I love the stories Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and many more) craft for young people. Her books are always very well-written and challenge the reader, young or old, to think about an old problem in a new way.
“Beverly, Right Here,” part three of the Three Rancheros series, was no different. Despite not reading either of the preceding books, I had no problem staying clued in on Beverly and her situation and some of her past wounds.
The story starts with Beverly running away from home, and this time, for good. She flees to a small beach town up A1A in Florida to start over. She meets a kind, older woman in a trailer park, a fish fry restaurant owner looking for help bussing tables, and a pimply young man about her own age, looking to go to Darthmouth for engineering next fall.
Despite what it seems this small band of new friends look like the perfect crew for Beverly to start over, on her own, in the new town.
DiCamillo’s character development is very strong. The themes covered in the book such as abandonment, family, home, independence are more mature for the younger readers, but perfect for a late elementary or middle school audience. This was a very enjoyable book to read with my own children as we navigate our own family challenges. They really enjoyed the book and we look forward to reading the other books in the series, “Raymie Nightingale,” and “Louisiana’s Way Home.”