Louisiana's Way Home
Louisiana's Way Home

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Annotation: Louisiana isn't too worried when Granny wakes her to tell her they have to leave home immediately; such impulses are common with Granny. But this time, things are different, and Louisiana finds herself on a quest for home--and for herself.
Catalog Number: #169526
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 227 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-9463-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2797-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-9463-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2797-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018959670
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Louisiana Elefante's flighty, unstable grandmother abandons her at a motel, leaving behind a letter revealing that Louisiana is a foundling whom she rescued and raised. Louisiana (Raymie Nightingale) is a resilient and sympathetic character, and the juxtaposition of her down-to-earth observations with Granny's capriciousness lightens the narrative and allows for a good deal of humor. Overarching themes addressing forgiveness, love, friendship, acceptance, home, and family ring honest and true.
Publishers Weekly
Fans of Newbery Medalist DiCamillo-s Raymie Nightingale will delight in finding out what becomes of Raymie-s orphaned friend Louisiana Elefante in this -story of woe and confusion- that is also a -story of joy and kindness and free peanuts.- In Florida, 12-year-old narrator Louisiana is whisked out of bed at 3 a.m. by her grandmother-her caretaker-who declares that -the day of reckoning has arrived- and they must leave straightaway. The trip is aborted in Richford, Ga., when suffering Granny has to have all her teeth removed. Stuck in a motel while her grandmother recuperates, homesick Louisiana seethes with resentment but is distracted by young Burke Allen, who has a pet crow and knows how to get free food from the vending machine. Then Granny abandons Louisiana, leaving her with nothing but a letter revealing that everything Louisiana knows about her past is a lie. 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. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 36 DiCamillo returns to a character she introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale . In a first-person account, spirited 10-year-old Louisiana Elefante tells the story of being abruptly awoken by her grandmother in the middle of the night. Together, they trek to Georgia where emergency dental surgery and a nearly empty wallet cause them to stop in their tracks. Stuck in the rural town of Richford, Louisiana must find a way home to her friends. An old family curse that prevents any Elefante from forging long-lasting relationships looms over her. Through a series of chance encounters with the eclectic residents of the small town, Louisiana discovers the power of her own voice and her ability to set her own course. 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. VERDICT A thoughtful and finely written story that earns its place among DiCamillo's other beloved novels. Katherine Hickey, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Abandoned twice over, Louisiana Elefante discovers in herself the "magic that puts things back together.""There is a great deal of power in writing things down," Louisiana observes as she begins her chronicle, a powerful tale of finding her way home. In a convincing first-person voice, the 12-year-old relates the facts of her 1977 journey to Richford, Georgia. She takes note of surprising details and adds her own philosophical thoughts. Readers who first encountered Louisiana in Raymie Nightingale (2016) will be heartened to learn more about her, but this is a stand-alone tale of how she lifted the "curse of sundering" she thought was her legacy. This is not only a story of a child deciding who she wants to be, but also of the power of generosity, especially in the family of Burke Allen, the boy who becomes her friend after she has left Raymie and Beverly behind in Florida. Louisiana's life with her grandmother has not been easy, but she has some amazing talents: a voice like an angel and skill at convincing others to meet her needs. Much about her experiences could be devastatingly sad—sometimes this vulnerable white child makes other characters cry—but there's also humor, especially in Louisiana's biting observations about some of the adults around her. The book adheres to the white default.For readers who relish thoughtfully constructed plots, well-developed characters, and carefully crafted language, this will be a special treat. (Historical fiction. 9-13)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Last seen in Raymie Nightingale? (2016), Louisiana Elefante, daughter of dead trapeze artists and prone to fainting, is awakened in the middle of the night by her grandmother, who orders her into the car. Granny has been told in a vision that they have a date with destiny, an opportunity to reverse the family curse, but they must immediately hit the road. Once over the Florida border into Georgia, Granny's aching teeth become an emergency. Louisiana, 12, is forced to get behind the wheel and locate a dentist in the small town of Richford. Once there, she finds a friend, but loses both her bearings and her history when family secrets are disclosed, whereupon she discovers she has more moxie in her small body than she thought possible. DiCamillo, in an unusual turn for her, tells Louisiana's story in first person, bringing the reader close to what's in the girl's head and heart cluding pure anger at the disruption of her life. The writing is terse, with short paragraphs and even shorter sentences. 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 a fairy-tale quality to this, with heroes, helpers, villains, and one princess looking for a home. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: DiCamillo's done it all cept write a sequel before. A 10-city author tour and coordinated global release are planned.
Word Count: 31,222
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 198417 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q75810
Lexile: 630L

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.

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