Book review: Raymie Nightingale, Kate DiCamillo

raymie nightingale

Children’s curious thoughts oftentimes teach a lot of things that adults may find extremely useful when discerning on one’s life purpose. Raymie Nightingale is a children’s book, and I picked it up because it was from the same author who wrote The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the book that Do Min Joon read all the time in My Love From the Star. No, I haven’t read that book yet as I am looking for the hardbound copy and I can’t find one so if you want to give me something for my birthday, it’s on my wishlist.

Raymie Nightingale is set in 1975 in sunny Florida. The story revolves around three young girls who unintentionally became friends – Beverly Tapinski, the girl whose father is in New York City working as a police officer; Louisiana Elefante, an orphan who lives with her grandmother and appears to be always on the run;and Raymie Clarke, whose father left her and her mom for a dental hygienist. They met at a baton twirling class, hoping to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire for different reasons. Tapinski is your resident tough girl, as there is always one in the group. The one who has the solutions, and the one who’d tell you straight to your face your boyfriend is a jackass and you should start seeing someone else but still helps you sneak out at night to meet with the jackass. Louisiana is me, the girl who has a lot of things in her mind and knew how to get them, but doesn’t know how to actually get started. Then Raymie Clarke – the girl who probably knows what she wants but would just go with the flow to avoid conflict but, also and mainly because she has a big heart and just wants to help.

This magnificent prose provoked me to reexamine the things I believed to be true. I might have thought on how the world works at some point, but not in the way it was presented in this book. The things we lost will certainly find their way back to us, in one way or another. Without us running after it, or looking for it. But how long should we wait? And when should we stop waiting? So maybe we should start working for it. Make it our goal. But what if our plans aren’t really supposed to happen, and we end up realizing that we are meant to be doing something else?

I can’t remember what was the last juvenile fiction I’ve read (except Harry Potter if that counts). What I remember is that, they are more fun and entertaining in a deeper sense than most adult books I’ve read. I should have read this when I first got it last year during the NBS sale. But yeah, better late than never, right?

What’s the last book you’ve read?

xo

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