Louisiana's Way Home

by Kate DiCamillo

Hardcover, 2018



Local notes

Fic DiC




Candlewick (2018), 240 pages


Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML: 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… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

240 p.; 5.75 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member doggonelaura
I was so excited to receive this book as an early review. And getting it yesterday, I put down a very good library book to start reading—finished today because I couldn’t wait to find out what happens to Louisiana!

There is something so wonderful about Kate DiCamillo’s characters. That crazy
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Granny for Raymie Nightengale turns out to be truly crazy. The story is so full of longing, discovering, and kind people helping Louisiana find her way, that I cried at the end. A very good kind of cry, where you know that although the road is new, it will be better.

I will say, I liked this better than Raymie Nightengale. So don’t hesitate to read and discover more about Louisiana and her granny.

Can’t wait to book talk it in my elementary school library.
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LibraryThing member coastandanchor
Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale. Although this book can be read as a stand alone, I would recommend you start with Raymie’s story. This book will take you on a roller coaster of emotions as you journey along with Louisiana. She’s thrown into some odd
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situations that she handles with strength, grit and grace. She meets interesting characters along the way, all while figuring out some of life’s challenges. This book deals with unusual friendships, wisdom beyond years and less than perfect circumstances. Life is not a fairytale and neither is Louisana’s Way Home. I highly recommend this book be added to your personal library and any school classroom or library.
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LibraryThing member glassreader
Louisiana's Way Home explores the theme of identity through Louisiana, a 12-year old girl full of spunk and softness. The story opens with Louisiana's Granny waking her up in the middle of the night to flee the "curse" on Granny's, and by association, Louisiana's head. Granny whisks Louisiana away
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from her home, her friends, Archie the cat, and a one-eyed dog named Buddy. Louisiana is heartbroken. She didn't get the chance to say a proper goodbye and the further her and Granny drive, the more Louisiana knows they're not going back. When the true facts of her birth and family come to light, Louisiana is faced with the task of figuring out who she will be which is no small task for anyone. Luckily, Louisiana is not alone in her task. Throughout her journey, she is surrounded by people who have her best interest at heart. From the Allens, who accept her as one of their own, to the quirky Reverend Obertask, Louisiana can lean on new friends while discovering a home and love.

DiCamillo's book examines who we are when goodbyes are frequent and our foundation crumbles. Other themes DiCamillo explores in the book are: friendship, love, and home.
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LibraryThing member FPLD
This book starts off in a part of 12-year-old Louisiana’s life that is full of dark, unexpected changes. The middle of the story brings hope amidst a crisis. By the end of the story, when she finds her ‘home,’ she had discovered who she truly is and has found her ‘family’. This book is
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full of quirky characters and unexpected hope.

DiCamillo has written another gem!

Read as an ARC from LibraryThing.
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LibraryThing member stined
When you lose everything including who you are, what do you do then? Louisiana was a young girl who thought she knew everything about herself and had all she needed to be happy. Then in the middle of the night her grandmother gets her and makes her leave. She leaves behind pets and her best friends
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ever. If you like books of loss and renewal, losing your identity and finding another, and loss of friendship and gain of new, you need to read this book.
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LibraryThing member elizabethlane
I didn't have the pleasure of reading the first book but Louisiana's Way Home worked well as a stand alone book too, especially for 3-4th grade reading level. Louisiana is a spirited young lady who learns to make the best out of a situation. She is tested by many people throughout the book,
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including Mrs. Ivy, Berenice and Miss Lulu and eventually makes her own way, with the help of friends. Kate Dicamillo has a beautiful writing style, and Louisiana's voice really shines through!

