Kate uses it and it seems to be such an easy word to fit in.
Her characters are never verbose (had to throw my own big word in). They say just the right amount, with the perfect vocabulary choice.
2. It's about friendship.
I didn't catch that at first. From all the promos I had ever read about this book, I knew our main character's, Raymie, father had run off with another woman, and Raymie was going to enter a contest to try and woo her father back. And while that event starts the book, it turns into something so much more. But it's quietly, not in your face, done. We meet Louisiana and Beverly right away, but they slowly become the friends that Raymie needs. Kate shows the reader that Raymie needs these friends way before Raymie realizes it. We see how they begin to fit together before Raymie does because she's too intent on figuring out how to get her father back. My heart bled for these girls and I loved to see how their relationship fit together in this wonderful, odd way.
3. It's about your soul.
That feeling inside you that balloons big and wide and then deflates the next minute. I love that the reader gets to learn what Raymie perceives as her soul - the feeling inside that grows and deflates. In the letter at the beginning of the ARC, Kate says she worried about her [own] soul. I think we see inside Kate's soul every time we read her books. I love that she lets us get a glimpse.
For those of you who are getting ready to experience this book for the first time, two pieces of advice. I love the current cover of the book. It's simple. It's eye appealing. But in my opinion the girl depicted appears to be an older tween/young teen. Raymie is 10 years old in the book. I had visualized her as being older and had to constantly remind myself, she's 10, she's 10, she's 10. Start picturing a 10 year old now. I also didn't know this book was going to be about friendship. About how 3 different people can come together and be the friends you need, that you didn't know you needed.
Be sure to check out the trailer:
And you should watch Kate talk about writing this book:
Buzz Feed has a great post about Raymie that I think is one to read.
Find some time to read. This is a book that you want to set aside a good chunk of time to allow yourself to fall into this book. You'll be glad you did.