Louisiana's Way Home
From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo comes a story of discovering who you are — and deciding who you want to be.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.)Called “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

Louisiana's Way Home Details

TitleLouisiana's Way Home
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherCandlewick Press (MA)
ISBN-139780763694630
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Family

Louisiana's Way Home Review

  • Ilse
    January 1, 1970
    Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.Looking for reading fodder that could enthuse the sprouts some years ago, a friend who has a keen eye for children’s literature pointed me to Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician's Elephant a wonderful poetic, imaginative and magical fable on hope, loss and love. My friend’s suggestion proved to hit the mark, as both my son and daughter, reluctant and nit-picking readers, thoroughly enjoyed DiCamillo’s tale, so w Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.Looking for reading fodder that could enthuse the sprouts some years ago, a friend who has a keen eye for children’s literature pointed me to Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician's Elephant a wonderful poetic, imaginative and magical fable on hope, loss and love. My friend’s suggestion proved to hit the mark, as both my son and daughter, reluctant and nit-picking readers, thoroughly enjoyed DiCamillo’s tale, so when I discovered another novel by her will be published in October – and both a magician and in a way elephants feature in it – I couldn’t resist trying it. The story is told by ten year old Louisiana Elefante – a character from DiCamillo’s previous novel Raymie Nightingale. She overnight has to leave her home and friends because her only relative, her eccentric grandmother, decides to run off as if the devil himself is after her. Since the death of Louisiana’s parents, the famous trapeze artists the Flying Elefantes, granny has been the one who takes care of Louisiana from infancy. Penniless and haunted by a mysterious curse, getting stuck in a motel in a little town in Georgia, the road movie-like journey will turn out transformative and will learn Louisiana a few lessons on identity and how to brace herself when truths will come to find her. (Illustration by Jung-Eun Park)Evoking a whole range of emotions in a tender but not saccharine way, DiCamillo cleverly leaves a lot of things unsaid and so open to the imagination of the reader – for instance what happens to granny and why the old woman acts like she did and does. She creates some wonderful opportunities to discuss the storyline with children – the telling title shaping the theme what home means to us. In some situations you can revel in the comfort and joy of having someone around baking a cake, even if you cannot eat it. Louisiana’s Way Home is a children’s novel that is gracefully told, well-composed, humorous and engrossing thanks to the memorable character of the delightfully ‘wily and resilient’ Louisiana Elefante. In thematising how one can find a home, a place in the world and get connected to people who care for you and who you care for despite human flaws which cause one another pain and worries, the tone and worldview speaking from the tale, in a sense is uplifting – ‘Because that is what it means to be alive on this infinitesimally spinning planet. It means you have cares’. DiCamillo finely colours Louisiana’s life story of fantasy with that touch of true life sorrow and heartbreak she seems to consider essential in a good children’s book - a point of view I am inclined to concur with thinking of some other books which made a lasting impression on my children (Boris, Charlotte's Web). Though they are a little older now, and this book as well as The Magician's Elephant is for age ten and up, I wouldn’t be surprised Kate DiCamillo’s moving new novel on friendship, family and forgiveness would suit their palate like it did mine. And even if one like Louisiana would frown sceptically at the walrus-faced Reverend Obertask’s woolly words, ‘I do think that, more often than not, love has a way of finding us’, aren’t that words one at times would like to believe in? Many thanks to NetGalley, the editor and the author for giving me the chance to read an advanced copy of this delightful novel.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Because of Winn-Dixie is a favorite book of mine. It makes me nostalgic just to think of it. To read another book by Kate DiCamillo? Pure bliss. One day Louisiana’s grandmother wakes her in the middle of the night to tell her they have to move immediately. Not only are they moving, they will never return. This is too much for Louisiana, and she tries with all her might to find her way home again. She meets many eccentric and lovable characters along her travels, and through them, has many life l Because of Winn-Dixie is a favorite book of mine. It makes me nostalgic just to think of it. To read another book by Kate DiCamillo? Pure bliss. One day Louisiana’s grandmother wakes her in the middle of the night to tell her they have to move immediately. Not only are they moving, they will never return. This is too much for Louisiana, and she tries with all her might to find her way home again. She meets many eccentric and lovable characters along her travels, and through them, has many life lessons as well. Goodbyes are hard for everyone, but especially for children as they work their ways through the different emotions. I plan to share this book with some children who could benefit from Louisiana’s story (which is just about every child, really). Kate DiCamillo writes with her whole heart, and it’s no wonder she is worthy of multiple Newbery honors. Thank you to Candlewick Press for the complimentary ARC to review. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Expected publication October 2018 You have to make small plans. That is one of the things I have discovered in this world. It is pointless to make big plans because you never know when someone is going to wake you up in the middle of the night and say The day of reckoning has arrived. This first person narrative introduces readers to twelve year old Louisiana Elefante, whom, when the story opens appears to be at the mercy of her grandmother as the two are leaving home in the middle of night an Expected publication October 2018 You have to make small plans. That is one of the things I have discovered in this world. It is pointless to make big plans because you never know when someone is going to wake you up in the middle of the night and say The day of reckoning has arrived. This first person narrative introduces readers to twelve year old Louisiana Elefante, whom, when the story opens appears to be at the mercy of her grandmother as the two are leaving home in the middle of night and crossing the Florida/Georgia state line. This book is Louisiana's way of getting everything that happened out in the open. Many, many, crazy adventures will ensue and it is key to just roll with the tide and appreciate the story as Grandma prepares Louisiana for what she refers to as the "reckoning." Louisiana, has such an endearing and percoucious quality that only can be found in children's literature and made me instantly fall in love with her as soon as she began to speak. I also felt a burning desire to laugh( and loudly), which I felt myself doing quite a lot of during my late afternoon read. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour basically earned my neighbour his right to bang loudly on our shared wall because I was obviously committing the crime of interfering with his megathon of video gaming. Now, if you recall, in my first paragraph, I had warned future readers that a lot of crazy adventures are going to happen and that this is a children's book ,or if you like, a middle grade novel. So, all you moms and dads and grandparents and legal guardians and babysitters who will read this in the future, your adult brains are going to say " Yeah... this is fairly silly and implausible". Don't listen to that voice! Be ready to jump aboard, grab a bologna sandwich or an endless supply of caramels, find a nice crow named Clarence, commune with an alligator, find a dentist, and snuggle in for a fantastically funny adventure. If you're still a little suspicious, it's okay because that just means you're just like almost all of the adults( although some grown-ups do have good sense- thank goodness!) in the story,worried that something untoward is going to happen. My first Kate DiCamillo read( yes, it truly is my first) was a heartfelt tale about a young girl learning to forgive and finding out who she wants to be. A beautiful golden story that walks away with the coveted 5 star rating. Thanks to NetGalley for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ”I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know. “This is what happened.“I will begin at the beginning.”And with those words, Louisiana Elefante’s journey, with her granny, begins. In the middle of the night, they leave their home in Florida, friends, pets, and everyt ”I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know. “This is what happened.“I will begin at the beginning.”And with those words, Louisiana Elefante’s journey, with her granny, begins. In the middle of the night, they leave their home in Florida, friends, pets, and everything Louisiana has ever known, and head toward Georgia. If you’ve already read DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale, you will be familiar with Louisiana’s character, a spirited ten year-old girl who has “swampy lungs” and a rather eccentric granny. If you haven’t read Raymie Nightingale, this can be enjoyed without having read it, but I read these two books back-to-back and so for me, there is no real ‘gap’ in the story. There is a lot of wisdom between the pages of this story, some of which is uplifting, but this story is not without some sadness - life is, after all, a balance between sadness and joy. Even children, and young teens need to learn how to deal with their own sadness by how others deal with sadness, and the frustrations that come with the inconveniences of life. Overall, though, I would consider this a story of life, love and the stories we tell ourselves and others, and home, the ones we first know, and the ones we make for ourselves. ”Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.” Having read Because of Winn-Dixie and having loved it, I was pleased to have an opportunity to read this story, her latest, and hoped for the same level of charm. I was not disappointed in the least. Pub Date: 02 OCT 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Candlewick Press / Candlewick
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    There once was a book called Raymie Nightingale. Not a big flashy book with glitter on the cover and fonts that look like escaped balloon animals. Just a quiet book set in the late 1970s in Florida, patiently following various characters. Not a plot forward book, that one, though there was an interesting through line involving a cat. I liked Raymie Nightingale but I did have one small problem with it. While the character of Raymie was well drawn and nuanced, I wasn’t ever all that interested in There once was a book called Raymie Nightingale. Not a big flashy book with glitter on the cover and fonts that look like escaped balloon animals. Just a quiet book set in the late 1970s in Florida, patiently following various characters. Not a plot forward book, that one, though there was an interesting through line involving a cat. I liked Raymie Nightingale but I did have one small problem with it. While the character of Raymie was well drawn and nuanced, I wasn’t ever all that interested in her. You can slap someone’s name into the title all you want, but if that person has a friend like Louisiana Elefante waiting in the wings with a Granny that defies simple logic, your readers will naturally going to want to know about that person a bit more. Enter Louisiana’s Way Home. Rather than make her job easy for herself and simply place Louisiana in the company of pre-established characters, DiCamillo ups and moves the girl and her Granny to a Georgia motel, sans teeth (for one character, anyway). This means new characters. New settings. New plots. New problems. And, most important of all, new revelations. I liked Raymie Nightingale okay. I really really like Louisiana’s Way Home, a slim, handsome novel about grace.When last we saw our heroine, Louisiana Elefante, surviving daughter of the Flying Elefantes, is in a car with her Granny leaving the state of Florida hell-for-leather with a curse floating over her head. Not that Granny tells Louisiana where they're going when she packs the two of them away. For reasons known only to Granny they are Georgia bound, but plans are put a bit on hold when it turns out that the older woman needs to have all her teeth pulled and in a hurry. While her guardian recuperates, Louisiana gets to know the Good Night Sleep Tight Motel, the boy and his crow who hang near it, a stuffed alligator, an organist, a motel owner, and a minister. She arranges to sing to pay the bill for their stay and it might all have gone well had Granny not dropped the bombshell to beat all bombshells. Now Louisiana is more alone than she has ever been in her entire life and without a playbook to figure out what to do next. Happily, when your entire playbook has been wiped off the map, it can be the perfect time to start over entirely from scratch. Curse free.I remember after reading Raymie Nightingale finding it an incredibly sad affair. Sad as a solitary sinkhole. Diving into its companion novel, I wondered if Louisiana’s Way Home was going to up the serotonin levels any, instead finding it sad in its own way. Yet where I’d been weighted down by Raymie, here I didn’t feel encumbered at all. I suppose this is because in this book DiCamillo never overwhelms the reader with more than they can handle. She essentially excels is in driving you to the precipice of childhood understanding. Her characters gaze down into that void of adult concerns that aren’t suppose to touch children (and do) and you stand there, toes gripping the edge, right alongside them. There’s single reason that explains why DiCamillo is as wildly popular as she is, but if I were to harbor a guess at one of the reasons I'd say it would have to be that she speaks their language and often treats their emotions with respect. It’s part of what makes considering her books as an adult so hard. I’m seeing what the child characters can’t see because of my age, and that’s blocking me from seeing the book as a kid would. That's usually the problem with reviewing books for kids, but in this case of this particular author I think it's even more difficult.Sometimes in DiCamillo’s writing she’ll flit around the edges of magical realism without ever really falling in. About half a year ago I was listening to a critique of the Oscar Award winning film The Shape of Water on one of my favorite podcasts. In the midst of the discussion, one of the podcast hosts mentioned that what makes critiquing the film so difficult is the fact that it’s a fable. Therefore, any skepticism leveled at seeming plot holes is leveled by the simple declaration that “it’s a fable”. Now Louisiana’s Way Home is not a fable, but it may house some of the same bones. When I read the book it’s like I’m both seeing the scenes as they happen, and seeing them through a fog. I think that fog is my way of getting through Louisiana’s perceptions. It's not something I remember feeling when I read her other books, but it definitely doesn't detract from the reading experience.In spite of the fact that this story is a companion novel, the book bears more similarities to one of her earlier works than Raymie Nightingale. Reading this story, I thought most of The Tiger Rising. I always knew that Florida was practically its own character in DiCamillo’s books, but I never realized that motels held almost equal sway. In this book the motel in question is the Good Night Sleep Tight. Once you’ve gotten past the black and red squares of shag (there’s some part of my soul cringing into a little rocking ball as I write that) and the stuffed alligator, it’s all about the woman behind the counter. Louisiana has spent time in many motels, and has vast motel-related experience. One gets the feeling that DiCamillo loves motels for what they can do for a story, but finds them harrowing places. They never seem to be run by anyone all that nice.In an interview once, the cartoon creator Rebecca Sugar was asked if she believed that all people are redeemable. Speaking very carefully she referred back to her show Steven Universe, saying that she believed that no character on the show is beyond redemption. I bring this up because like Sugar, DiCamillo likes a little complexity with her baddies. And by “baddies” I don’t mean villains. She’s not averse to making a mustache twirling rotter from time to time, but on the whole she’s much more interested in people like Bernice, the motel owner. Folks who peer at the world through an us vs. them mentality and take pride in their abilities to withstand pity, sympathy, or compassion. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Bernice doesn’t get redeemed by the end of this story, nor in all likelihood will she after the story's done. But this is only because DiCamillo isn’t asking you to forgive Bernice here. It’s Granny who’s failed Louisiana the most. It’s Granny who needs that forgiveness. Granny is the most frustrating character in the book in many ways. She just steadfastly refuses to slot neatly into a category. An adult reading this book would note pretty early on that it’s clear that Granny has been mentally ill for quite a while, but she is still the authority to be reckoned with here. There are times when she is mind-bendingly irresponsible, and times when she shows real care. Her confession to Louisiana is a game changer, but also makes her oddly sympathetic. Then again, she abandons someone who trusts her. She’s a great character. Heck, this thing is just rife with good characters. The minister is honest and unhelpful and helpful all at once. The Burke Allens act like they've stepped out of a play by Godot, saying the same things repeatedly but meaning something different each time. And then there’s Louisiana’s friend Burke himself. You might eye that supremely helpful crow boy and try to say that he’s a manic pixie dream character, but it isn’t true. Burke may help Louisiana a lot, but that’s because he’s an honestly nice guy. He is, as Louisiana herself says, “the kind of person who, if you asked him for one of something, gave you two instead.” So you can’t imagine my relief when I realized that he had his own life and his own problems to deal with. I mean, the kid keeps skipping school. That’s a problem. A good problem for a character with a good heart to have. The riddle of this book for some will be whether or not it stands on its own. Do you need to know all the characters and plot twists in Raymie Nightingale to make sense of this book? Nope. I might not be the best person to judge since I’ve read it, but that was a long time ago and I have a creaky little brain that has difficulty remembering the names of my own children half the time, let alone books for kids I read years ago. That said, Raymie and friends are always on the edges of the narrative, threatening to plunge in like this book is a sinkhole and they’re deux ex machina-ing their way into it. Happily, DiCamillo keeps them at bay. I could have done without Louisiana thinking about them quite so much, but to be fair if she hadn’t then the ending of the book would have felt a bit random. So maybe we should say that you don’t have to have read Raymie Nightingale but if haven’t then you may have the nagging sense that there’s a piece to this puzzle that’s missing.Early in this review I said this book is about grace. I don’t think that’s wrong. Broken down to its most essential elements, Louisiana is abandoned by someone she trusts, tries to work things out on her own, consults with a minister, and chooses forgiveness by the tale’s end. That’s grace, man. Best of all, the book’s not preaching to you. You take whatever DiCamillo is laying out and make your own conclusions. Burke’s grandfather puts this better than I do, of course: “Take what is offered to you.” And yes, it’s a sad one. Not a dead dog kind of sad. More an alone-in-the-universe sadness. All kids can relate to the fear of abandonment. Perhaps there’s a catharsis in seeing it happen to someone else. Whatever the case, it’s a smart little book that gets to the point after meandering through fifty others and you wouldn’t have it any other way. Do what the man says then. Take what is offered to you.For ages 9-12.
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  • Joe
    January 1, 1970
    A friend and I were discussing Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana's Way Home, and she mentioned that some adults feel discomfort with DiCamillo's books because often the children in them have no safety net. I chewed on this observation all morning, and having finished the book during lunch, I've come to a conclusion: Kate DiCamillo doesn't write fantasy or realistic fiction or historical fiction or magical realism. She writes modern day fairy tales. Sometimes with animals (Despereaux, Tulane), but A friend and I were discussing Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana's Way Home, and she mentioned that some adults feel discomfort with DiCamillo's books because often the children in them have no safety net. I chewed on this observation all morning, and having finished the book during lunch, I've come to a conclusion: Kate DiCamillo doesn't write fantasy or realistic fiction or historical fiction or magical realism. She writes modern day fairy tales. Sometimes with animals (Despereaux, Tulane), but more recently with humans ( Flora , Raymie, and now Louisiana).By and large, the children of fairy tales are not safe. They are forced to navigate a world that is cruel, and they must become their own agents of change. Occasionally these children will encounter someone or something that shows them kindness, but ultimately they must make crucial decisions on which their entire fate hinges. Through the eyes of an adult, this is terrifying. Through the eyes of a child, this is empowering.What happens to Louisiana in this book may seem utterly ridiculous (the dentist! the crow! the motel owner! the peanuts! the organ player! the reverend!), but the events in this book would easily overlay any Grimm tale. Take "The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs" - an episodic adventure into the depths of hell that plays with character tropes, risk, and - gasp! - no safety net. Louisiana is similarly in the depths of her own hell: nothing is quite as it seems and she is battling her way out of confusion and despair. DiCamillo has stripped the magic of fairy tales away and instead plays with the familiar pieces in a contemporary setting. This is a magic-less but fanciful contemporary fairy tale. DiCamillo's forte. But what of the child's safety in Louisiana's Way Home?Well, like with most fairy tales - even if there is suffering and sorrow and harm and horror that precedes it - we know the ending will be happy. There's your safety net.
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  • DaNae
    January 1, 1970
    But that every child could live in a world peopled by Kate DiCamillo. Where dire situations are eased by generous hearts.
  • Monica Edinger
    January 1, 1970
    Melancholy, heart-wrenching, gorgeous writing, complicated. One to ponder.
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Kate DiCamillo is one of my go-to authors when recommending books to my students. I was ecstatic to see that Louisianas story was continuing, as I adored her in Raymie Nightingale. This spunky, full of life, witty girl stole my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When her Granny wakes her in the night and they leave town suddenly, Louisiana is thrust into an adventure of self exploration. I thoroughly enjoyed continuing her story, and the backstory of Granny and Louisiana. Exploring hard t Kate DiCamillo is one of my go-to authors when recommending books to my students. I was ecstatic to see that Louisianas story was continuing, as I adored her in Raymie Nightingale. This spunky, full of life, witty girl stole my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When her Granny wakes her in the night and they leave town suddenly, Louisiana is thrust into an adventure of self exploration. I thoroughly enjoyed continuing her story, and the backstory of Granny and Louisiana. Exploring hard topics with humor and heart, Kate DiCamillo weaves a fantastic tale. All of the stars for this return of Louisiana Elefante. ♥️Thank you @candlewickpress for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Louisiana’s story captured this reader’s attention. Compelling, well-crafted language and authentic voice. Read in one sitting. I appreciated Raymie Nightingale, and enjoyed that book very much, but I consider this one even better than that.
  • Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
    January 1, 1970
    A heartwarming story of self-discovery for young readers. Louisiana’s honest and sweet perspective is a pleasure.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This is a road trip book, sort of. But, unlike the usual road trip books, Lousiana and Granny only go so far, before they stop, and have all the action take place in the small town they end up in.Granny is running from a curse. Lousiana thinks she is also running from the same curse, even if she doens’t understnad why.I love the voice of Louisiana. She says profound things, without, probably, realizing how profound they are.three semis drove past us. One was painted with a picture of a cow stand This is a road trip book, sort of. But, unlike the usual road trip books, Lousiana and Granny only go so far, before they stop, and have all the action take place in the small town they end up in.Granny is running from a curse. Lousiana thinks she is also running from the same curse, even if she doens’t understnad why.I love the voice of Louisiana. She says profound things, without, probably, realizing how profound they are.three semis drove past us. One was painted with a picture of a cow standing in a field of green grass. I was jealous of that cow because she was at home, and I was not. It seemed like a very sad thing to be jealous of a fake cow on the side of a truck. And, this quote about Clarence the Crow, whom she thought she might like to be, with not a care in the world.But Clarence probably had cares . Because that is what it means to be alive on this infinitesimally spinning planet. It means you have cares.And then, other times, she just wants to eat a candy bar, just like any normal 11 year old would want.It is a delightful book abouat families and friendships.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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  • Rajiv
    January 1, 1970
    A BIG Thank You to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of “Louisiana’s Way Home” by Kate DiCamillo in exchange for my review. This was a sweet and endearing book mainly because of the ‘wily and resilient’ Louisiana.I love Kate DiCamillo’s whimsical style of writing. She has a beautiful way of highlighting important issues like loss, sorrow and acceptance in a prominent manner for younger audience without making it too serious. In some ways, her books inspire adult readers to c A BIG Thank You to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of “Louisiana’s Way Home” by Kate DiCamillo in exchange for my review. This was a sweet and endearing book mainly because of the ‘wily and resilient’ Louisiana.I love Kate DiCamillo’s whimsical style of writing. She has a beautiful way of highlighting important issues like loss, sorrow and acceptance in a prominent manner for younger audience without making it too serious. In some ways, her books inspire adult readers to contemplate their own issues and how to make the right decisions. In this novel, we see Louisiana come to terms of who she is and who she wants to become. Even though Louisiana faces many obstacles, she is optimistic and focuses on the right solution. She provides a beautiful blend of humor, friendship and adventure in this tale. My favorite hilarious moments were when they go to the dentist, or when she comments on Bernice’s curlers. On a side note, I also learned some new terms like ‘sundering’ and ‘infinitesimally’ from this novel.The only part that I didn’t enjoy much was how the Granny left Louisiana. The story becomes uncomfortable when Louisiana is alone in the motel. It was discomforting to see these scenes written in a nonchalant manner. It continues this way when she gets lost in the woods in the middle of the night. Moreover, I didn’t like the reason as to why Granny left her behind in the first place. It seemed like a very ridiculous reason to leave behind someone you have loved for many years. Anyway, apart from this scene, I absolutely adored this book!This story is written from the first person narrative of Louisiana and makes the book feel very personal. All the characters mentioned are adorable and it very hard to dislike any of them (even Bernice and Miss Lulu). They are all distinctive, colorful and memorable in their own manner. The author even makes a creepy creature like a crow seem cute to have for a pet. My favorite character was Burke as I feel anyone would love to have a friend like him around.Now that we have books on Louisiana and Raymie, can we expect the following book to be about Beverly? I will be definitely reading “Raymie Nightingale” after reading this beautiful novel to see if it is equally good. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Louisiana’s Way Home” and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
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  • Dianna
    January 1, 1970
    Raised by her certifiably insane Granny, shadowed by a family curse, and constantly dealing with poverty, Louisana Elefante has not had a typical life. Her story opens hurtling down the highway away from home, in the middle of the night, the only explanation from her Granny that "the day of reckoning has arrived." Louisiana seems well equipped through experience to deal with her Granny, but eventually things change, and suddenly nothing is as it seemed. Can Louisiana re-orient herself and build Raised by her certifiably insane Granny, shadowed by a family curse, and constantly dealing with poverty, Louisana Elefante has not had a typical life. Her story opens hurtling down the highway away from home, in the middle of the night, the only explanation from her Granny that "the day of reckoning has arrived." Louisiana seems well equipped through experience to deal with her Granny, but eventually things change, and suddenly nothing is as it seemed. Can Louisiana re-orient herself and build a new life?In a nutshell: Classic Kate DiCamillo: Sad, hopeful, beautiful. Read it. P.S. Louisiana is a character who started out in another of DiCamillo's books, Raymie Nightingale . I wondered coming into this book whether I would need to have read Raymie first. The answer is no. Although Raymie is mentioned a few times, Louisiana is a standalone.
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  • Nusrat Mahmood
    January 1, 1970
    ** I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. **Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.Sometimes you start reading a book expecting nothing, nothing at all and the book has a weird starting. By the time you are in third or fourth chapter you start loving the protagonist…..by sixth or seventh chapter, you love the weird starting and reading the book as if it’s an ice c ** I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. **Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.Sometimes you start reading a book expecting nothing, nothing at all and the book has a weird starting. By the time you are in third or fourth chapter you start loving the protagonist…..by sixth or seventh chapter, you love the weird starting and reading the book as if it’s an ice cream you are eating outside. you will not let the drip fall but also enjoy it to the fullest. Louisiana’s Way Home actually that kinda book.This is an ARC copy that I had requested on netgalley without any idea who the author is, what is the synopsis, what’s the genre. that’s why I didn’t have so much expectation. But with the gradual reading I fall in love with the book, Louisiana, her granny, her friends…. those seventeen cakes (*wink*).I am so glad I have found Kate DiCamillo because her imaginative and poetic writing is die to read for. She built every single character with so much care that they feel so real. I don’t find this story about Louisiana unreal at all, not childish at all.download (1)The story is told by Louisiana Elefante, a 12 years old who leaves her home overnight because her only living and weird relative granny decides so. She doesn’t give any explanation for such run but mentions a mysterious curse. Louisiana’s both parents were famous trapeze and dead. How the penniless duo stuck in a small town in Georgia and how Louisiana discovers the biggest truth about her existence is the cherry of the story.I simply love how Kate kept open the door of imagination and said so many unsaid things and beautifully wrote down the emotions sweetly but not overly sugarcoated. Just one thing poked me hard what Granny did to Louisiana later . If she planned to did so why didn’t she did it to her on the very first of the book . But it creates an path to discuss the story in a whole new way with the reader.This book is supposed to be a children’s book but it never seems to me so and very much gracefully written. It is about forgiven, to find love, friendship and family. The protagonist Louisiana is one of the weird still quierky and lovable character you will meet and wanna hug and want to give love.I am so glad I get the chance to read the ARC of this melancholy beautiful book. I will always thankful to the author, publisher and netgalley to give me the chance to discover such heart warming story.Rating: * * * * * ( so satisfying to rate a book solid 5 stars)(I have also found that Louisiana has also appeared earlier in the author’s book named RAYMIE NIGHTINGLE.I have to read that as well and hopefully will come up with a review as well. Till then adios, HAPPY READING!Love has a way to find you
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    "I said, 'I don't know who I am. I only know that I am not who I thought I was.' Reverend Obertask nodded his big head. 'That is a problem we all face sooner or later, I suppose.'"Louisiana's Way Home tells the story of a character we met in DiCamillo's previous novel Raymie Nightingale. Two years after Raymie, we follow beloved ranchero Louisiana Elefante as she tells the story of what happened to her after Granny wakes her up in the middle of the night with the ominous words: "The day of recko "I said, 'I don't know who I am. I only know that I am not who I thought I was.' Reverend Obertask nodded his big head. 'That is a problem we all face sooner or later, I suppose.'"Louisiana's Way Home tells the story of a character we met in DiCamillo's previous novel Raymie Nightingale. Two years after Raymie, we follow beloved ranchero Louisiana Elefante as she tells the story of what happened to her after Granny wakes her up in the middle of the night with the ominous words: "The day of reckoning has arrived. The hour is close at hand. We must leave immediately."A family curse passed down each generation from her great-grandfather has Granny and Louisiana on the road. Near the Florida-Georgia line the curse seems intent on stopping them, first when they run out of gas and then when Granny is stricken with a sudden horrible toothache.Staying at a hotel while Granny recovers from oral surgery, Louisiana meets a cast of quirky characters that remind her that "there is goodness in many hearts. In most hearts."Louisiana warns us from the beginning that a great deal of her story is extremely sad. Her world is turned upside down when Granny leaves without her to break the family curse and she finds out truths about her life that make her question her entire existence. The kindness she finds in the hearts of the folks in Richford, Georgia transforms her story from one of sadness to a heartwarming tale of family - the one we're born into and the one we make.Full of humor, heartache, the kindness of strangers, and seventeen cakes (to be exact), Louisiana's Way Home is a children's/middle grade novel sure to charm readers both young and old with its message.Thanks to Candlewick Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Louisiana's Way Home is scheduled for release on October 2, 2018.*Quotes included are from an advanced readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication.
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  • Samantha Sim
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 starsi cannot believe it took me so long to pick up a kate dicamillo book.
  • Jmorenocidoncha
    January 1, 1970
    Esta valoración no es objetiva ni quiere serlo. Kate DiCamillo es una de las mejores escritoras que tenemos en el catálogo de Océano Gran Travesía y una de las mejores escritoras de este género en todo el mundo, pero sin ningún tipo de duda, es una de nuestras autoras favoritas. Su forma de partir de historias desgraciadas e infelices para mostrar el lado luminoso de la vida es sencillamente vital. Es vital que existan artistas que nos ayuden a creer en nosotros mismos, en el buen corazón de los Esta valoración no es objetiva ni quiere serlo. Kate DiCamillo es una de las mejores escritoras que tenemos en el catálogo de Océano Gran Travesía y una de las mejores escritoras de este género en todo el mundo, pero sin ningún tipo de duda, es una de nuestras autoras favoritas. Su forma de partir de historias desgraciadas e infelices para mostrar el lado luminoso de la vida es sencillamente vital. Es vital que existan artistas que nos ayuden a creer en nosotros mismos, en el buen corazón de los demás, en que podemos forjar nuestro propio destino. Y en esta novela, DiCamillo se ha superado. El humor, las escenas surrealistas, los personajes estrambóticos…, todo está ahí, como en sus novelas anteriores, pero la emoción, el sentimiento, la dicha de vivir… Cielo Santo, ¿cómo puede hacerlo de una forma tan limpia y tan profunda, como un cuchillo que se hunde en nuestro pecho y sale limpio de resentimiento? ¿Y qué decir de Louisiana Elefante? Un personaje a la altura de los grandes personajes de la literatura juvenil universal como Ana de las Tejas Verdes, Heidi o Pipi Calzaslargas. Es decidida, fuerte, sensible, candorosa, honesta… Alguien, que si fuera real, nunca apartarías de tu lado. Y ciertamente, qué dicha que Kate DiCamillo haya querido contar su historia.
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  • Leah (Jane Speare)
    January 1, 1970
    What a sweet story!! I haven’t read a DiCamillo book as an adult, only when I was a young kid. Why haven’t I??
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    As always, Kate DiCamillo crafts words and lines that stick to your heart. I enjoyed this one even more than Raymie.
  • Wendi Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Louisiana Elefante is a character from DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale, a novel I haven’t read yet. But this is Louisiana’s story, beginning as her grandmother whisks her away from her home, pets, and friends, heading toward an unknown future. It works exceptionally well as a stand-alone novel, although now I’m very motivated to read Raymie’s tale. Louisiana’s life has been filled with fantastical stories about her circus performing family and the whims of her very unusual grandmother, and this g Louisiana Elefante is a character from DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale, a novel I haven’t read yet. But this is Louisiana’s story, beginning as her grandmother whisks her away from her home, pets, and friends, heading toward an unknown future. It works exceptionally well as a stand-alone novel, although now I’m very motivated to read Raymie’s tale. Louisiana’s life has been filled with fantastical stories about her circus performing family and the whims of her very unusual grandmother, and this gives this novel a whimsical, fairy-tale quality even as bad things begin to happen. Louisiana herself is a staunch character, keeping her chin up and always moving forward. She finds kindness in a Lost Boy-esque character, who literally feeds her from a vending machine, but her path is also filled with apathetic grown-ups and big questions about her past and identity. It could have easily veered into dark middle grade novel territory, but that whimsical quality kept it afloat, and it’s that whimsy that lingered with me, as I write this review a week after finishing the book. I really enjoyed this novel, and recommend it to anyone interested in middle grade books. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.
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  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    I want to read Raymie Nightingale again, then re-read this slower. I think it's a savoring book, not a gulping it down book.
  • Brenda Kahn
    January 1, 1970
    I brought this book to read while waiting for take-out dinner at a ridiculously popular and busy seafood restaurant at the beach. It was so busy that their phone was busy each time I called to try to place the order. Resigned to a long wait, I cracked this gem open and got through half of it before my order was ready. I did not mind the wait because Louisiana is beguiling. This is one I will reread with my ears when it releases. I don't wish to say too much about this spare and evocative novel b I brought this book to read while waiting for take-out dinner at a ridiculously popular and busy seafood restaurant at the beach. It was so busy that their phone was busy each time I called to try to place the order. Resigned to a long wait, I cracked this gem open and got through half of it before my order was ready. I did not mind the wait because Louisiana is beguiling. This is one I will reread with my ears when it releases. I don't wish to say too much about this spare and evocative novel but I thought about Michelle Obama's words about resilience while I read Louisiana's story.
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  • Chrissie
    January 1, 1970
    A tremendously touching book from DiCamillo. This is a middle grade gem.DiCamillo always deals with some heavy, emotional issues that often affect children. Despite this, she manages to retain so much of the child who serves as narrator in order to fully capture the depth and all-consuming turmoil in the story. She writes about children and for children brilliantly.In Louisiana's Way Home we have the continuing story of Louisiana Elefante, one of the friends of Raymie's who first appeared in Ray A tremendously touching book from DiCamillo. This is a middle grade gem.DiCamillo always deals with some heavy, emotional issues that often affect children. Despite this, she manages to retain so much of the child who serves as narrator in order to fully capture the depth and all-consuming turmoil in the story. She writes about children and for children brilliantly.In Louisiana's Way Home we have the continuing story of Louisiana Elefante, one of the friends of Raymie's who first appeared in Raymie Nightingale. Louisiana is a little flaky in Raymie Nightingale, but darling and sweetly innocent. She has that ethereal quality like a Luna Lovegood.Over the course of the story, dealing with both abandonment and identity issues, DiCamillo deftly and expertly pieces together a sad but hopeful tale for Louisiana, who has abruptly left Florida in the middle of the night with her granny. They make it to a small town in Georgia before Granny stops because she needs emergency dental care. Along the way and during Louisiana's stay in this small town, DiCamillo writes moments of both tenderness and despair that I was completely engrossed in this darling novel.I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This affected neither my opinion of the book, nor the content of my review.
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  • Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    "I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know.This is what happened.I will begin at the beginning."So, too, does Kate DiCamillo begin her latest novel Louisiana's Way Home.Kate DiCamillo is one of those authors whose books constantly leave me in awe of the gift "I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know.This is what happened.I will begin at the beginning."So, too, does Kate DiCamillo begin her latest novel Louisiana's Way Home.Kate DiCamillo is one of those authors whose books constantly leave me in awe of the gift she has with storytelling. One reads her children's novels and knows that she writes what we refer to as "classics." These are the stories we fall in love with and read and re-read again and again, to our children, to our grandchildren, or to ourselves. From the moment I met Opal in Because of Winn-Dixie when I read this book to my older son, I knew in the same way that I knew when I read an author like E.B. White: this is an author I trust to take me anywhere their imagination wants to lead. And she is one of those few authors who, whenever their book is released, I buy it.The first-person narrator of this book, Louisiana Elefante, was first introduced to us in DiCamillo's heartbreakingly tender Raymie Nightingale. In her first sequel, DiCamillo unfolds the story of Louisiana Elefante. Louisiana's Granny wakes her up at 3 am one night and drives her out of Florida with no plans to ever return and without telling the 12-year-old why other than it was to break the family "curse." What happens in this slender volume is breathtaking and can make the reader laugh out loud one moment and cry the next; in fact, this novel had me in tears reading it in a doctor's waiting room.In the early part of the story, Louisiana goes into the office of the Reverend Frank Obertask, in the hopes of getting guidance. The Reverend is not there, but Louisiana writes, "I looked around the office. It was filled with books. They were piled up on the desk and on the floor. The walls were lined with shelves and the shelves were jammed tight with books.My goodness, it was a lot of books.Whoever Reverend Frank Obertask was, he certainly believed in the power of the written word. And that was fine by me, because I believe in the power of the written word, too. For instance, I believe in these words I am writing because they are the truth of what happened to me."And Kate DiCamillo not only believes in the power of the written word but she has a way with those words as well. In telling the story of Louisiana, a child of trauma, DiCamillo offers us the power of words said and unsaid, and the power of the written word (including those of a letter her Granny writes to her). Louisiana is resourceful and resilient. And the story she tells is so honest and funny and unexpected, that the reader cannot help but become deeply and dearly involved with what happens to this child.Later in the book, Louisiana finally meets Reverend Obertask and he tells her, "It is a good and healing thing to tell your story." And it is.Kate DiCamillo tells the story of abandonment and connection, of hope and of healing, of family and forgiveness.This is a truly special book and one that, like many of DiCamillo's career, is destined to become a classic.(Louisana's Way will be released in October 2018).
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Simply stunning. Louisiana was my favorite character in RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE, and I was thrilled to be given an ARC of her story! I adore Kate DiCamillo and have never not loved a book of hers. But this one is truly special. Heartbreaking and hopeful, with a voice that sings off the pages and characters that will make you ache. Truly a masterpiece.
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  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    January 1, 1970
    The two things I remember most about being 10 was that 1- I got new glasses with a blue frame just like my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Basil, and 2- I was just so hungry for stories like Louisiana's Way Home. It would have been the ideal story for me, and together with Anne of Green Gables and a book my cousin in Wales sent to me called The School at the Chalet, I would have been in book heaven.The Louisiana in this book's title is, of course, Louisiana Elefante one of the three rancheros from Kate The two things I remember most about being 10 was that 1- I got new glasses with a blue frame just like my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Basil, and 2- I was just so hungry for stories like Louisiana's Way Home. It would have been the ideal story for me, and together with Anne of Green Gables and a book my cousin in Wales sent to me called The School at the Chalet, I would have been in book heaven.The Louisiana in this book's title is, of course, Louisiana Elefante one of the three rancheros from Kate DiCamillo's earlier book Raymie Nightingale. Louisiana is the girl with the swampy lungs who lives with her Granny because her parents, famous trapeze artists called The Flying Elefantes, died when the ship they were on sank. Since then, Louisiana and her Granny have been traveling around from place to place in an old car to avoid the "authorities" who, Granny believes, would send her to live in an orphanage.So now it was no surprise when Granny woke Louisiana up at three in the morning to hustle her into the car and leave Florida and the other two rancheros, friends Raymie and Beverly, behind. As Granny explains to her, the hour of reckoning has arrived and it's time to do something about the curse of sundering that has been passed down from Louisiana's great-grandfather, a magician.But Granny and Louisiana don't get far after crossing the state line into Georgia before Granny is hit with terrible tooth pain. The pain is so bad all she can do is moan for Louisiana to find a dentist, which she does in Richford, Georgia. Once Granny's teeth are taken care of, the two find themselves staying in the Good Night, Sleep Tight Motel for the night. But when Granny refuses to get out of bed, the motel owner, uncharitable Bernice, forces Louisiana to use her lovely voice singing at a funeral in order to pay for the additional nights.Outside the motel, Louisiana meets Burke Allen, a wild child with a heart of gold, who knows how to get peanuts and Oh Henry candy bars out of the motel's vending machine without paying for them and who introduces her to the joys of a bologna sandwich with orange cheese and mayonnaise on white bread. Along the way, she also meets Reverend Obertask, whose advertised healing words on his church's sign turn out to not be the magic that Louisiana so badly needs.Then Granny suddenly abandons Louisiana at the motel, leaving only a letter telling the truth about how Louisiana came to live with her and why she has to leave. Shattered and in despair, Louisiana is totally convinced that her life is always going to be a series of goodbyes thanks to the sundering curse. Kicked out of the Good Night, Sleep Tight motel, she finds her way first Reverend Obertask, and then to the Allen house. But now that she is abandoned and alone, not knowing who she is, will Louisiana finally end up in the county orphanage Granny tried to save her from or is the Granny mirage she sees in church finally being truthful when she tells her that "provisions have been made?"It certainly sounds like Louisiana's story could be a mighty sad one, but it isn't, well, it is, but not entirely. And that's because DiCamillo has peopled Louisiana's life with a cast of some very eccentric characters, some mean and selfish, some kind and generous, that lend some humor to the story through Louisiana's wonderful narration.Interestingly, I never really had a handle on the character of Granny in Raymie Nightingale and the same is true here. The one thing I was certain of was that she did indeed love Louisiana dearly. So her abandonment came as a surprise, but Granny has always told her that "provision have been made" and maybe there was something about Richford, Georgia and the people there that made Granny comfortable enough to do what she had to do. Indeed, something to think about.Louisiana's Way Home is a somewhat complicated novel, but do pay attention to her mentions of the Pinocchio story about a wooden puppet who just wanted to be a real boy, just like Louisiana wants to be a real girl. And remember, it was Geppetto who first lied to Pinocchio, but it was the boy puppet who understood that he lied out of kindness and forgave him. Louisiana's journey becomes clearer. Granny also lied to her out of kindness, but now the time has come to face her own truth, and Louisiana can't come along on Granny's journey anymore, she much go on her own. DiCamillo deftly and sensitively handles the themes around these truths so very well for her young readers - the search for home, the act of forgiveness, the need for family, and a strong sense of identity, and of course, simply belonging, and she makes doing it all look so easy even when you know it isn't.Now, what about friends Raymie and Beverly, and Archie, King of the Cats, and Buddy, Dog of their Hearts back in Florida, you ask? No, they're not gone, not totally. But does Louisiana's Way Home work as a stand alone story? I believe so, simple because in her narration of the events in Georgia, Louisiana provides what the reader needs to know from the adventures in the previous book.Because of Winn-Dixie used to be my favorite Kate DiCamillo novel, but now I have to say it is Louisiana's Way Home. Somehow I felt that it was a more personal work of hers that any other, and it just felt more like it really came from the heart.You can download a Teacher's Guide for Louisiana's Way Home thanks to the publisher, Candlewick Press.This book is recommended for readers age 10+This book was an EARC received from NetGalley
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  • Shaye Miller
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to get to read DiCamillo's new middle grade book! This is a continuation of the story that originated in Raymie Nightingale (2016). This installment is told in the voice of 12-year-old Louisiana Elefante and picks up two years later, beginning with Lousiana’s grandma dragging her out of Florida in the middle of the night (leaving behind her dear friends, Raymie and Beverly — presumably forever). On their journey, they quickly hit one obstacle after another and eventually land in I was so excited to get to read DiCamillo's new middle grade book! This is a continuation of the story that originated in Raymie Nightingale (2016). This installment is told in the voice of 12-year-old Louisiana Elefante and picks up two years later, beginning with Lousiana’s grandma dragging her out of Florida in the middle of the night (leaving behind her dear friends, Raymie and Beverly — presumably forever). On their journey, they quickly hit one obstacle after another and eventually land in a Georgia motel where Lousiana meets a young boy with a crow. Oh my, there’s a lot going on in this story with a variety of interesting characters, each being developed in full DiCamillo detail. But amidst the many experiences and side-adventures, Louisiana’s needs remain the focus.It was easy to fall into this story as it’s one of hope and bonding. One thing I was pleased to see in this leg of the story (that gives it a bump over Raymie Nightingale) was Louisiana encountering a couple healthy adults who truly care about HER and want to help her do whatever she needs to do. There’s something so difficult about holding in a deep, potentially dark, secret. And middle grade literature, in general, often presents the child and adult as adversaries. Nevertheless, the young reader will find comfort in this story as Louisiana discovers a grown-up she can trust in her big, confusing, and sometimes scary world.NOTE: While we encounter characters we met in the first book, Louisiana’s Way Home could easily be a stand-alone book for anyone who hasn’t yet read Raymie Nightingale. In fact, dare I mention that I enjoyed Louisiana’s Way Home much more than Raymie Nightingale? I grew far more attached to these characters and the final pages brought me to unexpected tears. Thanks to Candlewick Press and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review.For more #kidlit, #mglit, and #yalit book reviews, please visit my blog: The Miller Memo.
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  • Debbie Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Meet Characters Who Will Beg You To Keep Turning The Pages"I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be know, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know."Immediately the reader learns that Louisiana's great-grandfather was a magician, and long ago he set into motion a terrible curse. If the above isn't enough t Meet Characters Who Will Beg You To Keep Turning The Pages"I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be know, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know."Immediately the reader learns that Louisiana's great-grandfather was a magician, and long ago he set into motion a terrible curse. If the above isn't enough to make pages fly,"Granny woke me up. She said, 'The day of reckoning has arrived. The hour is close at hand. We must leave Immediately.' It was three a.m." Separated from her friends and pets without even a good-bye, Louisiana realizes that Granny doesn't plan to ever return to their home. But soon what she has left behind seems small in comparison to what she experiences: Granny suffers from excruciating pain causing her to collapse in the back seat of the car, Louisiana deals with a surly motel owner, a nosey church organist, and a walrus-like minister. Not to mention a mysterious boy who walks around with a crow on his shoulder.Even the story of Pinocchio winds its way beautifully through this touching story of resilience and strength.What Concerned Me: Absolutely NothingWhat I Loved Most: Katie DiCamillo has well-developed characters with a believable language that is all their own. The book never slowed down from the first page, but managed to keep me wanting more. I highly recommend it. And for those who read my blog, I don't hand out 5 Star ratings that easily.Thank You #netgalley for this ARC.https://debbieshakespearesmith.blogsp...
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Somehow I knew that when this story began, I would get a bit teary once in a while. It’s true, I did. Meeting Louisiana Elefante as Raymie Clarke’s friend in the book Raymie Nighingale, I did wonder about her life of poverty. She lived with her grandmother and was often hungry and yet held a toughness that meant to me she had to have found those muscles out of need. She says she was the daughter of the famous Flying Elfantes, circus artists. Of the three Rancheros in that first book, the other b Somehow I knew that when this story began, I would get a bit teary once in a while. It’s true, I did. Meeting Louisiana Elefante as Raymie Clarke’s friend in the book Raymie Nighingale, I did wonder about her life of poverty. She lived with her grandmother and was often hungry and yet held a toughness that meant to me she had to have found those muscles out of need. She says she was the daughter of the famous Flying Elfantes, circus artists. Of the three Rancheros in that first book, the other being Beverly Tapinski, Louisiana held a resilience to be admired, but her youth made me sad that she had to have it.As this new story begins, I realize Louisiana is going to tell every single detail of her life at this time, two years after the adventures with Raymie and Beverly. Her 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 had those ideas before.I cannot write more. The book shows thoughts that are so vulnerable, it makes me as a teacher wonder about my students. Who felt this lonely? Who could have stood up for themselves as Louisiana did? Where are the adults that are the helpers? Kate DiCamillo found these words were written more than once as she leafed through her notebooks: 'I am going to write it all down so that you will know what happened to me’. DiCamillo said that she had written next to the sentence, ‘Louisiana?’ Now, she has let Louisiana tell that story and it is beautiful.
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