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Louisiana's Way Home

(Three Rancheros #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  9,606 ratings  ·  1,748 reviews
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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Candlewick Press (MA)
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Susan I would definitely recommend doing so! You get a LOT of backstory about Louisiana and Granny, and meet Louisiana's two friends that she talks a lot ab…moreI would definitely recommend doing so! You get a LOT of backstory about Louisiana and Granny, and meet Louisiana's two friends that she talks a lot about.(less)

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Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who puts us down but who picks us up.

Looking for reading fodder that could enthuse the sprouts some years ago, a friend who has a keen eye for children’s literature pointed me to Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician's Elephant a wonderful poetic, imaginative and magical fable on hope, loss and love. My friend’s suggestion proved to hit the mark, as both my son and daughter, reluctant and nit-picking readers, thoroughly enjoyed DiCamillo’s tale, so w
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story opens with the narrator, Louisiana, who’s abruptly awakened by her granny at 3am. At first she doesn’t think much of it.

“I thought I was caught up in some middle-of-the-night idea of Granny’s and that when the sun came up, she would think better of the whole thing.

This has happened before.

Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas.”

Once she realizes that they are about to enter Georgia, she asks Granny when they’ll be turning around to go back home. Granny simply tells her that they won
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Because of Winn-Dixie is a favorite book of mine. It makes me nostalgic just to think of it. To read another book by Kate DiCamillo? Pure bliss.

One day Louisiana’s grandmother wakes her in the middle of the night to tell her they have to move immediately. Not only are they moving, they will never return. This is too much for Louisiana, and she tries with all her might to find her way home again. She meets many eccentric and lovable characters along her travels, and through them, has many life l
A friend and I were discussing Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana's Way Home, and she mentioned that some adults feel discomfort with DiCamillo's books because often the children in them have no safety net.

I chewed on this observation all morning, and having finished the book during lunch, I've come to a conclusion: Kate DiCamillo doesn't write fantasy or realistic fiction or historical fiction or magical realism. She writes modern day fairy tales. Sometimes with animals (Despereaux, Tulane), but
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Expected publication October 2018
You have to make small plans. That is one of the things I have discovered in this world. It is pointless to make big plans because you never know when someone is going to wake you up in the middle of the night and say The day of reckoning has arrived.

This first person narrative introduces readers to twelve year old Louisiana Elefante, whom, when the story opens appears to be at the mercy of her grandmother as the two are leaving home in the middle of night a
There once was a book called Raymie Nightingale. Not a big flashy book with glitter on the cover and fonts that look like escaped balloon animals. Just a quiet book set in the late 1970s in Florida, patiently following various characters. Not a plot forward book, that one, though there was an interesting through line involving a cat. I liked Raymie Nightingale but I did have one small problem with it. While the character of Raymie was well drawn and nuanced, I wasn’t ever all that interested in ...more
In one of my favourite books of the year, Louisiana's Way Home, young Louisiana is telling us the story of how she left Florida after being wakened by her grandmother in the middle of the night. Louisiana doesn't realize at first that they are leaving Florida for good, and is awash in grief when she realizes she's left her best friends and beloved pets behind.
"It is best to smile. That is what Granny has told me my whole life. If you have to choose between smiling and not smiling, choose smi

”I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know.
“This is what happened.
“I will begin at the beginning.”

And with those words, Louisiana Elefante’s journey, with her granny, begins. In the middle of the night, they leave their home in Florida, frien
Schizanthus Nerd
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extra Thoughts After My Reread:

I am absolutely in love with this book! I didn’t think I could love Louisiana more than I did when I first read her story but I was so wrong. I want to hug her and make her feel safe and wanted and loved, and never let her go. This story is about deciding who you are, something we all need to do. Louisiana just has to make that decision earlier than most people. It’s a heartbreaking and heartwarming story and it’s gorgeous!

