- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 - 6
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (October 2, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763694630
- ISBN-13: 978-0763694630
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Louisiana's Way Home Hardcover – October 2, 2018
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Louisiana, with her quick, insightful takes on everyone she meets, grabbed readers’ hearts in ‘Raymie Nightingale,’ and in this book she isn’t about to let go. Though her life has been filled with hardship and uncertainty — and there are more painful secrets to come — she continues to operate with a sense of wonder and practical optimism (the pages shine with it).
—The New York Times Book Review
DiCamillo offers a master class in how to tell and shape a story once all fat has been cut away. Though set in the mid-1970s, there’s fairy-tale quality to this, with heroes, helpers, villains, and one princess looking for home.
—Booklist (starred review)
Readers who first encountered Louisiana in Raymie Nightingale (2016) will be heartened to learn more about her...For readers who relish thoughtfully constructed plots, well-developed characters, and carefully crafted language, this will be a special treat.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
DiCamillo builds a resilient and sympathetic character in Louisiana, and the juxtaposition of her down-to-earth observations with Granny’s capriciousness lightens the narrative and allows for a good deal of humor...The overarching themes addressing forgiveness, love, friendship, acceptance, home, and family (“Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up”) ring honest and true.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Populated with unforgettable characters, including kindhearted adults who recognize Louisiana’s dire situation and offer options, this bittersweet novel shows a deep understanding of children’s emotions and celebrates their resiliency. Readers will feel as much empathy for Louisiana as they did for her friend Raymie.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
DiCamillo is able to address complex topics in an accessible and ultimately hopeful way. There is never sadness without comfort, fear without consolation. Louisiana’s soul-searching is no exception and further solidifies DiCamillo’s reputation as a skilled storyteller who trusts her readers to wrestle with hard things. A thoughtful and finely written story that earns its place among DiCamillo’s other beloved novels.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
The tale is...gently told, as much fairy tale as realistic story, in language that’s lovely in its plainspoken illuminations, with the focus on Louisiana’s longing for connection and observations about the people she encounters on the road and in the small 1970s Georgia town. Ultimately this is a deeply sweet but not saccharine take on the old story of an orphan child lost and found, and readers won’t have to know the first book to bond with Louisiana and wish fervently for her to find a home.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
In this funny yet philosophical melodrama, 12-year old Louisiana Elefante recalls her identity crisis, forced when eccentric Granny claims “a date with destiny."...Disparate elements miraculously mesh — stars, smiles, magic, bologna sandwiches, a pet crow and cakes. Here, a two-time Newbery award winner brilliantly guides the dear Louisiana through lies, secrets, anger and abandonment and toward understanding, belonging, gratitude and forgiveness.
—San Francisco Chronicle
Almost effortlessly, DiCamillo explores some of the biggest, most important questions of life — What is home? What is family? Who decides what kind of person we get to be? — in this deceivingly simple and profoundly moving novel.
DiCamillo peoples her tale with colorful, unforgettable characters, although brave,thoughtful, kind Louisiana is the most memorable of all. Young as she is, Louisiana knows to appreciate rare moments of grace and kindness ("there is goodness in many hearts": the gas station clerk who gives her free bags of peanuts, a woman in the dentist's waiting room who gives her a tin of chocolate chip cookies), and she understands the healing power of forgiveness.
This poignant story of loss echoes with themes of hope and redemption.
In Kate DiCamillo’s beautiful follow-up to Raymie Nightingale, Louisiana Elefante is back...The book strikes a delicate balance between relating a charming, entertaining story full of colorful characters and imparting a deeply meaningful life lesson about deciding what kind of person to be.
This is a marvelous book, full of heart but without a drop of cheap sentimentality. . . . What a pleasure it is to read a story in which the author’s faith in the goodness of ‘average’ people is set forth with such vigor and confidence. This celebration of kindness is itself a kindness to the reader and an encouragement to hope.
—Dean Koontz, bestselling author
I really really like Louisiana’s Way Home, a slim, handsome novel about grace.
—Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (blog)
‘You are not alone in the world,’ reads the grandmother’s farewell letter in ‘Louisiana’s Way Home’ (Candlewick, 227 pages, $16.99), Kate DiCamillo’s tender, sorrowful, life-embracing sequel to her 2016 novel, ‘Raymie Nightingale.’
—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time winner of the Newbery Medal, for The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.
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Kate DiCamillo is one of the best storytellers of our day, and this book is just as fantastic as all of her others. First-person-narrator Louisiana is fabulous--I love her life lessons and getting the chance to follow her on her journey. There are humorous moments, bittersweet moments, heartrending moments, and hopeful moments. There are characters you'd like to slap upside the head and characters you wish you could take right off the pages into your own family. This is a beautiful book, and I highly recommend it.
One of my picks for best of 2018.
The protagonist, Louisiana Elefante, was a minor character in Raymie Nightingale, a book which I have not yet read. My not having read that book did not detract from this story in the slightest. Louisiana is precious, hopeful and skeptical, naive and worldly-wise, all at the same time. Her overbearing granny hauls her away from her friends in Florida in the middle of the night, hoping to finally break the family curse that makes them always leaving one place for another. When they get to Georgia, a health crisis and revelations about the past transform Louisiana's life. Told in first person narrative, Louisiana's story is full of voice and heart.
“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.
Many thanks for the ARC provided by Candlewick Press / Candlewick
I chose to request this book because I have read a couple of Kate DiCamillo’s books before and my sixth grade students enjoy them as well. I did not know that this Louisiana was the same from the book Raymie Nightingale. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that! I loved Louisiana, way more than Raymie, and was hooked at the start. My heart broke many times and I am still wanting more after it was over. I would definitely recommend this book and I like that you do not have to have read Raymie Nightingale first. You can read either one in any order and still enjoy it. I will recommend this book to my sixth graders and look forward to getting my own copy for my classroom.