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“I am alone in the world, and I will have to find some way to rescue myself,” Louisiana. – Louisiana’s Way Home  

Louisiana’s Way Home

by Kate DiCamillo
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Granny thinks the day of reckoning has arrived. In the middle of the night, Granny wakes up Louisiana, telling her they must leave immediately. Granny often had ideas in the middle of the night, so Louisiana thinks that they will return home soon. But this time, Granny crosses the Georgia border and drives into Florida.

Now Louisiana is living in a hotel room with her sick Granny. Louisiana doesn’t want to be separated from her best friends or her pet. She wants to find her way home. But soon, Louisiana begins making friends. She meets a boy with a crow that sits on his shoulder, a kind minister, and a grumpy hotel owner. As Louisiana tries to navigate a new town, she wonders if “the curse of sundering” will determine her fate? Will Louisiana always be forced to leave those she loves?

Louisiana’s story “is a long and tragic story full of dark alleys and twists and turns and many unexpected happenings. . . And also curses. There are curses in the story.” Louisiana’s Way Home is told from Louisiana’s point of view, which allows the reader to understand Louisiana’s thoughts and emotions. Louisiana is a spunky, irresistible character who struggles to understand her well-meaning, but unstable Granny.

Throughout the story, Dicamillo expertly crafts an array of characters who are both realistic and interesting. Some adults are so jaded by their own experience that they have lost all compassion, and others who are willing to open their doors to a lonely, lost child. However, the most fascinating character is Burke; he is “the kind of person who, if you asked him for one of something, gave you two instead.”

Louisiana’s Way Home is realistic fiction that touches on themes of friendship, family, love, and forgiveness. The story also shows the importance of attending school. When Burke skips school, his mother tells him, “After a time, it will catch up with you, and you will find that life has closed its doors to you. . . Open doors. That is what we want—doors that are open to us.”

Even though Louisiana’s Way Home uses simple sentences, the word choice may make the story difficult to read. For example, the author uses words such as inopportune, ascertained, irrelevant, and juncture. At the beginning of the story, Louisiana talks about a “curse of sundering” that has affected her family; however, the meaning of the word sundering isn’t discussed until much further in the book, which may cause some readers to be confused about the curse.

Even though Louisiana was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale, readers do not need to read the story to understand and enjoy Louisiana’s Way Home. As Louisiana navigates difficult situations, she learns that “We all, at some point, have to decide who we want to be in this world. It is a decision we make for ourselves.” As Louisiana tries to figure out who she wants to be, readers will be engrossed in her heartwarming story.

 Sexual Content

  • None


  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • After having all of her teeth removed, the grandmother is given antibiotics and painkillers.


  • None


  • According to Louisiana’s grandmother, there is a curse of sundering on the family. The curse began when “My great-grandfather sawed my great-grandmother in half, and then he walked away. He left my great-grandmother on the stage. Sawed in two. . . Someone else put her back together. . . and the two of them ran away together and my granny was left entirely alone.”

Spiritual Content

  • Louisiana thinks, “Granny didn’t believe in heaven. But that didn’t mean I had to not believe, did it?”
Other books by Kate DiCamillo
Other books you may enjoy

“I am alone in the world, and I will have to find some way to rescue myself,” Louisiana. – Louisiana’s Way Home  

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