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Raymie Nightingale

(Three Rancheros #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  17,890 ratings  ·  2,943 reviews
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 t ...more
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Candlewick Press
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Amy (Spoilers)
I had the same question. Here are the answers I came up with. I don't know if any of them are what the author had in mind. I could be overan…more
I had the same question. Here are the answers I came up with. I don't know if any of them are what the author had in mind. I could be overanalyzing.
A. This novel is a quest story, which often includes supernatural elements.
B. Cats have 9 lives, and Archie wasn't on his last one yet.
C. Resurrection imagery-- Louisiana's parents can't come back from the dead, but Louisiana was brought back from drowning, and the cat returned from an assumed death.
D. A symbol of hope to a girl who desperately needed it after losing everyone except her grandmother. In journey stories, characters often receive a gift after they have returned from the abyss. Louisiana went into both the dark room in Building 10 (described as "cavernous") and into the pond. (less)
Jenn Leishman The copy of the book I have had an expert for a sort of sequel in the back. It's going to be coming Fall 2018, and is going to be based around Louisia…moreThe copy of the book I have had an expert for a sort of sequel in the back. It's going to be coming Fall 2018, and is going to be based around Louisiana. I'm not sure if it will be after this book took place, or before, sort of Louisiana's back story.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  17,890 ratings  ·  2,943 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, childrens
I thought this book was wonderful.

I don't read a lot of middle grade these days. I have my childhood favourites that will always hold a special place in my heart, but I rarely seek out new ones. It's hard for me to engage with most juvenile writing styles and I often find them too simplistic. But Raymie Nightingale was warm, sad, subtle loveliness.

The story is indeed very simple, but that is its strength. It's a quiet, whimsical tale of three girls in 1975. There's our protagonist - Raymie - wh
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raymie Nightingale is a story about a friendship between three girls, beginning with Raymie Clarke who’s father has recently left home with another woman. She struggles to find ways to bring him back home and settles on the idea to win the Miss Central Florida Tire Competition. If she can only win and get her picture in the paper, maybe her father will see it and finally come back home. While attending a class to learn baton, she meets two interesting girls: Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapins ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dear Ms. diCamillo,

As a girl who clipped my grandma's toenails and biked, weekly, terrified, to Southport Manor Nursing Home to volunteer as Cheerful Board Games Assistant, as a girl with the weight of my sorrowful, lonely soul blowing around inside me night and day-- as I believe it still does, fifty years on -- I thank you for Raymie Nightingale. I thank you for Beverly, and for Louisiana, friends one could only dream of. Friends I now have had the privilege to meet.

Thankyou, dear wonderful wr
My 12-year-old demanded five stars for this one.

(I told the girls that they could rate all of our middle grades reads—they're the intended audience, after all).

Still, I scrunched up my face in protest.

“Five stars, Mom!”

I rolled my eyes. “It was too stagey. Screamed 'I want a movie deal!' It was not as good as The Tiger Rising or Because of Winn Dixie, and you know it.”

My daughter stared me down. “You said I get to rate them.”

We circled each other, not losing sight of each other's faces.

“Five st
I have a feeling this will be one of those books that will grow in fondness the more that time passes, but as of right now, I'm feeling kind of "meh" about it. I liked the characters of Raymie, Beverly, and Louisiana, but something in the story felt lacking to me. ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Y’all might as well just leave this space and go read Alissa’s review because she’s the only reason I even heard of Raymie Nightingale in the first place. I don’t read a lot of middle-grade stuff – mainly because my kids have pretty much outgrown it – so I have no clue how to find the good ones. That’s what Goodreads is for! The story here is of three little girls who meet at baton twirling lessons they are taking in order to compete i
Panda Incognito
I'm glad I read this book, not because I liked it or learned anything, but because it vindicates my childhood dislike of juvenile "literary" novels. An odd jumble of ideas barely grounded in reality, this book attempts to be poetic and meaningful but twists in on itself to become a vague, pointless mess. I have enjoyed Kate DiCamillo's work in the past and respect her as an author, but this book was too vague and strange to satisfy me.

The characters had potential, but there was hardly any plot d
My relationship to Kate DiCamillo’s books is one built entirely on meaning. Which is to say, the less emotional and meaningful they are, the better I like ‘em. Spaghetti loving horses and girls that live in tree houses? Right up my alley! China rabbits and mice with excessive earlobes? Not my cup of tea. It’s good as a reviewer to know your own shortcomings and I just sort of figured that I’d avoid DiCamillo books when they looked deep and insightful. And when the cover forRaymie Nightingale was ...more
”Did her father think about her?
“What if he had already forgotten her?”

Raymie has a plan to get her father to come home. She decides to enter the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest, and when she wins her picture will appear in the paper and her father will suddenly realize how important his family is to him, leave the dental hygienist he’s run off with, and come home.

Also on a quest to win the same glorious contest are Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinksi, but only Louisiana comes from
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

A cute little middle grade book about three unlikely friends and all the shenanigans they get into together.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
I don't know what's happening here. Everyone LOVES this book, but I do not. "Shari Frost Roth Does Not Love Raymie Nightingale." It is really sad, in spite of the ending. Three girls from broken homes who are hurting and dealing with real problems like hunger and child abuse find each other one summer. There are some loose ends such as the janitor at the nursing home and the canary. I found the repetition tedious and annoying. Writer's craft? RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE is on everyone's short list for th ...more
Destinee Sutton
I know this is going to be a minority opinion, but I found this a little boring. My expectations were really high, so I was surprised it took me so long to read. I didn't feel a lot of motivation to go back to it when I put it down. Maybe because there wasn't much of a plot and the whole thing felt pretty bleak. I felt really bad for Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly. Each girl is deeply troubled by her family situation and each is dealing with it in her own way (Raymie trying to win the pageant to ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
I read a Kindle edition e-book borrowed from my public library.

