Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a masterful, moving novel about an unforgettable summer friendship.
In the new book, ten-year-old Raymie Clarke grapples with the realisation that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If she 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, Raymie must force herself far outside of her comfort zone to do good deeds and exhibit a talent for baton twirling. 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.
Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia and moved with her family to Florida when she was five years old. In her twenties, Kate DiCamillo moved to Minnesota. It was this dislocation from her home that inspired Kate to write her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie. An immediate commercial and critical success, Because of Winn-Dixie went on to become a Newbery Honour Book in 2001 and was subsequently made into a film that was released in 2005. But that wasn’t enough for Kate, and she went on to win the Newbery Medal in 2004 for her book The Tale of Despereaux, a story about an unlikely hero. This was followed by another unusual tale with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a story about a china rabbit who learns about love. Kate has also written a series of early chapter-book readers about a lovable pig named Mercy Watson and her fun adventures. Kate lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.