LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME, by Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, Oct. 2, 2018, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 10-13)
If you’re looking for a lovely short middle-grade read with a lot of heart, Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home is a great choice.
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.) — Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Louisiana’s Way Home is an unexpected read. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. As an outsider looking in, Louisiana’s situation seems unimaginable. But you quickly come to see that she’s been prepared for it the whole of her short life.
There’s a lot of emotion packed into this fairly short book, and though the length would lead you to believe it’s for younger middle-grade, it definitely skews older. There’s absolutely nothing objectionable here, but the material and its presentation requires a bit more maturity.
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