Beverly, Right Here

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How many of us - at some point in our lives - have thought that things would be better if we could just start over somewhere else? That things would be better once we got THERE…like, it didn’t matter where THERE was…as long as it wasn’t here?⁠⁠

Kate DiCamillo’s newest middle-grade fiction book, Beverly, Right Here, tackles this notion through the eyes of a 14-year-old who desperately wants to survive. Who has seen too much. Who has lived through so much heartbreak that she just wants to run, run, run away. ⁠⁠

Running is the easy part. Staying takes courage.⁠⁠

Beverly, Right Here is the final (😫) book in a trio of stories involving the Three Rancheros: Beverly Tapinski, Raymie Nightingale, and Louisiana Elefante. ⁠⁠

As always, Kate DiCamillo has crafted a story in a way that only she can. When I first started reading, my heart felt tight. Closed off. Then, slowly, my heart loosened up as the story went on. It wasn’t until I read the last line of the book that I realized that this feeling mirrored Beverly’s own transformation. ⁠⁠Kate DiCamillo sure knows how to use a slow simmer to fully develop a character. ⁠⁠

Beverly, Right Here will be a great addition to any home, school, or classroom library.⁠⁠

Suggested Grade Level: 5th⁠⁠

Author: Kate DiCamillo⁠

Cover Illustration: Amy Bates

Publisher: Candlewick Press⁠

Release Date: September 24, 2019⁠⁠

I received this book from the publisher @candlewickpress⁠and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.⁠⁠

Yours in Literacy,

Sheila 😊

Louisiana's Way Home

I remember 8 years ago when I finished reading Kate DiCamillo’s masterpiece, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I was in a cafe in Union Square, NYC. As I read the last chapter, I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. 

It was a beautiful moment.

Today, I had a similar experience. Sitting in a cafe in Montclair, NJ, I just finished Ms. DiCamillo’s latest book, Louisiana’s Way Home. Tears race down my face as a heaviness sits in my heart. But I feel hope. Just like with Edward Tulane, I feel hope. 

Louisiana’s Way Home picks up two years after Raymie Nightingale, a book that Ms. DiCamillo published in 2016. Louisiana Elefante has been woken up in the middle of the night by her grandmother, who insists that they must leave Florida immediately to escape the family curse. (This book stands on its own, even if you haven’t read Raymie Nightingale.) What follows is a “long and tragic story full of dark alleys and twists and turns and many unexpected happenings…and also curses. There are curses in the story.” Through all of this, Louisiana has to fight to remember that “perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.”

Kate DiCamillo is a gifted writer. She can weave deep, sad stories by arranging and rearranging various combinations of twenty-six letters. 

Readers young and old, if you have never picked up one of Kate DiCamillo’s books, you must do yourself a favor and add that to your to-do list. Read one. Read them all. It doesn’t matter, as long as you experience the gift that is Kate DiCamillo.

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Appropriate for grades 4-6.

Publisher: Candlewick

Release Date: October 2, 2018

I received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.