Louisiana's Way Home

240p. Candlewick. Oct. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763694630.
OrangeReviewStarGr 3–6—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.

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