Louisiana’s Way Home

Kate Di­camillo, Can­dlewick Press (OC­TO­BER) Hard­cover $16.99 (240pp), 978-0-7636-9463-0

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Young Adult -

In Kate Di­camillo’s beau­ti­ful fol­low-up to Raymie Nightin­gale, Louisiana Ele­fante is back, and she and her granny are out to face the fam­ily curse. When they stop to sleep in a small Ge­or­gia town, Louisiana is left to wan­der on her own. She meets Burke Allen, who is kind, has a pet crow, and can get her any­thing she wants from the mo­tel vend­ing ma­chine. The two form an in­stant friend­ship.

Louisiana re­turns to her room to find her granny miss­ing, hav­ing left a note that turns her world up­side down. Louisiana must rely on the kind­ness of the peo­ple she meets, pri­mar­ily the town minister and Burke Allen’s fam­ily, as she tries to fig­ure out what to do next.

Louisiana is a pre­co­cious lead with an in­ter­est­ing sense of ethics, a some­times sharp tongue, and a lovely singing voice. Left alone in a strange place, far away from friends and ut­terly with­out fam­ily, she must learn some very large truths; much of what she thought de­fined her sim­ply no longer ap­plies. She knows she wants to go home, but how can she pos­si­bly find her way home when she doesn’t even know who she is?

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. Not every­one Louisiana meets is in­ter­ested in help­ing her, but those that do reach out to her with great love and com­pas­sion. Louisiana takes a large step to­wards ma­tu­rity, learn­ing to be her best self and to re­de­fine

what home re­ally means.

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