This thoughtful companion to two-time Newbery Medal-winner DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana's Way Home follows Beverly Tapinski, the third of the Three Rancheros, in August 1979--four years after the first book's events. Grieving the death of her beloved dog Buddy and tired of her mother's drinking, Beverly, 14, decides to skip town. After she hitches a ride to Tamaray Beach, a lie about her age garners her a job at Mr. C's restaurant and room with elderly Iola, who offers the girl shelter in exchange for her driving Iola around. Beverly can be deeply unforthcoming about her feelings, making her gradual transition away from a solitary being determined not to rely on others feel deeply meaningful. Secondary characters--sensitive teen store clerk Elmer, who's interested in art; bingo enthusiast Iola; and the staff of Mr. C's--are well defined through concise narrative and dialogue, and DiCamillo builds them into a new community that matters a great deal to Beverly. But it's Beverly's private moments--thoughts of the other Rancheros, a message revealed, a love for the term lapis lazuli--that move her from being a person in flight to a present, whole participant in her world. Ages 10-up. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 5-7--Readers first met Beverly Tapinski when she entered the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition with Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana Elefante. Beverly is now 14. Her dog Buddy has died, and Beverly feels like she has been left behind by everyone--her dad, Louisiana, and now Buddy. So she leaves, too, and goes to Tamaray Beach. She gets a job at a restaurant, is taken in by a kind old lady, and makes friends with the cashier of Zoom City. But eventually she realizes she left behind Raymie, and that hurts more than she can stand. In her signature style of short, accessible prose sprinkled with carefully chosen, meaningful words, DiCamillo once again tells extraordinary stories with ordinary characters. This is a multilayered story of hope, from Iola who wants to win a turkey from the VFW Christmas in July, to Freddie who has big dreams, to Elmer who loves art and poetry and wants to be an engineer, to Beverly herself, who just wants things to be different than they are. Beverly acts tough and uninterested, but underneath she is tender and vulnerable. VERDICT This is not a lighthearted book, but it is heartwarming and touching. Highly recommended.--Julie Overpeck, Holbrook Middle School, Lowell, NCCopyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.