I appreciated the Allen family more with
The world was beautiful.
It surprised me, how beautiful it kept on insisting on being. In spite of all the lies, it was beautiful

I have such a writer crush on Kate DiCamillo, I honestly don't know if I approach her work objectively anymore.

I mean. . . what was this??

This middle grades novel, which starts out in Florida, but quickly relocates to Georgia (our objective!), is outlandish and frequently flat-out unbelievable. A 12-year-old driving for the first time on a highway? An attentive grandm
Whispering Stories
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed on

Louisiana is woken at 3am by her Granny telling her they are leaving as the day of reckoning has arrived. Her Granny believes that there is a curse on their heads, the curse of sundering. After a few hours drive, they cross from their home in Florida into the state of Georgia.

Not long into their journey Louisiana’s Granny takes ill with tooth pain and ends up at the dentist who tells her all her teeth are bad and removes them all, leaving Granny in a lot
But that every child could live in a world peopled by Kate DiCamillo. Where dire situations are eased by generous hearts.
Dale Harcombe
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When twelve year old Louisiana Elefante is woken at 3am by her Granny, she thinks this is just another of Granny’s middle of the night ideas. It’s just a trip and they will soon be home. But Granny has a plan, one that sees them end up crossing the state line from Florida into Georgia. Louisiana is not a bit happy to learn she is not going home, back to her friends Raymie and Beverly and her cat Archie. When an extreme dental emergency arises and Granny is in severe pain, Louisiana is left to pl ...more
Monica Edinger
Melancholy, heart-wrenching, gorgeous writing, complicated. One to ponder.
Whenever I read a DiCamillo, I am always tempted to go back and explore 'how she does it'. How she creates characters, moments and memories which are so profoundly honest, observant and speak of the universal truth of what it is to be a human that her tales make you laugh, cry, stop in your narrative tracks to take a breath and find, when the reading is over, that she has left a map in your mind that has imprinted within you an indescribable change.
But, to go back and dig, unearth and explore wo
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wanted to continue this series during Middle Grade March, but I didn't get to it quite in time. I thought the 1st book was okay, but I loved the character Louisiana from the first book and I knew this sequel was all about her. Louisiana Elefante is quite the memorable character, and so is her Grandmother.

Louisiana is woken up in the middle of the night by her Granny saying they need to leave their home right away. At first, Louisiana doesn't think too much about it because her Grandmother oft
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I liked this even better than Raymie Nightingale. It was wonderful.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last line of the book is "I love you and I forgive you" and after that I just cried. Emotion wells up in me even though I am 50 years old reading a book intended for children in grades 3-6. A few days ago Kate DiCamillo posted on FB the following post:
"I was in line at the post office when the woman next to me said, “You wrote that Edward book, didn’t you?”
“Edward Tulane?” I said.
“Yep. I read that book to my third graders this year and I couldn’t read the last chapter out loud. I was crying too
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a fun heartwarming children's book, full of twists and turns for twelve year old Louisiana. Once her grandmother wakes her up in the middle of the night she is on an adventure that will change everything about her life as she knows it, and all her ideas on who she is.

Louisiana is a character from Raymie Nightingale, one of DiCamillo's earlier books. I hadn't read it when I started this story and it is completely fine as a stand alone book, but now I do want to go back and read it!

What m
Smitha Murthy
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who really believe in kindness
When CSD told me that she was kind of recovering from this book, I wondered what she meant. I know now, my CSD, what you meant.

This book is so kind that it made me want to weep. And if you know me, you know I am not the sort to say I weep over characters in books. I don’t faff that way. But this book. It tugs at your heartstrings. It urges you to be kind. It shows you the way to love. It’s indescribably warm. It’s unfathomably beautiful.

It’s my way home to being who I am.
Wendi Lee
Louisiana Elefante is a character from DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale, a novel I haven’t read yet. But this is Louisiana’s story, beginning as her grandmother whisks her away from her home, pets, and friends, heading toward an unknown future. It works exceptionally well as a stand-alone novel, although now I’m very motivated to read Raymie’s tale. Louisiana’s life has been filled with fantastical stories about her circus performing family and the whims of her very unusual grandmother, and this g ...more
Rose T.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereads
'In some ways, this is a story of woe and confusion, but it is also a story of joy and kindness and free peanuts.'

