Ferris (Hardcover)

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Ferris By Kate DiCamillo Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Ferris Wilkey’s summer is shaping up to be a busy one. Her grandmother says there’s a ghost visiting her, her sister Pinky plans on being a supervillain, and her uncle Ted is staying in the basement and trying to paint the history of the world. Funny and heartwarming, these characters jumped off the page for me and captured my heart. Another charming middle grade novel from Kate DiCamillo. 

— Jen Steele

Ferris is starting fifth grade at the end of the summer. It's a grade that I personally taught for most of my career, and I remember just how young they look at the beginning, before they start a time of wonderful change. For Ferris, that change is coming fast. Her strong grandmother doesn’t feel well and has started seeing a ghost in the house. Boomer the dog sees it too, and Uncle Ted has left Aunt Shirley to live with them while painting the entire history of the world on a single canvas. As for little sister Pinky, oh my! Oh! My! She’s planning to be an outlaw, and she’s off to a great start. Ferris’s lifelong friend Billy Jackson is the only one who truly understands. DiCamillo’s trademark style is back, with uplifting warmth and sly, smart humor. It’s full of special friendship and love, and as Grandma Charisse likes to say, every good story is a love story. I like to say that there’s nothing in children’s literature better than Kate DiCamillo’s delightful voice. Her wise, hilarious observations of people (and dogs) come wrapped in thrilling tales of childhood.

— Tim McCarthy

March/April 2024 Kids Indie Next List


“The Wilkey family will tug on your heartstrings, drive you bonkers, and make you feel right at home. Ferris reminds us to slow down and listen to loved ones — young and old — because ‘every good story is a love story.’ A tender read for the whole family.”
— Beth Wilson, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Description


“Kate DiCamillo’s new children’s novel is a balm for the soul.” – The New York Times

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.

About the Author


Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis.

Praise For…


Kate DiCamillo’s latest balm-for-the-soul of a novel. . . FERRIS is full of love . . . deeply satisfying.
—The New York Times Book Review

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.
—Publishers Weekly

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

DiCamillo’s latest work is a sweet and heartfelt effort. . . dialogue shows the author’s characteristic charm.
—School Library Journal

Folksy charm and wholesome whimsy mark this as an easy readalike to DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie (BCCB 6/00), and the endearing portrayal of a loving family in disarray has just enough tension to keep the story interesting without any real threat of estrangement or discord. The third-person narration has clear affection for each character, highlighting their strengths and noting their flaws with tenderness, as Ferris’ growing independence shifts family dynamics and roles. . . . Fans of Winn-Dixie or Katherine Applegate’s books will find easy contentment and gentle amusement with Ferris and her loving, messy family.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Kate DiCamillo is at her funniest in ages, perhaps ever, in the tender and cheering pages of ‘Ferris’. . . Each quirky yet oddly noble character—and no contemporary children’s writer does quirky yet noble like Ms. DiCamillo—puts out a little narrative hook that draws the reader onward toward a cathartic finale. . . love is what ‘Ferris’ asks children ages 7-12 to consider. The book is light in feel, rich in vocabulary and abounding with references to literature and poetry, and it asks: Are you brave enough to wade deep into the great river of life?
—The Wall Street Journal

Kate DiCamillo always delivers, and here she brings a slice-of-life narrative packed with family in all its forms — unconventional, stressful, unexpected, but still loving and caring. This is a read with energy that never stops, nor will you want it to.
—The B&N Reads Blog

Kate DiCamillo is a magician. No matter what the subject or characters, she makes them feel like family, and her books, like home. . . Love is the name of this game, and when Ferris’ grandmother says, ‘Every good story is a love story,’ she was speaking the truth. And this is a really good story.
—Amazon Book Review

There’s a level of confidence to {DiCamillo's] writing and Ferris, her latest title, takes that experience and knowledge and weaves it into what has to be her most personal book to date.
—A Fuse #8 Production


Product Details
ISBN: 9781536231052
ISBN-10: 1536231053
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English