Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)
Raymie, Louisiana & Beverly Series
Raymie Clarke decides that 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, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; 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.
Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night and tells her they need to leave home immediately, and this time Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana tries to oppose the fates and to find a way to return home. But, as her life begins to become entwined with the lives of others in Richford, Georgia, she starts to worry that she is destined only for goodbyes. But that’s a story for another time.
Beverly Tapinski is done running away from home. She’s fourteen now, and she’s not running, she’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly finds a place to live and a job and tries to forget all that she has left behind: her friend, Raymie, and her mom, Rhonda (who never cared a whit about anyone but herself). She finds she’s still making connections with the people around her.
Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC DICAMILLO)