Thursday, November 3, 2016

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo Booktalk

I want you to imagine three girls breaking into their teacher's house. One of the girls, Beverly, has taught herself lock-picking from a book. She is breaking in, and her best friends, Louisiana and Raymie, are right there with her. Why are they breaking into their teacher's house?

Their teacher is not a school teacher: she teaches baton twirling to girls entering beauty contests and other competitions. Two of them want to enter and win a local competition called the Little Miss Central Florida Tire 1975 competition. It's sort of a beauty/talent competition, and there is a big cash prize. You have to prove that you are talented and a good person. Breaking and entering is not a good way to prove that.

Let's get back to the girls. You've heard the expression "to be down on your luck"? What does it mean? [Take answer/s.] We have three girls down on their luck here. Raymie's dad just left her and her mom. Louisiana lost her beloved cat and doesn't have enough money to buy food. Beverly doesn't seem to have a dad around, plus she gets into fights with her mom. Beverly's mom forces Beverly to take baton twirling lessons, which she seems to hate. The lessons are where the three girls met one another.

But where is their baton teacher?

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. 2016: Candlewick Press. 263 p. Booktalk to intermediate grades, middle school. Great read-aloud.

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