Kate DiCamillo always has a great main character in her books. She also makes sure to have rich secondary-characters, ones you’d welcome if they ever had their own story. And so, Louisiana Elefante, a friend of Raymie Nightingale (the title of the book where you first meet Louisiana), is the centerpiece and narrator of this new tale. But no worries if you missed the first book (although I’m sure you will want to read it, too). This one stands as a separate story.louisiana

It’s a compelling look at the life of a child who has never met her parents and only knows of them from what her Granny has told her. But Granny is having issues in her own life. She takes Louisiana from their home in Florida and they end up in Georgia. It’s there that the story evolves into a sweet, heartbreaking, and often tender tale of finding your way.

The ample margins in the book along with the honest narration make reading this somewhat quiet story a real page turner. I’m looking forward to reading it aloud to a group of kids. Far too many will understand the fears and frustration along with what lies ahead for Louisiana.



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 this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)



  1. There is always someone to help those in need. For Louisiana it is a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder. Burke could easily become Kate DiCamillo’s next story.
  2. Sad in parts but there are also surprising laughs along the way. The lady in curlers and the walrus-like minister to name a few.
  3. The voice is powerful and spot-on. Louisiana is  a memorable character we will never forget.
  4. The first and last pages squeeze you tight into the realization of an excellent story well told.
  5. Both children and adults will benefit from the message and hopefulness in the story. Especially for those where rejection is a dark shadow they can’t escape.

FAVORITE LINES (They grab you from the first page)

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 the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know.


BELIEVE IN YOURSELF—there is no right or wrong way to tell a story. This is one reason that writing is so wonderful and terrifying: you have to find your own way. Be kind to yourself. Listen to other people. And then strike out on your own. (For more visit her author website)


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, New Release, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Denise Vega says:

    I’m not sure if my boys would like this one, but it sounds perfect for me. Thanks for featuring.

  2. Sue Heavenrich says:

    oooh – I really liked Raymie. So glad Louisiana is telling her owns story now.

  3. Excellent review, Greg! I always hearing your view of books I’ve read. I agree with your thoughts.
    Happy Holidays!

  4. I loved this story too. So glad you liked it. Thanks for your views on it. Have a happy Christmas.

  5. This book is sitting at the top of my MG TBR list. I love Kate DiCamillo’s books, and I can’t wait to learn more about Louisiana’s journey. Thanks for all you do for the MMGM group, and Happy Holidays!

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