Louisiana’s Way Home — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.” 

~ Octavia Butler ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Marketing is obviously critical to the success of a book. I don’t have a book to market yet, but it’s kind of like exercise (not that I know much about exercise), you have to stretch before you do it. So I guess I should learn about marketing before I need to do it. K. M. Weiland has a good post HERE on how to market your book when you hate marketing.

I spent the morning searching for filter words and replacing them with more active language. It’s something we all need to do more of. The post HERE from Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog on that topic is very good.

We all probably have some manuscripts in our bottom drawer or a dead folder on our computers, but maybe we need to revisit those. HERE are some reasons why from Anne R. Allen.

Last week, I offered a gently-read copy of Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin. This week’s winner is Shirley Richey. Congratulations, Shirley! If you don’t know her, Shirley is a writer of picture books and middle grade work from northern California and very involved with SCBWI in my home region. Shirley, I will get your book to you soon. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another fun giveaway this week.

bk_louisiana_198pxOnce in a while, I am offered ARCs by publicists. When I was offered a copy of Kate DiCamillo‘s newest MG novel, I had to have it. How could I not? I have liked everything I have read by her, although it’s not anywhere near all of her books. She is amazingly prolific. I really enjoyed this one — Louisiana’s Way Home.

Ten-year-old Louisiana Elephante is given no notice when her Granny decides they have to leave and take a road trip in order to get rid of a family curse, a sundering curse, that hangs over Louisiana’s head. But isn’t she being sundered from her home in Florida and her pets and friends? Louisiana’s parents, famous trapeze artists, are dead, and the only relative she has is Granny, and Granny can be a little eccentric at times. Off they go until Granny is seized with terrible pain. All she can do is lie in the back seat and moan. Louisiana gets behind the wheel and somehow manages to get them to a small town in Georgia and finds a dentist’s office. Granny has to have all her teeth pulled. They manage to get a motel room and Granny goes to bed, leaving Louisiana to fend for herself. Fortunately, she meets a local boy named Burke Allen, whose father is also Burke Allen, and his grandfather is another Burke Allen. Young Burke becomes the very best friend a young girl fending for herself could possibly make.

Kate DiCamillo

Granny disappears one day, driving off and leaving a letter and Louisiana behind. It is then Louisiana finds out Granny isn’t her real grandmother and the story of her family and the curse hanging over her head is nothing like she has been told. Though Louisiana has been on a journey since the beginning of this story, this is where her real journey begins. She discovers a great deal about the real meaning of family, love, and home during the rest of this journey. Readers will too. Kate DiCamillo has written a most compelling story with wonderfully engaging and quirky characters and a story that will grab readers and keep them engaged the whole way through. Don’t miss this one and keep a box of tissues handy. I LOVE this book. I believe anyone lucky enough to get hold of it will love it too.

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

13 thoughts on “Louisiana’s Way Home — Review & Giveaway”

  1. Hi, Rosi ~ I’m a huge Kate DiCamillo fan, and I can’t wait to read the next chapter {pardon the pun} in Louisiana’s story. I also wanted to thank you for sharing the links in your ‘Gifts For My Writer Friends’ section above. I will be reading those posts shortly. Thanks for a great post today! Have a good week.


  2. This sounds like a fabulous book. I’m a Kate DiCamillo fan, too, although I haven’t read all of her books. Like you, I can’t keep up with them. But you had me when you mentioned trapeze artists! Have a good week.


  3. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors so her newest is high on my list to read. The character’s name alone is enough to give this a read. Thanks for the links especially the ones on filter words and dusting off old manuscripts. I have many of both!


  4. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors. I was lucky enough to attend a local SCBWI conference where she presented and then did a panel question and answer session. She inspired my own writing. I shared on pinterest, twitter, google+, Facebook, and tumblr. Thank you for the chance!


  5. Good to read your review of Louisiana’s Way Home. I also have an ARC and since it won’t be published until October, I haven’t read it yet. Have some September books to review first. But I love Kate DiCamillo and can’t wait to read my copy. Thanks for giving me a peek at the story. Also enjoyed the post you shared on filter words.


  6. Rosi- I too just read LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME. It was a book that really drew me into it. In many ways it broke lots of rules writers hear, and yet it was perfect. Good luck to your commenters. One of them is in for a real treat!


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