I received this book as a ARC. Thank you!
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LibraryThing member dutchgirldtd
Kate DiCamillo rarely disappoints and that is true in this case, as well. Louisiana's Granny has bundled her into a car to go on an unspecified journey, just something that "has to be done", but then ends up abandoning her in a motel to continue her quest alone. Not only that, but she leaves a
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letter which upsets the most important things Louisiana used to believe about herself: the people she thought were her parents, weren't and Granny isn't her blood-relation and hence the family curse is not hers. As Louisiana grapples with these things in addition to the fact that she has been cast aside, she begins to learn who she IS, what she really wants out of life, and how to forgive.
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LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
If you met Louisiana in Raymie Nightingale, this is your chance to learn more about her. And if you didn't read Raymie Nightingale, no worries. This book stands on its own. I am in awe of Kate DiCamillo's writing. It never disappoints. Who else could take on the topics of betrayal and desertion,
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isolation and identity, without overwhelming the reader with sentimentality or heavy-handedness? Not only that, but there is hope and love and a future for Louisiana—and for all of us. Kate, it would be an honor to meet you in person one day.
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LibraryThing member mandy42990
Perfect. Written in that wonderfully distinctive Kate Dicamillo voice, and yet a voice all Louisiana's own, this book triumphantly does what Kate's books do best - breath hope into living, even when it doesn't hand you cupcakes. This story grabbed my heart and it still hasn't let go.
LibraryThing member roses7184
Absolutely adorable, although I expected no less from the sensational Kate DiCamillo. Louisiana Elefante is a character that middle grade readers will understand and fall in love with. Coincidentally, so will adult readers if my reaction is any indication. DiCamillo writes a character who is brave
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and kind, while still showing her youth. She writes Louisiana in a way that makes you proud of how strong she is standing, but also remember that she still need someone to care for her. I'm telling you, I fell hard for this girl. It was inevitable.

I can't say too much more without giving something crucial away, so I'll wrap things up. This is one of those stories that toes the line of magic, but exists firmly and beautifully within our own world. It's a story made up of people are flawed,and alive. Any author that can write for young people and still manage to put real world problems in front of their readers has my heart. Kate DiCamillo continues to prove that she is more than capable of that very thing, and I love her for it.
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LibraryThing member ltcl
You met her in RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE, now you will get to know her story. This book touched my soul. Louisiana is woken up in the middle of the night by her Granny saying that they are leaving and not coming back. They are traveling to destroy the Elefante curse but first need to take care of Granny's
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toothache. The only thing that matters to Louisiana is that she has left behind her two best friends, her home and her cat - forever. Fate (and a toothache) find them in a little town in Georgia where Louisiana will learn to take care of herself and face some hard truths. She learns what it means to trust people and look for love even though she has been let down her whole life. As Granny says, "Provisions have been made" so Louisiana with the help of her friends will persevere. Heartwarming, gut-wrenching and absolutely perfect- I dare you to read this dry-eyed. Another winner from the master of irresistible characters, Kate DiCamillo. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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LibraryThing member Sandralb
The story is well told in the ten-year old Louisiana's voice. It 's easy for young readers to understand and relate to. I'm sure this is why it is so attractive to young readers (or listeners).

This is a great middle reader. Or a read aloud book for younger children. Ms. DiCamillo has a special way
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of writing about difficult situations. I believe by reading this to younger children, questions may come up and can be discussed.

The author has a simple, quiet, whimsical style that sets her apart from other writers.

Louisiana is a spunky, funny, full of life ten year old, who has seen and been through more than any child should have to endure. Yet she has kept her wonderful spirit. Throughout the book she refers to life lessons she has been given by Granny, this may be part of her strength.

I loved Louisiana, she stole my heart. I so enjoyed reading this book and have gone back to read everything Kate DiCamillo has written.

Kate DiCamillo is such an extremely talented children's writer.

I received a copy of this book from Candlewick Press through NetGalleys. The opinions expressed in this book are my own.
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LibraryThing member MsZReadz
I received this book in exchange for a review as a part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Louisiana is such an interesting, quirky, and unique character. She is at once dependent on her Granny and her past, while showing a shocking amount of strength and independence in the moments when
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she needs to stand up for her Granny or to stand up for herself. While the questions and problems that this book addresses are quite complex, the plot of this story and the writing found in its pages would be accessible to many readers. The plot twists are great- especially in the moment when Louisiana decides to drive a car in a moment of need. I was so excited to read Louisiana's story and to share Louisiana's voice with my students that I read an excerpt of this book as a read aloud during the first week of school!
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LibraryThing member librarian1204
Thank you Kate DiCamillo for continuing the story of Louisiana Elefante.

