cover image Beverly, Right Here

Beverly, Right Here

Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9464-7

This thoughtful companion to two-time Newbery Medal–winner DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana’s Way Home follows Beverly Tapinski, the third of the Three Rancheros, in August 1979—four years after the first book’s events. Grieving the death of her beloved dog Buddy and tired of her mother’s drinking, Beverly, 14, decides to skip town. After she hitches a ride to Tamaray Beach, a lie about her age garners her a job at Mr. C’s restaurant and room with elderly Iola, who offers the girl shelter in exchange for her driving Iola around. Beverly can be deeply unforthcoming about her feelings, making her gradual transition away from a solitary being determined not to rely on others feel deeply meaningful. Secondary characters—sensitive teen store clerk Elmer, who’s interested in art; bingo enthusiast Iola; and the staff of Mr. C’s—are well defined through concise narrative and dialogue, and DiCamillo builds them into a new community that matters a great deal to Beverly. But it’s Beverly’s private moments—thoughts of the other Rancheros, a message revealed, a love for the term lapis lazuli—that move her from being a person in flight to a present, whole participant in her world. Ages 10–up. [em]Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.) [/em]