Kate DiCamillo is famous. Everyone in the children’s book world knows her. And if they don’t, they should. In 2001 her book, Because of Winn Dixie was a Newbery Honor winner and was then made into a movie in 2005. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery in 2004 and was subsequently made into a movie in 2008. (Note to author’s everywhere, it apparently takes 4 years for books to be made into movies.) In 2014 she won the Newbery again for Flora & Ulysses and was the Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. From what I can tell, this book is not being made into a movie and I’m not shocked. If you read that my review of that book you’ll know that I didn’t really like it. I said, “Not my favorite of Ms DiCamillo. Cute but weird. Quirky. Almost stopped reading it after a bit.”
This review will be fairly similar. It was not my favorite. Let me tell you what my favorite is so you know that I do actually have a favorite. It’s not like I just hate on everything DiCamillo has written. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is my favorite (2006). In fact, I may re-read it just to convince myself that I do actually like Kate DiCamillo’s books.
Moving on, Raymie Nightingale. I would put this book in the middle grade section. I would suggest age 10+. She writes with easy to read sentences and quick plot lines for each chapter. Saving a cat, learning baton, sneaking out at night. Some of the topics of contention for younger kids might be the euthanization of pets, parents who run off with other people that are not their spouse and parents that abuse their kids. What what? Ok so I’ll stop blabbering. My Goodreads review was rather abrupt and to the point.
“Kate DiCamillo has become a serious weirdo with her last two books. The squirrel one especially. This one is at least sort of normal.”