Sunday, September 15, 2019

Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

It's 1979 and it's been four years since Raymie Nightingale, Louisiana Elefante, and Beverly Tapinski found each other and became the Three Rancheros, promising to rescue each other whenever they are needed. In 1975, it had been necessary rescue 10-year-old Raymie (Raymie Nightingale) in order for her to find to true home. And, in 1977, it was 12-year-old Louisiana's turn (Louisiana's Way Home) who needed to rely on her friends to find her true home. Now, it's 14-year-old, Beverly who needs rescuing.

Beverly has always been known for running away from home, and being returned to a alcoholic mother who just wasn't very interested in her. Now, she's done with running away, and after burying her beloved dog Buddy, Beverly figures there's nothing to keep her at home anymore and so she decides to simply leave. Hitching a ride with Joe Travis, a cousin she doesn't much care for (and the feeling is mutual), Beverly makes it as far as Tamaray Beach, Florida.

Walking down the A1A, she comes upon Mr. C's fish restaurant. There, she meets Freddie, the waitress with big, big unrealistic dreams, and owner Mr. Denby, disorganized and depressed now that his wife and three daughters have left him. Open only for lunch, Beverly gets an under-the-table job the busing tables.

Beverly also finds a place to stay with lonely widow Iola Jenkins, who gives her a place to sleep and a flowered nightgown, feeds her a steady diet of tuna melts, and in return Beverly drives Iola's Pontiac to the VFW so she can play bingo.

Beverly also meets cook Doris and dishwasher Charles at work, and Elmer, a bullied, sensitive Dartmouth-bound teen who loves art and is working in the local convenience store for the summer. As Beverly gets to know each of these people, as she begins to be a part of their lives, and they hers, she starts to realize some things about herself as well. They are an eccentric cast of characters as only Kate DiCamillo can put together, but the focus is always on Beverly. Raymie and Louisiana are present throughout the book, mostly in Beverly's thoughts, although only Raymie makes the briefest of appearances at the end of the book. Their presence. however, proves how strong their bond of friendship is and how important they are to Beverly. In fact, friendship is one of the dominant themes, along with loss, trust, hope, home and how we define it, and the importance of just being there for people who rely on Beverly and on whom Beverly rely.   

Beverly, Right Here unfolds as languidly as a hot summer day, as Beverly searches and finds her emotional truth. DiCamillo's sentences are simple enough, yet so powerful and there's not a single gratuitous word in any of them. Beverly's story is a wonderful coming of age tale, and like life, it doesn't come to a neat conclusion, but leaves lots of questions about Beverly's future.

It does make me sad to think that this is probably the last time we will hear about the Three Rancheros, yet I know that one day, I will revisit each their narratives and I suspect it will yield a greater truth then do their individual stories.

You can download a useful Discussion Guide for Beverly, Right Here courtesy of the publisher, Candlewick Press.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

Be sure to check out the other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday offerings, now being carried on by Greg at Always in the Middle. 


  1. I love this author's work, and I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I didn't realize Beverly's story had been released. I will add it to my TBR list today. Thank you for your detailed post and review for MMGM!

  2. I read the previous books and they didn't disappoint. I'm looking forward to following Beverly as she moves forward in her life. I also will hate to close the chapter on the three characters. Thanks for featuring this title on MMGM.

  3. I haven't started this series but I'll look for it in my library. I've enjoyed other books by this author.

  4. I am glad to hear how much you enjoyed this one. I read the first book in the series, but haven't read the last two. I enjoyed hearing what you had to say. Great review!

  5. I haven't read Raymie Nightingale, but I LOVED Luoisiana'a Way Home. I think I will have to get this book. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for your review.


Imagination Designs