“DiCamillo has always appealingly balanced humor and heart. . . . Surely this coming-of-age story is a fairy tale for our times.” Washington Post
“Fast and fleet — a crystalline ode to childhood friendship that shines as bright as anything that DiCamillo has written.” Chicago Tribune
“DiCamillo’s prose contains magical lines. . . . She also has a profound understanding of the way children collect bits of tossed-off wisdom from adults and turn them into a life manual.” Entertainment Weekly
“DiCamillo understands that children can handle the tough stuff in fiction. . . . And a book like this can help.” TIME Magazine
“Filled with humor, poignancy, and life-sized lessons. It is predictably unpredictable: a hallmark of DiCamillo’s brilliant writing.” New York Journal of Books
“A wistful, tender, funny novel.” Wall Street Journal
Three girls. One summer. The friendship that rescues them all.
Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see her 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.