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My Louisiana Sky Paperback – February 15, 2011
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Sixteen years ago, My Louisiana Sky met its first group of readers. Back then I volunteered at my daughter's school library. Those first readers were fourth-graders who gave me twenty minutes of their weekly book-searching time. The story was in manuscript form and hadn't been sent out to potential publishers or agents. As a novice writer, the sessions with those young students were exciting and important to my craft. Their questions steered me back to the page, eager to clear up any confusion. After My Louisiana Sky was published I continued to get feedback from readers. A few weeks after the book debuted, I received a phone call from a woman who had grown up with a mentally challenged mother. She thought my story was a memoir. After convincing her it was fiction, I hung up with the startling realization that someone I didn't know had read my book.
Soon I began receiving letters from readers. Some told me they wished a part in the plot had turned out differently. Some liked it just the way it was. Many shared how the book had affected their lives. Last month a college student at a book festival told me My Louisiana Sky was one of her favorite books. She said she related to the main character. It was an emotional confession because she, too, had grown up as her mother's caretaker. She's among the readers who convinced me that no matter how old a story is, it has the power to connect with our current life.
Didn't I always know this? After all, I was a lonely seventh grader when I found The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in my junior high library. Somehow I didn't feel so alone, knowing that Mick shared the same longing for being accepted that I did.
More than a dozen years have passed since My Louisiana Sky was originally published. A lot of my readers weren't even born in 1998. I'm still hearing from them. The story may be old to me, but they are finding it for the first time.
This month My Louisiana Sky is getting a fresh look. The transformation stops at the cover. The words and story remain the same. I won't say the same old story because this journey has taught me that opening to the first page of a book is like taking a first step on a trail winding through the woods. The trail may have been carved by countless steps made from former travelers. But discoveries await us. We view the sights believing no one else has ever caught a glimpse of them, as if we are the original travelers. And, for a while, we are. For a while, everything is new.
From Publishers Weekly
In this poignant adaptation of Holt's debut novel, actress Ivey's natural Southern twang goes down as smooth as "Momma's extra-sweet lemondade." Twelve-year-old Tiger Ann Parker finds herself going through some momentous changes in the summer following sixth grade. Though she fiercely loves and defends her parents--both of whom are mentally disabled, or "slow," as Tiger prefers--Tiger harbors guilt about sometimes feeling embarrassed by Momma and Daddy. She's also torn between playing baseball with her best pal, Jesse Wade, and sitting on the sidelines with the girls in pretty dresses. Luckily, she has her loving, pragmatic Granny at home to help her sort through the confusion. But when Granny suddenly dies from a snake bite, Tiger's world turns upside down. In the weeks following Granny's death, Tiger discovers how truly special her parents are and that she could never leave them or their tiny rural hometown of Saitter, La. Set in the 1950s, Holt's story evokes an era on the cusp of technological and social change, when life was mostly simple, though larger problems like racial inequality loomed. Ivey portrays Tiger with the perfect mix of innocence and a sense of blossoming wisdom. Ivey's other characterizations call on a range of colorful, though never overly affected, Southern cadences and inflections. Ages 9-up. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.