When we left Louisiana in the prior book, Raymie Nightingale, she had just won the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition.
Louisiana and her friends Raymie and Beverly are inseparable. They share the care of their one eyed
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dog Jack and Louisiana is constantly with her cat, Archie.
This has been the best time in Louisiana’s life.

The current book begins 2 years later just as Louisiana’s grandmother is loading her into the car in the middle of the night. Granny is off to confront the ‘curse’, the day of reckoning has come. They make it as far as Richford, Ga.
With no money and only Granny’s and Louisiana’s way of imposing on others to get help, they end up at the Good Night, Sleep Tight Motel, where imposing can only get you just so far.
It is at this point that Louisiana has to confront some truths about her life and her past.
With the help of her new friend , Burke Allen, Louisana makes some changes .

A wonderful story, an excellent sequel. A perfect sense of place in the descriptions of the rural, small town south. Most of all, the ability to understand the heart of a confused little girl, with tremendous longings, make this book another winner of Kate DiCamillo.
Read as an ARC from LibraryThing. Thank you.
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LibraryThing member nbmars
This is a companion to book to National Book Award Finalist Raymie Nightingale, which I did not read. Thankfully, that omission posed no obstacle to understanding and loving this book for middle graders and up.

Louisiana Elefante, 12, lives with her Granny in Florida, but as the story opens, Granny
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gets Louisiana up at 3 a.m. and says they have to leave immediately. Louisiana, who narrates the story, didn’t know what was happening at first:

“I thought that I was caught up in some middle-of-the-night idea of Granny’s and that when the sun came up, she would think better of the whole thing. This has happened before.”

But before Louisiana knew it, they had crossed the border into Georgia. Soon enough they ran out of gas, and, as usual, had no money. Like so many times in the past, they were forced to “impose” on people:

“Granny and I were always imposing on people. This is how we got by. We imposed. Also, we borrowed. Sometimes we stole.”

They did get gas, and then they continued on, until Granny ran off the road complaining of dental pain. Louisiana took over the wheel and got them to a dentist in the nearest town, Richford, Georgia, where they “imposed” on a dentist. Then they “imposed” on the owner of the “Good Night, Sleep Tight” motel for a room.

But something unexpected happened, and Louisiana learned she was not who she thought she was. She wondered if she even really existed!

The local preacher, Reverend Obertask, told her:

“I want you to know something, Louisiana. We all, at some point, have to decide who we want to be in this world. It is a decision we make for ourselves. You are being forced to make this decision at an early age, but that does not mean that you cannot do it well and wisely. I believe you can. I have great faith in you. You decide who you are, Louisiana. Do you understand?”

Louisiana does figure it out. She has a lot of luck and an unexpected source of love and support.

Evaluation: Louisiana is a wonderful heroine. She is bright, resourceful, brave, and has a winning sense of humor. Her final conclusions about her life so far are full of grace and maturity, and we can feel confident in expecting great things for Louisiana’s future.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
It’s 3:00 in the morning when Granny tells Louisiana to get in the car, because the day of reckoning has arrived. It’s time to break the curse that hangs over them. Shortly after crossing the state line from Florida to Georgia, Granny’s teeth begin to bother her so much that she can’t
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continue on. After some emergency dental surgery, Granny and Louisiana land at the Good Night, Sleep Tight Motel — and that’s just the beginning of Louisiana’s story. There will be tears and songs and cake and forgiveness before it’s all told, not to mention friendship and several bags of peanuts.

Sometimes I read a quirky Southern story with an obnoxiously folksy feel to it, and I wonder why I bother. But then I pick up a book by Kate DiCamillo. And when tears are rolling down my face as I turn the final page, I remember. Doggone it, Kate, you did it again.
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LibraryThing member kimkimkim
I think I bookmarked every page of this book. It is filled with truisms and the plain language of Louisiana Elefante’s dialog. You just get every thing she says, everything she is feeling, the desperation and the utter devastation in her heart.

Written with a nod to the resiliency of children,
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you can’t help but smile at each of Louisiana’s revelations and her ability to try to solve the problems adults have heaped upon her. She deals equally with kindness and disdain. She is no stranger to hardship and being without. She has learned the gifts or respect, love and forgiveness.

