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It’s nothing new when 12-year-old Louisiana’s granny wakes her in the middle of the night and tells her they have to leave home immediately. After all, over the years Granny has made numerous impulsive decisions that have unsettled the young girl’s life.

This time is different, though, Louisiana thinks. We’ll be returning home soon, won’t we? Louisiana wants to hurry back to her new friends—in fact, her first friends ever—Raymie and Beverly.

When it becomes obvious that Granny has no intention of returning home, Louisiana feels cast adrift. She learns from experience that “there are always and forever obstacles placed in our path.” Previously Louisiana observed, “there are the rescuers in this world and there are the rescued,” and that she had always belonged to the second category. Now, she realizes, she will “have to find some way to rescue myself.”

Over and over Louisiana discovers that there is much kindness in the world. Even as her life spins out of control, she meets loving, generous, helpful people who show her that no one can go it alone and that there is more than one way for her to find her way home.

In this sequel to her previous novel, Raymie Nightingale, DiCamillo peels away the layers to reveal Louisiana’s story and presents readers with a heartbreakingly tender, wise, humorous, and resilient protagonist. Ages 10 and up. (Candlewick)

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