Everyone who follows me on Twitter, reads this blog, or has ever attended one of my presentations knows I love talking about Kate DiCamillo, India Opal Buloni, Rob Horton, Edward Tulane, Despereaux Tilling, Peter Augustus Duchene, Mercy Watson, Francine Poulet, Flora Belle Buckman, and Ulysses. Kate's characters jump off the page and stay with you forever. I've found myself thinking about Raymie Clarke, Beverly Tapinski, and Louisiana Elefante more than I have ever thought about any other characters before. Each distinct character has made me think long and hard about my soul and my heart. I cannot wait until Raymie Nightingale is in bookshops, libraries, book fairs, and in the hands of young readers. I hope these three girls speak to your heart the way they have spoken to mine.
Raymie, Beverly, and Louisiana are each a part of me. I understood myself better after spending time with these characters. I liked myself better, too.
The Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest stills makes me laugh out loud to think about. Originally, I thought that the winner would receive a crown made out of a tire. Wheeee. That makes me laugh, too.
A ranchero is somebody you can rely on. Always. Forever.
School libraries are gateways to the world.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if I can twirl a baton. Ha ha ha. Of course I can’t twirl a baton. Even though I took lessons I never learned.
Look for Raymie Nightingale on April 12, 2016.