“What a treat to have the chance to get to know a secondary character from a book I didn't want to see end! In her follow-up of sorts to Raymie Nightingale, Kate DiCamillo tells the story of Louisiana, Raymie's friend who has spent her life on the run. Leaving the world she has known in Florida, Louisiana ends up in a small town in Georgia where she meets a cast of richly drawn characters intent on either making her life difficult or offering her connection in an uncertain time. In her inimitable way, Kate DiCamillo shares another tender and thoughtful story of hope and resilience in a young girl trying to find her place in the world. I loved Louisiana's Way Home!”
— Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA
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 irresistibleLouisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.
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.
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)
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. —ForeWord Reviews
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)