Thanks to Candlewick Press for an advanced digital galley of this release for the purposes of review.
“And I knew what I wanted to do. I knew who I wanted to be. I wanted to be the person who sat at that table. I wanted to stay”
- Kate DiCamillo, Louisiana’s Way Home
As indicated by the quote, Louisiana’s Way Home illustrates a youthful perspective of discovering and understanding the world and everything it has to offer. Constructed by Kate DiCamillo, the story proves to be an intricate puzzle of a story told through the eyes of a girl, using her own unique and captivating voice that transforms a moderately envisioned plot into a riveting experience.
The story begins as of Louisiana, a young girl living a content life with her granny, pets, and friends until everything she knew vanishes one night. Driving off into the unknown with her granny, Louisiana reflects on the peculiar curse that broke the routine that she had created and caused her granny to depart from home in the middle of the night. She thinks of her deceased parents, the Flying Elephants, who were trapeze artists. She thinks of everything and everyone she left behind in Florida and how desperately she wants everything to return to the way it once was, thinking of her shattered world. In retrospective, this set-up appears rather cushioned due to how familiar it can feel. Outside of the unique form of storytelling, DiCamillo never offers a plot that feels bold or ambitious in its narrative scope.
Eventually, Louisiana and her granny cross the Florida-Georgia border, leading to startling and confusing events. However, and fortunately, DiCamillo uses these seemingly unimportant events to pave a pathway to a small town in Georgia. In this town, Louisiana begins to unfold her past and learn more about herself and the world around her. A boy with a