Raymie Clarke wants her father back. He ran off with a dental hygienist. Raymie figures that if she can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, her picture will be in the paper, and her father will be proud of her and decide to come home.

Life is never that simple.

To win the contest, Raymie needs to learn to twirl a baton. In twirling classes, Raymie meets Louisiana and Beverly. Louisiana lives with her eccentric grandmother who steals to feed them. Beverly, who already knows how to twirl, wants to sabotage the competition. The three form a peculiar alliance in which they find the support and loyalty they each desperately need.

DiCamillo combines her usual subtle humor, knack for tying up loose ends and quirky characters to create an entertaining read. Frequent use of a mild vulgarity (cr-p) and continual reference to a father’s infidelity should raise flags for parents of younger readers.

A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.


Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...