Last week, my daughter asked if we could both read Kate DiCamillo's Lousiana's Way Home. She was reading it in school and said it was the best book. I ordered a copy (she was thrilled) and started reading.
Louisiana's Way Home is the story of young Louisiana Elefante, daughter of the famous trapeze artists The Flying Elefantes. Louisiana lives with her Granny, and the story begins with Granny waking Louisiana in the middle of the night to leave their home. Initially Louisiana expects this will be like her Granny's other ideas that don't completely come to fruition, but this time something is different. They take off on the road leaving Florida and Louisiana's friends and cat behind. They arrive at a motel in a small town in Georgia where we are introduced to a captivating cast of characters from the boy on the roof with a crow on his shoulder to a cranky organist who smells like toffee candies that she never offers to share.
Louisiana is desperate to go back home. When her grandmother takes off and leaves behind a note, everything Louisiana thought she knew about herself, and everyone else is turned upside down. In her quest to get home, she finds a home she never expected.
I absolutely loved this book. DiCamillo covers some heavy topics in a way that readers of all ages can appreciate this story. The losses in this story are big, the hope and happiness are too. I couldn't put this book down, and honestly the most difficult part was not racing to read to the end and stay on track with my daughter.
Next up, we are reading Raymie Nightingale ... Louisiana's friend in Florida.