The beloved author of Because of Winn-Dixie has outdone herself with a hilarious and achingly real love story about a girl, a ghost, a grandmother, and growing up.
It’s the summer before fifth grade, and for Ferris Wilkey, it is a summer of sheer pandemonium: Her little sister, Pinky, has vowed to become an outlaw. Uncle Ted has left Aunt Shirley and, to Ferris’s mother’s chagrin, is holed up in the Wilkey basement to paint a history of the world. And Charisse, Ferris’s grandmother, has started seeing a ghost at the threshold of her room, which seems like an alarming omen given that she is also feeling unwell. But the ghost is not there to usher Charisse to the Great Beyond. Rather, she has other plans—wild, impractical, illuminating plans. How can Ferris satisfy a specter with Pinky terrorizing the town, Uncle Ted sending Ferris to spy on her aunt, and her father battling an invasion of raccoons?
As Charisse likes to say, “Every good story is a love story,” and Kate DiCamillo has written one for the ages: emotionally resonant and healing, showing the two-time Newbery Medalist at her most playful, universal, and profound.
Praise for Ferris
DiCamillo’s gift for conveying an entire person and world in a few brushstrokes of storytelling provides depth and quiet magic to this account of an eventful summer. . . Tenderly resonant and memorable.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Terrifically zany, it certainly is, but it’s also wonderfully grounded in deep familial bonds, a tight-knit community, and the beautiful idea that every relationship is a love story in its own way. The kindly town and its eccentric inhabitants come to life via comical anecdotes and gorgeous descriptions, and it all sets the stage for some truly transcendent moments that will leave readers in a state of wonder, no matter their age. It’s a spectacularly silly and perfectly sincere exploration of what it means to stay tenderhearted in a sometimes challenging world. . . It's a DiCamillo! That alone should get patrons lining up for this one.
—Booklist (starred review)
Populated by offbeat, compelling characters with rich histories, this bustling and empathetic tale by DiCamillo (The Puppets of Spelhorst) ponders the courage it takes to love someone and the necessity of inconvenience in life through the eyes of one emotionally curious tween.
The limited third-person narration glimpses other lives but never dwells on them, thus leaving Ferris’s honest, preadolescent perspective to drive the story line. As Clarisse tells Ferris, “Every good story is a love story.” Here, DiCamillo adeptly proves this axiom.
—The Horn Book