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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part One by Gene Luen Yang
Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder
Cat vs Human: Another Dose of Catnip by Yasmine Surovec
Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain by Valeri Gorbachev
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Darned if You Do by Monica Ferris
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Framed! by James Ponti
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat
How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown
The Journey of the Penguin by Emiliano Ponzi
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
Kiki and Jacques by Susan Ross
A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Lost Cat by Caroline Paul
Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby
OCDaniel by Wesley King
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale
Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Sticks & Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Valley of Kings by Michael Northrop
You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo

Miscellaneous
Favorite books of 2016 by month
Favorite Own Voices read in 2016
Favorite series read in 2016
Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy read in 2016

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Raymie Nightingale: 12/13/16

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

I'm never sure what to expect with a Kate DiCamillo book. I respect authors that keep me guessing and keep experimenting with their voice. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo comes close to reading like it was written by Polly Horvath.

The book opens with Raymie taking baton practice so she can compete in the 1975 Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. With her are Louisiana who is prone to fainting and Beverly who wants nothing more than to sabotage the entire event as she's sick of being forced into these competitions by her mother.

The first chapter gives the impression that this book will be about a girl who has never competed before being pushed into a world she doesn't understand. She'll be bullied by the seasoned professional (Beverly) and become a stronger, more compassionate person with the help of a shy and misunderstood competitor (Louisiana). But that's not how it goes at all.

Each of these girls is her own, completely rendered individual. Each has a reason for participating in the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest. Despite being competitors they also become friends.

The thing that brings them together is Louisiana's living situation. Her parents are dead and her cat was dumped off a shelter by her grandmother. Her cat is her one remaining tie to her family and she's grieving over him — feeling (rightfully so) that she has betrayed him.

What could have been just another story of a popularity contest, we get a story of girls coming together to rescue a cat. It's a quiet story about little miracles in the midst of hardship and tragedy. It's about getting on with life and making the current situation as good as possible.

Five stars

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