Review! Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Louisiana’s Way Home
By Kate DiCamillo
240 pages – Ages 9+
Published by Candlewick Press on October 2, 2018

Synopsis from Publisher- “When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)”

What I Thought- Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite children’s authors, and this is a book that only reinforces that. Louisiana’s Way Home was one of the most interesting reads I’ve had in a while – the characters have very concrete personalities, the setting, is so well described, that anyone can imagine themselves there, and the plot is endearing. The story was definitely a wild ride too. We watch a girl who has lived an odd life be forced to lose any stability she may have had and drive north from Florida to (eventually) a small town in Georgia. That’s where things go quite wrong. As a reader, you develop a huge amount of empathy for Louisiana, and maybe even a little bit for Granny. The eclectic, eccentric cast of characters DiCamillo has created for the story add depth and humor to the story. DiCamillo does such a amazing job at creating a desolate situation with just enough hope hanging on by a thread to keep you going. The voice of the story is  Louisiana’s narration and that adds to the exquisite feel of this book. Louisiana’s Way Home tugs at your heartstrings, and I can promise you that you won’t want to put it down until you’ve turned the last page.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Categories: Age 9+

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10 replies

  1. I’m so glad you loved this novel as much as I did. Kate is a brilliant author. Excellent review about a very strong protagonist. Loved the humor too. Didn’t see Kate’s video. So happy you shared it. Love her comment about having a crow on her shoulder.

  2. One of my fav children’s book authors too! Thanks for this, Erik – adding to my list.

  3. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favourite authors too. This book sounds amazing. I must read it soon.

  4. Erik, your review has prompted me to request this book from the library.

  5. I love Kate DiCamillo! Her simple, poetic writing style never disappoints me and her themes of hope, belonging and forgiveness are poignant and beautiful. I love how much emotion and character she is able to pack into her short little novels. Louisiana’s Way Home was not my favorite of her books, but I still enjoyed it a lot. (I have not read a Kate DiCamillo book yet that I do not like, and I have read practically all of them.) I really like the concept of forgiving someone who cannot even apologize because the forgiveness is more for yourself than it is for them. That is such a hard thing to do but it is so important for the process of healing. Which of Kate DiCamillo’s books is your favorite?
    Great review!

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