This *might* have been a hit with me when I was 8 or 7.

I was surprised that Raymie was 10. The book seems “younger” and the sort I’d have read at age 8, maybe 7 or 9, on my own. Not older. For my taste right now it was too naïve and too simple a story.

I like that this is about three girls, told from the viewpoint of Raymie, and it looks as though there are two companion books/sequels from the points of view of Louisiana and of Bever
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Girls at the age of 10
What do you do when your father has run off with a dental hygienst? You try to get into the newspaper.

At least, that is Raymie’s plan. If she wins the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest, her father must realise what he’s missing and come home.
Only problem – or, actually two – is that one: she needs to twirl a baton to win (and she doesn’t know how), and two: Raymie isn’t the only one competing.

Together with circus-child Lousiana Elefante and tough Beverly Tapinksi, we follow Raymie as sh
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I'm not crying, you're crying ...more
Monica Edinger
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not to worry --- no spoilers here. Just an excerpt from this blog post of mine, giving a sense of what is in store.

In Raymie Nightingale out this April, this uniquely talented writer has returned to her roots, to the Florida of her childhood, centering on an imagined small town that feels just down the road from the one in Because of Winn-Dixie It is the summer of 1975 and Raymie Clarke’s father is gone, run off with a dental hygienist. Now Raymie is at Ida Nee’s to learn how to twirl a baton s
Liza Fireman
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Kate DiCamillo. I would have never imagine that I would claim that a book of hers is plain boring, but I guess there is a first time for everything. This one was a real disappointment for me.

The plot was the main thing that was lacking. Each one of the girls (Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly) had something going on in their lives, coming from a broken home. With Raymie, the main character, trying to get her father's attention, and hopefully her father back. The book was very conf
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Usually I'm a sucker for a sweet and heartwarming middle grade novel, but unfortunately, "Raymie Nightingale" by Kate DiCamillo left me feeling frustrated more than anything. I really liked Raymie, (she's such a sensitive but highly misguided child) but the problem I had was the writing. I found it very repetitive. Every previous chapter was rehashed and explained more than it needed to be. Also, this novel felt very foolish and condescending. I didn't find Raymie's new baton-twirling friends, L ...more
Alissa Patrick
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so stinking cute. In a weird way. If you liked the movie Little Miss Sunshine, you would like this.

It's about 3 girls who are taking baton twirling lessons in order to compete in the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition in 1975. The girls are so completely different- Raymie is just in the contest hoping to win so that she can get her picture in the paper- hoping her father , who left her and her mom for a dental hygienist, will see it and decide to come home. Louisiana (my
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How does she DO that??? Those three girls are going to stay with me a long time.
Linda Hart
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
cute story, easy read, with a few very good morals to the story.
Schizanthus Nerd
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Have you ever in your life come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on you?”
Raymie is learning how to twirl a baton. If she can master that, then surely she’ll be crowned Little Miss Central Florida Tire 1975. Then her father will see her photograph in the newspaper and come back home. See, he ran off with Lee Ann, the dental hygienist, two days ago.

Louisiana also plans to win the contest. Beverly plans to sabotage it. These three unlikely friends meet during one of Id
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, middle-grade
I was given this as a gift at a school I spoke at recently, because it was the librarian's favorite book from 2016, and I have to say: I can see why! (Also, giving a book to an author is a GREAT IDEA. We LOVE books! She also gave me chocolates! Another great idea!)

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE is what I think of as "classic DiCamillo." It reminded me very much of THE TIGER RISING or BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. A simple story, packed with complex characters, told with clarity. A bit sad, a bit funny, a bit happy
Barb Middleton
This is my first pick of a Newbery contender book for 2017. Kate DiCamillo's crafting of stories is brilliant and this one will not disappoint fans. Here is a tale where each reader will take away different meanings from themes, symbols, and motifs. This is more fairy tale than anything else with its terse chapters and familiar tropes, but it is also a mixture of historical fiction and adventure; a story that shows how the female characters (both young and old) suffer and are wounded from loss, ...more
La Coccinelle
I guess it had to happen sometime: I read a book by Kate DiCamillo that I didn't absolutely love.

Now, there's nothing wrong with this book, per se. It just didn't click with me. Part of that may be to do with the fact that what's in the book doesn't really match the synopsis. I thought this would be a story about three girls competing in a contest. It's actually not. That's how it starts out, and the contest provides the context in which the girls meet, but the actual plot revolves around rescui
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I love everything Kate Dicamilo writes. Raymie is a young girl and she got it in her head that if she wins the little Ms Central Florida contest her Dad would come home. He ran away with a dental hygienist and abandoned the family. Poor little Raymie learns that sometimes things happen and they just don't make sense. I love this sweet novel for kids and adults. ...more
Jillian Heise
Oh, my heart. I just want to give Raymie and her friends a hug.
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Meh. Despite the hype, it didn't move me and I'm a KD fan. Some very nice sentences to be sure, but It seemed a little quirky for quirky's sake. The three main characters felt like adult archetypes wrought small. I kept thinking Raymie=Carrie, Beverly=Miranda, Louisiana=Charlotte. ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. Too implausible and yet also, somehow, too predictable. Formulaic, commercial. I didn't feel like I understood any of the characters... or is that because they're all cardboard icons? Hey, but I'm not the audience; I didn't like Winn-Dixie either. ...more
Middle Grade March. RTC.
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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After

Other books in the series

Three Rancheros (3 books)
  • Louisiana's Way Home
  • Beverly, Right Here

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