Raymie Clarke is a 10 year old with a plan to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire to get her picture in the paper and lure her father to come back home after he ran off with a dental hygienist. She meets her competition at baton twirling lessons, Louisiana Elephante, who is an orphaned daughter of performers, and Beverly Tapinski, who plans on sabotaging the contest. The three of them, dubbed "The Three Rancheros," do a series of tasks to heal their individual wounds and bond them as friends.
The details are the delight in this story, as each piece has a place, from a drowning dummy doll to multiplying bunny barrettes in Louisiana's hair. This imaginative journey comes to a satisfying end for each of these kids dealing with the serious issues. It is about dealing with loss, friendship, and our ever growing souls.
And the story makes me want to say, "Pfffffffft" far more often.