Candlewick Press, 2015
Source: ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Kate DiCamillo has a way of bringing crafting an experience on which her readers can tag along. I loved Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane because of that quality, but Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Racoon is different. Maybe this is because it is written for the younger reader and although these other works were also written for young readers, they have so much in them for adults to enjoy as well. Francine Poulet--not so much.
So that being said, I thought that for a young reader's book (I'm talking about kids who are just starting out reading chapter books on their own) this was great! Francine Poulet is confident and knows who she is and what she can do...until suddenly she can't do what she thought and she doesn't know who is anymore. Fear takes over and now she sad and lonely and afraid--until she gets some help from an unlikely source.
What Kate DiCamillo still does so well is make us care, almost immediately about Francine. Readers will be concerned about her and want her to succeed. They'll also find themselves in her as they see an adult fail at something they thought they were good at and find their way back to it once again. If you have young readers just starting with novels and chapter books on their own, this one will be a fun read for them and will give you a lot of ideas to talk about if you read it together. It would also make for a good read-a-loud in a classroom of 1st--3rd graders.
Image Source: Goodreads
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