Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

Louisiana's Way Home
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Newbery 2019 > December Read - Louisiana's Way Home

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 560 comments Mod
Louisiana's Way Home is another wonderful book by Kate DiCamillo.

What did you think of it?


message 2: by Candice (new)

Candice Lucas | 36 comments While I enjoyed Louisiana's Way Home, I think it reads more like a novella than a fully fledged book. There just isn't enough plot development or detail to make this a Newbery book. I like it as a companion piece to the rest of DiCamillo's work, but I don't find it extraordinary in the way that Newbery text strives to be.


message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate | 173 comments In LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME beautiful writing pulls the reader into an implausible story filled with quirky characters. After being driven away from her home by the only caregiver she has known, Louisana discovers painful truths. She encounters new acquaintances, some helpful and others obstructionist. It is satisfying that in the end she reunites with her friends and finds a family to love her. But the story has many unrealistic elements that strain believability.


Czechgirl | 214 comments This has to be one of my favorite Kate DiCamillo books. I loved it like I loved reading Edward Tulane. To me, this was much better than Raymie Nightingale. I loved the character, Louisana. Character development is the book’s strongest trait. I’m hopping it wins some sort of Newbery.


Travis Mcgee (travismcgee) | 39 comments Kate wrote: "In LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME beautiful writing pulls the reader into an implausible story filled with quirky characters. ... But the story has many unrealistic elements that strain believability. "

Kate, one person's unbelievability is another's delightfully fanciful tale. I don't think most kids are bothered by implausible story lines if they ring true thematically. I love her off-kilter stories like this one and Flora and Ulysses for this paradox of real characters, true to life themes and a stylized voice that stretches the reader as it entertains.


Richie Partington (richiespicks) | 41 comments I've just posted my reaction here: http://richiespicks.pbworks.com/LOUIS...


message 7: by Meg (new)

Meg | 25 comments I liked it much better than Ramie Nightingale which to be honest ... I didn’t like at all. Louisiana is a good book, but not award worthy. Haven’t read one yet I think deserves this years Newbery.


Shella | 157 comments Meg- do you mean a books from this groups' month selections or all the books you have read outside of that this group too?


message 9: by Meg (new)

Meg | 25 comments All the books I’ve read. I would have said House Arrest by Holt, but I think that was 2017.

Lots of good books, truly, but not distinguished.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Nagel | 84 comments I really enjoyed it and think it is a contender.


Shella | 157 comments Louisiana is certainly a memorable character. Most of this author's books that I have read have some very humorous parts- this book's mood stayed heavy- not a criticism-but I was surprised. I was a bit disappointed that Granny was not in the story as much. The last few pages had the writing style that I think is distinguished. I wish she had written that tone through-out the book. I liked the interaction with the pastor and wanted to strangle the church ladies. This is a good book- great for younger readers. It is not my pick for the Newbery. It was not a stand-out compared to other books I've read this past year. I must have missed something as most people seem to see it as distinguished. Should we read another book since this one was so short and a very quick read??


message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate | 173 comments Sheila wrote: Should we read another book since this one was so short...
Another quick read is SAVING WINSLOW by Sharon Creech.


Josephine Sorrell (jothebookgirl) | 251 comments I really liked Saving Winslow, but don’t think the committee will choose it. I lobe the LGD.


Shella | 157 comments Perhaps we could do one more poll??


Becky | 11 comments I do have Saving Winslow ready to read. I will admit that I adored the characters in Louisiana's Way Home. I don't think it will win any awards, but some of those characters won my heart. The topic in the book is heavy, but I felt like Dicamillo presents it in a way that didn't leave me sobbing and heavy hearted and yet still gave me lots to think about and consider.


message 16: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 161 comments Meg wrote: "Lots of good books, truly, but not distinguished."

Ha! That's how I feel, most years. I'm glad to see I'm not the only picky reader around here.

I think this year is the strongest one in a long time. Harbor Me and Front Desk are both better candidates than anything I read in 2017.


message 17: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 161 comments Meg wrote: "I liked it much better than Ramie Nightingale which to be honest ... I didn’t like at all. Louisiana is a good book, but not award worthy."

