cover image Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale

Kate DiCamillo, read by Jenna Lamia. Listening Library, unabridged, 4 CDs, 4.5

Set in 1975, DiCamillo’s tender novel tells the story of three very different girls who become fast friends while partaking in the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. Raymie’s father recently ran off with a dental hygienist, and she hopes if she wins, it will somehow make him come back; Louisiana is an orphan who lives with her grandmother and gets through hardships with made-up stories and fantasies; Beverly is streetwise and angry at the world. They end up having some oddball adventures, involving trying to retrieve a lost library book and rescue a cat, and in the process learn about supporting friends and dealing with painful losses. Narrator Lamia’s warm, compassionate reading perfectly fits the uplifting tale, and she uses her voice to bring out the many humorous and quirky moments. All the characters have Southern accents, yet Lamia is able to give each a distinctive and memorable voice that reflects each character’s personality; for example, Louisiana sounds dreamy and vulnerable, whereas Beverly sounds tough as nails. Lamia is the perfect narrator for this bittersweet yet ultimately comforting audiobook. Ages 10–up. A Candlewick hardcover. (Apr.)