Review: Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

Berverly.png“Just because you can’t stand to think about something doesn’t mean it ain’t happening, that it ain’t true. People wait on other people. People rely on other people.”

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo introduced readers to Raymie Nightingale, Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski in Raymie Nightingale, set in 1975, when the girls were just ten-years-old and competing to win the title of ‘Miss Central Florida Tire 1975.’ The ‘Three Rancheros,’ as Louisiana dubbed them, formed an inseparable bond; one of those pure friendships that you just know will stand the test of time and whatever life throws at it. This was evidenced in Louisiana’s Way Home, when twelve-year-old Louisiana was whisked away from her friends by her grandmother, and inadvertently cast on a journey of self-discovery; but through it all, her friends never strayed far from her mind.

Now we have Beverly, Right Here; the final book in ‘Three Rancheros’ trilogy (I am holding back tears as I write those words), set in August 1979, when fourteen-year-old Beverly Tapinski decides it’s finally time to leave home — not just ‘run away’, because she has done that plenty of times before; but actually abandon the life she knows, permanently — and takes to the road, landing a job at Mr. C’s fish restaurant, and finding a new home at the Seaside Court with Iola Jenkins, and new friends in Elmer from the local convenience store, Zoom City.

This is a story about belonging; about finding a community that opens its doors to you, and having the courage to accept its warmth and reciprocate. Beverly is not as immediately endearing as Raymie and Louisana; but then, she is older, more weary of the world, having relinquished the rose-coloured glasses of childhood. The joy of Beverly, Right Here is witnessing its protagonist’s emotional barriers gradually chip away through the kindness of strangers, who become friends, then family.

ISBN: 9781406391633
Imprint: Walker
Binding: Hardback
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Dimensions: 140 x 197mm, 256pp
Stock Status: Confirmed
Australian RRP: $19.99
New Zealand RRP: $22.99

Review: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

9781406363135Loosely based on Kate DiCamillo’s own childhood,Raymie Nightingale tells the story of ten-year-old Raymie Clarke and her plan to get her father to come back home after he eloped with a dental hygienist.

The year: 1975. The place: Florida. Feeling alone and adrift, Raymie is determined to learn how to twirl a baton in order to win the title of ‘Miss Central Florida Tire 1975.’ She thinks, by winning the title, her photograph will be in the newspaper and be seen by her father, which’ll make him so proud he’ll want to return home, and life will resume as before. Also aspiring to win the competition are two girls, Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski, both of whom have also lost parents and are seeking ways to move on with their lives. And while this triumvirate start off as competitors, their particular quirky personalities soon merge into friendship, worthy of tagging as the “three Rancheros” by Louisiana. Together they get into all kinds of mischief – but never just for mischiefs sake. Their series of adventures are a consequence of their combined determination to help each other through the challenges they face as individuals, which can only be overcome together.

DiCamillo’s simple prose is so elegant and delightful, offering a meditation on life, death, and friendship in such a way that will enthral younger readers, and adults alike. Raymie Nightingale is unquestionably my favourite children’s novel of the year and deserves mass accolades and designation as a modern classic. It really is that good, and earns an everlasting spot in your child’s bookshelf – or yours!

But don’t just take my word for it…

ISBN: 9781406363135
Format: Hardback (197mm x 140mm x mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Walker Books Ltd
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Publish Date: 12-Apr-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom