Review: Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamilloLouisiana’s Way Home
Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press
Published on October 2, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About 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.

My Review

Confession: I haven’t read Raymie Nightingale, but when I got the chance to review Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, I couldn’t pass it up. My family listened to Flora & Ulysses on our summer vacation a few years ago, and we all enjoyed it so much. I’ve also read Because of Winn Dixie and absolutely adore it, too. Kate DiCamillo is one of those authors where you just want to buy everything with her name on it because you know it’s going to be good.

And Louisiana’s Way Home is no exception. It’s packed with the same rich, unforgettable characters and incredible heart as the other stories I’ve read by her. I love Louisiana’s voice. You absolutely get the feeling a particular girl is telling every line. I love the way her relationships with each other character impact the story. The walrus-like minister is one of my favorites. In one scene, he cries, and it’s not at all the focus of the scene, but it so revealed the kind of person he is without making a big show. I loved it and wholeheartedly recommend Louisiana’s Way Home. And now I definitely have to read Raymie Nightingale!

 Louisiana’s Way Home on AmazonRecommended for Ages 10 up.

Cultural Elements
Major characters are white or not physically described.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Romance/Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
Louisiana’s granny tells her there is a curse on her family ever since her great-grandfather (a magician) sawed her great-grandmother in half and refused to put her back together again.
Louisiana seeks advice from a pastor whose office door sign says he offers healing words because she reasons that healing words are like a spell, and therefore, maybe he can lift the curse she believes is on her family. The pastor tells her that no, he can’t perform magic, but that telling her story to someone who listens to her can be a healing thing.
She sings at a church funeral.

Violent Content
This isn’t really violent, but Louisiana makes friends with a boy who steals items from a vending machine.

Drug Content
None.

Louisiana’s Way Home on Goodreads

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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