Thank you NetGalley and Candlewick Press for a copy of this truly wonderful book.
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LibraryThing member cwhisenant11
I really like Kate DiCamillo's writing style. It took a while for me to get into the book but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I wasn't expecting such an emotional story but I'm glad it had a happy ending.
LibraryThing member brangwinn
As usual, DeCamillo captures my heart in a story meant for children. Introduced to us in ¬Raymie Nightengale, Louisiana has enough sorrow and love to fill a book all by herself. Abandoned by a woman she thinks is her real grandmother in a strange town, Louisiana takes on life and find home is
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where you are loved, and that may not be with the people to whom you are related.
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LibraryThing member HeatherLINC
Whilst this book might appeal to young readers and be inspired by Louisiana, most of the time I was annoyed with her, despite the way most of the adults treated her. I found her precocious and cunning, with a smart mouth. The majority of the other characters were boring, and many of the women were
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obnoxious. The members of the Allen family were the only ones I had any time for.

Even for a primary school reader, I thought this book lacked depth and appeal. However, it could be just me. I find anything by this author very hard to like. A disappointing read.
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LibraryThing member JennyNau10
The only other book I’ve read written by this author is Because of Winn Dixie, and if you enjoyed that book, this has the same slow, southern feel to it.

Kate’s books show the best and worst of the people in our world in the most realistic ways. I love stories that teach kids that terrible
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things can happen and that people not only survive them but flourish.

A lot is going on in the plot, and I hesitate to book report this review because it really needs the unfolding of actually reading it. I loved it.

I can say that this story had a happy ending and made me want to bake cakes. How’s that for a recommendation?
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LibraryThing member fuller0462
I really like Kate DiCamillo and her stories. Some are better than others, but this one is so good. It reminds me of Because of Winn-Dixie. I think it’s the way Louisiana narrates the story. I love that everything is written from Louisiana’s point of view. They way she talks, thinks through
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things...it is uniquely Louisiana. Kids are going to love this follow up to Raymie Nightingale, and they will fall in love with Louisiana Elefante!
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LibraryThing member lindabburke.7
Exceptionally special, like most of DiCamilo's work. Because of the nuanced quality of emotions this should be for a child solidly past the nine-year change, probably age 11.
LibraryThing member lflareads
Aww! Impossible to read without empathizing with Louisiana and hoping she finds family. Louisiana is taken from the place she calls home as her granny takes her on a road trip without reason. Louisiana does not understand why this is happening. Granny reveals family history with Louisiana, which
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leaves Louisiana looking for family, home, and a future. Highly recommend for middle grade readers!
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LibraryThing member CarrieWuj
2nd in the Raymie Nightingale group - DiCamillo has riffed on a character and now Louisiana has her own story - and what a story it is. What I love when authors do this well is the developed voice and characterization of someone who just had a supporting role, but is now complete. Granny wakes
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Louisiana in the middle of the night and hustles her into the car in another madcap escape - from whom or what Louisiana never knows, but this time she has roots in her friends Raymie and Beverly and Arthur the Cat and Buddy the Dog of their Hearts, so leaving is particularly painful, but she doesn't have much time to think about it and they cross the state line into Georgia where the car runs out of gas and Granny runs out of luck and steam. Though she is only twelve, Louisiana is wise beyond her years, wily, and an eternal optimist. When Granny succumbs to toothache, Louisiana takes the wheel, gets them safely to a town and finds a dentist. When Granny leaves her behind Louisiana relies on the kindness of strangers and a young boy named Burke Allen with a crow named Clarence. She is a steel magnolia in the making. As usual there is a cast of unexpected characters with big hearts and small suspicions, who look for the best in each other and the situation. There are fearful times, but no real dangers and a crash course in growing up - in terms of bravery and discovery of personal fortitude and inner strength. Louisiana is introspective in a humorous way that keeps the reader's sympathy and gains the reader's respect. For example, she comes to the conclusion: "Because that is what it means to be alive on this infinitesimally spinning planet. It means you have cares." (146). And Louisiana has them aplenty. She is not who she thought she was - Granny is not who Louisiana thought she was, and she has to confront the family curse of sundering as well as find her place in the world, alone. She does it with grace and heart and sweetness and grit.
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(104 ratings; 4.4)
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