I love how Kate DiCamillo writes. Her writing seems so simple but it is full of feeling and emotion and she can make you see that in just a short sentence.
Like Flora and Ulysses this book is now a favorite of mine.

Louisiana had to leave home in the middle of the night and her Granny told her that they were never going back.
She is sad, angry and frightened.
They end up in Georgia an
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, and especially the resiliency and spunkiness of the main character, Louisiana Elefante. Dragged from her bed in the middle of the night by Granny, they flee Florida because of the dreaded curse. While the curse is eventually explained, the reason for their sudden departure is not. Louisiana is devastated to leave her friends and adopted pets. When Granny gets sick, Louisiana learns to drive a car, and find medical attention, requiring a recuperation from a procedure, marooning ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kate DiCamillo is one of my go-to authors when recommending books to my students. I was ecstatic to see that Louisianas story was continuing, as I adored her in Raymie Nightingale. This spunky, full of life, witty girl stole my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When her Granny wakes her in the night and they leave town suddenly, Louisiana is thrust into an adventure of self exploration. I thoroughly enjoyed continuing her story, and the backstory of Granny and Louisiana. Exploring hard t ...more
5 plus stars!!! This delightfully emotional and full of life follow up to Raymie Nightingale, is a true testament of to Kate DiCamillo's superior ability to hit every nerve and every point of childhood. Louisiana Elefante's grandmother unexpectedly whisks her away one day leaving behind all she has ever known. From her Florida home to a "very clean" motel in Georgia, 12 year old Louisiana must try to come to terms as to what is unfolding and make some sense to it all. DiCamillo once again has th ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Louisiana’s story captured this reader’s attention. Compelling, well-crafted language and authentic voice. Read in one sitting. I appreciated Raymie Nightingale, and enjoyed that book very much, but I consider this one even better than that.

Katie Fitzgerald
Louisiana Elefante is perturbed, to say the least, when her granny wakes her up one morning and announces that the day of reckoning has arrived and they must leave their home in Florida at once. It's bad enough that Louisiana has to leave behind her friends, Raymie and Beverly, and not much better that Granny immediately has dental trouble and Louisiana has to drive her to a dentist. The worst, however, happens when Louisiana and Granny check into a hotel in a small Georgia town and everything L ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a road trip book, sort of. But, unlike the usual road trip books, Lousiana and Granny only go so far, before they stop, and have all the action take place in the small town they end up in.

Granny is running from a curse. Lousiana thinks she is also running from the same curse, even if she doens’t understnad why.

I love the voice of Louisiana. She says profound things, without, probably, realizing how profound they are.

three semis drove past us. One was painted with a picture of a cow stand
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Raised by her certifiably insane Granny, shadowed by a family curse, and constantly dealing with poverty, Louisana Elefante has not had a typical life.

Her story opens hurtling down the highway away from home, in the middle of the night, the only explanation from her Granny that "the day of reckoning has arrived." Louisiana seems well equipped through experience to deal with her Granny, but eventually things change, and suddenly nothing is as it seemed. Can Louisiana re-orient herself and build
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm disappointed surprisingly. I loved Because of Winn-Dixie and was highly anticipating this story. I just didn't particularly like the set up of this story. It just didn't interest me. I did like the twist but I don't know. It didn't feel like this story was going anywhere most of the time it was playing out. ...more
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Female author of chinese and irish immigrants in Louisiana 1 3 Jun 20, 2020 01:24AM  
Mock Newbery 2022: December Read - Louisiana's Way Home 27 119 Jan 01, 2019 08:15PM  

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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After

Other books in the series

Three Rancheros (3 books)
  • Raymie Nightingale
  • Beverly, Right Here

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