I agree with the consensus that it's stronger than Raymie. Raymie seemed like DiCamillo on autopilot. It was a lot like her previous books, only with fewer animals.

Louisiana's Way Home is about how to trust and forgive after you've been disappointed. It's about recovering your ability to have a relationship and how to come to terms with your past. I appreciate DiCamillo's take on these issues, which are important topics for many children.

I also enjoyed the characters. A lot of the prose is a little over-precious, and I'm someone who typically loves DiCamillo's prose.

I'd say this book is quite good, and I wouldn't mind seeing it pick up an Honor. I think that it doesn't have a strong hook to it, though, and my students are unlikely to read it.


message 18: by Meg (new)

Meg | 25 comments Front Desk might take the award. I liked Harbor Me a lot, but it needed more detail, I think.


message 19: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 161 comments Meg wrote: "Front Desk might take the award. I liked Harbor Me a lot, but it needed more detail, I think."

The fact that Front Desk is so popular might doom it!

The committee never chooses the popular option. They surprise me every time.


Louie | 47 comments I really enjoyed this book and it's humor. Louisiana was my favorite part, she was so full of life she even reminded me a bit of Anne Shirley Cuthbert.
I can't really see it winning the Newbery Medal but I do think that it could win a Honor.


Shella | 157 comments This post is not out this book, however, I wanted to ask the group about some titles that I've either not seen much about in our discussions or not at all. I've seen these titles on other lists for potential Newbery contenders. I'm trying to prioritize my 2018 to read pile before the announcement later this month and if you think any of these titles are a must read- please comment.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
The Serpent's Secret
Finding Langston
Small Spaces
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

Thank you and Happy New Year!


Brenda Kahn | 28 comments Shella wrote: "This post is not out this book, however, I wanted to ask the group about some titles that I've either not seen much about in our discussions or not at all. I've seen these titles on other lists for..."

I read three of those titles - The Serpent's Secret - excellent series starter, #ownvoices, Indian mythology for fans of Percy Jackson type of books.
Finding Langston - short but powerful story of a motherless boy leaving the Jim Crow south and his grandmother to move to Chicago for a better job for his distant father.
Marcus Vega - sweet story of an oversized boy with a huge heart, a brother who has Down Syndrome and a search for the father he never knew. I recommend them.


message 23: by Laura (last edited Jan 01, 2019 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura Harrison | 385 comments Shella wrote: "This post is not out this book, however, I wanted to ask the group about some titles that I've either not seen much about in our discussions or not at all. I've seen these titles on other lists for..."

Those are all great titles that you should enjoy. The Faithful Spy is definitely going to win an award-not necessarily the Newbery. The font and artistic style (although beautiful), make it somewhat difficult to read. At least for me. Small Spaces and Marcus Vega are my next favs.


message 24: by Kate (new)

Kate | 173 comments I have read MARCUS VEGA DOESN’T SPEAK SPANISH.
Here are my thoughts:
An easy read. Characters include a boy with Down Syndrome, a boy really large for his age and a bully. Family in Puerto Rico are complex and outgoing.
Marcus is disappointed when he finally finds his father. But the temper tantrum that causes his troubles leads to positive changes. In the end he also accepts responsibility for his behavior.
Written before the devastation that hurricanes brought to PR, it provides important insight into a lifestyle that is now lost.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Meg wrote: "Front Desk might take the award. I liked Harbor Me a lot, but it needed more detail, I think."

I felt lectured to in Harbor Me. I will read Front Desk next.


Shella | 157 comments I agree- I'm surprised Harbor Me is getting so many votes.


message 27: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara | 16 comments I loved Front Desk and Harbor Me. I thought Marcus Vega was great, one of my favorites of the year as well as Blended and Amal Unbound.
Louisiana was great, so much better than Raymie. I immediately felt so bad for her that she was so innocent and naive to all that was happening to her. The writing was fantastic. I really enjoyed it.


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