So you read Kate DiCamillo’s book and loved it — now you’re on the hunt for books like Louisiana’s Way Home? Welcome!
Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home, a bestselling book about a girl who is forced to leave town — and leave behind her two best friends — with her grandmother. Louisiana also has the voice of an angel and it quickly becomes apparent that her grandmother can barely care for her. Eventually, she has to make her way home.
Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have at least three strong similarities with the beloved title. For this post, I’ve included books featuring strong female (and one male) protagonists on a literal/figurative to find themselves or learn more about a loved one. These books also feature strong grandparent or intergenerational relationships, new friendships forming, small town settings, and quirky, heartwarming characters.
Books Like Louisiana’s Way Home
Here are 7 great books like Louisiana’s Way Home:
To Tell You the Truth
Published: June 8, 2021
This is the first book that came to mind! I actually found this more satisfying than Louisiana’s Way Home. It’s about young Trixy Mae who smuggles herself into a friend’s father’s music tour to prove that the stories her dead grandmother shared with her were all true. Full of heart, music, and friendship.
Published: August 10, 2021
Berry’s forthcoming debut is a heartwarming story about Jubilee, a girl whose grandmother, much like Louisiana’s loves to move from place to place. When they finally find a place that feels like home — Hope Springs, Texas — can Jubilee convince her Nan that it’s time to settle down? This one is perfect for crafting fiends who love grandparent stories.
The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane
Published: March 3, 2020
Maybelle’s dad doesn’t know she exists. It’s always been just her and her mom, but when she hears that her radio DJ dad will be judging a singing contest in Nashville, Maybelle decides that it’s time she met her dad. Her mom is away for a couple of weeks, singing on a cruise ship, leaving Maybelle in the care of their neighbor. Maybelle joins her strict older neighbor Mrs. Boggs and the neighbor who bullies her on a life-changing trip to Nashville. This is such a sweet, layered story with a moving intergenerational friendship!
Shouting at the Rain
Published: May 7, 2019
I loved this book about Delsie, a girl who lives on Cape Cod with her Grammy. Delsie wishes she has a different kind of family, but she learns that sometimes friends can become family. This immersive story features a memorable community and tackles bullying and peer pressure.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Published: January 8, 2019
This is one of my favorite stories on the planet. Join Coyote and her dad on a road trip to confront their grief, and meet the eclectic group of friends they pick up along the way. With Southern sass, heart, and plenty of dry humor, this one is a must-read!
The Road to Wherever
Published: May 11, 2021
Another road trip book — this time about a boy whose dad has left home due to PTSD. June and his cousins travel through this US fixing Ford trucks. I loved this sense of adventure in this story and seeing how the guys lived on the road, the delicious food they make, as well as all the hearts they touch as they fix trucks in different states. This one is on my Summer Reading Guide for 2021!
Published: April 12, 2016
And what would this list be without the companion title to Louisiana’s Way Home? Raymie is one of Louisiana’s BFFs and their stories are inextricably linked. It’s also written by Kate DiCamillo. If you want to check out another book in the set, you can also try Beverly, Right Here (my favorite of the bunch) with an older — 15-year-old — protagonist! That one is perfect for upper middle graders.
Your turn! Which of these books have you read and enjoyed? And what would you add to the list?