Saturday, June 01, 2019

Louisiana's Way Home, by Kate DiCamillo

One night Louisiana's grandmother wakes her up and herds her out to the car.  It's only when they've crossed into Georgia that Louisiana realizes that Granny has no intention of ever returning to Florida.  Instead, Louisiana finds herself in the little town of Richford GA, where she has to literally sing for her supper and the roof over her head.  Granny, driven on by a curse that Louisiana fears haunts her as well, makes a fateful decision that changes everything Louisiana thought she knew about herself.  Shaken to the core by the revelations, Louisiana now has to decide who she wants to be.

Mixing the small town charm that DiCamillo did so well originally back in Because of Winn Dixie, this story features another strong heroine and motley cast of characters who explore the bonds that bring a community together.  Less groundbreaking (of course) and less magical (unfortunately), there is still a wonderful variety to the characters ranging from the surly hotelkeeper to a boy with the pet crow.  And there is a beautiful final lesson about finding one's place wherever life happens to land you.  Charming, albeit a bit slight.

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