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+