Worthy Thoughts

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Author: Kate DiCamillo

Publisher: Walker Books

I loved this book! I fell in love with the characters. I devoured it and I wanted more. I was utterly enthralled by Kate DiCamillo’ beautiful writing. I wanted Louisana’s story to go on and on and I was disappointed when the book finished.

In a compelling first-person voice, twelve-year-old Louisana relates the story of her journey to Richford, Georgia. The year is 1977, and this adds to the charm of the story. Louisana tells her story with great detail and always includes her thoughts and opinions – which are heartfelt and at times hilarious.

Louisana’s impulsive, erratic grandmother awakens her one night because the day of reckoning has arrived, insisting that they must leave town immediately. Louisana and her grandmother travel through Florida and stop in Richford, Georgia, at the Good Night Sleep Tight motel. The trip from Florida to Georgia is far from uneventful, and ending up at the Good Night Sleep Tight motel is due to circumstances from their action-packed journey.

Lousiana finds out many truths while in Richford, Georgia that throw her into great turmoil. All that she has believed to be true isn’t and Louisana feels alone, shattered and unanchored.

The characters in this book are delightful and funny. I was captured by this small town and the characters that live within the town. In particular, DiCamillo builds a resilient and compassionate character in Louisana, and her observations of the people around her are hilariously both down-to-earth and whimsical.  Louisana’s comments give us so much more than if DiCamillo had described the so-called character trait.

I was starting to see what kind of person he was. He was the kind of person who, if you asked him for one of something, gave you two instead.

I did not understand how someone could play the organ so poorly, just as I did not understand how someone could have a seemingly lifetime supply of chocolate caramels and not share them.

“OK,’ I said. “And maybe as an extra-special surprise for me, you will actually remove the curlers from your hair.”

Much of what happens to Louisana is heartbreaking, but Louisana always makes you smile and her sharp observations of the world make you laugh through the tears.

Louisana’s Way Home is a beautifully written book. It also a beautifully presented book and would sit proudly on many bookshelves. The characters are charming and the language so exquisitely crafted. A special book that deserves to sit on many gorgeous bookshelves.

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