A huge thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers for hosting us for the kidlit version of #IMWAYR!!
I read several books this week, but I loved one book so very much, I am going to devote this week's entire #IMWAYR post to that book.
So, Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo... LOVED it!!! Unlike some DiCamillo fans, I have really liked, but not loved everything she's written. However, for me, Raymie Nightingale is made of the pure gold that she achieved with Because of Winn Dixie.
First, I loved the quirky characters. Maybe it's because they are from the South - I really don't know that many people who were born and raised in the South so I don't have a truly accurate measuring stick. But, much like other authors (Pat Conroy, Barbara O'Connor, Sue Monk Kidd, Rebecca Wells, to name a few) who have created Southern characters I loved, that is what DiCamillo achieves with this story. I fell in love with Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly, the main characters of this story. The three of them couldn't be more different, but I loved them, quirks and all.
Second, these characters all have unique issues in their lives, and how they move on is central to the themes I took away from this story. The most important theme being that our strength lies in numbers at times, and how the unique parts of all of us lead to solving problems in a better way.
Finally, Kate DiCamillo's use of words and language is delightful. Rather it was describing Louisiana's bunny barrettes, or how Raymie's soul fills up at times, or the first description of Beverly's grubby hands, all of these words and phrases, and so many more, weave magic around the reader time and time again.
I'm trying hard not to give out any plot secrets here as this book is due out tomorrow, April 12. I would hate to ruin the joy of reading Raymie Nightingale for the first time for any reader. It's just that good.
I hope you have a wonderful week of reading!