My Louisiana Sky

My Louisiana Sky

4.6 70
by Kimberly Willis Holt

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Growing up in Saitter, Louisiana, in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Tiger Ann struggles with her feelings about her stern, but loving grandmother, her mentally slow parents, and her good friend and neighbor, Jesse.  See more details below


Growing up in Saitter, Louisiana, in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Tiger Ann struggles with her feelings about her stern, but loving grandmother, her mentally slow parents, and her good friend and neighbor, Jesse.

Editorial Reviews

starred review Booklist
This lyrical first novel brings fresh perspective to the guilt and anger and caring that surround the mentally disabled. All the characters ... are drawn with warmth but no patronizing reverence.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Making an unusually auspicious debut, Holt offers a unique coming-of-age tale. The year is 1957 and the place is Saitter, La., a small town where prejudices reach far beyond skin color. Twelve-year-old Tiger Parker, exceptionally bright and also good at baseball, is shunned by the girls in her class because her mother, Corrina, and her father, Lonnie, are "different" ("Folks around here call it retarded, but I like `slow' better"). Through Tiger's perceptive first-person narration, readers watch her grow painfully aware of her mother's limitations and become embarrassed by Corrina's childish behavior. She calms herself with the knowledge that her grandmother, who heads the household, has "enough brains for all of us." But Granny dies suddenly, and Tiger is left with an excruciating choice: Should she live with her sophisticated aunt in Baton Rouge, where she could find freedom but would break her parents' hearts, or should she forgo the opportunity and take on more responsibilities at home? While readers may not agree with Tiger's decision, they will admire her courage, loyalty and love for her parents. Holt conveys the innocence of Tiger's fun-loving mother and hardworking father without overdramatizing their intellectual deficiencies. The author presents and handles a sticky dilemma with remarkable grace. Ages 9-12. (May)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Tiger wonders why she's so different from her parents, why she can get all A's in school when her mother is sweet, but childlike, and her father is considered retarded. Luckily, she has her Granny to hold the odd household together-until Granny dies. Tiger faces discrimination from her classmates and even considers accepting her "normal" aunt's offer to move in with her in Baton Rouge. How she comes to terms with her backcountry family and the world of the nineteen-fifties is the meat of this delicately written book.
VOYA - Lynn Evarts
At twelve, Tiger Parker is not unusual in her desire to become independent from her parents, who have suddenly begun to embarrass her more than they have in the past: Tiger's parents are what she calls "slow." When she was younger, Tiger used to delight in the fact that her mother would play games with her with the same childlike enthusiasm as her friends. Now that she is almost in seventh grade, however, Tiger's mother has become more and more of an embarrassment. Tiger loves her mother, but she also keenly feels the stares of her classmates when her mother does not behave like all the other mothers. In the past, Tiger had relied upon her grandmother to listen and provide guidance through tough times, but when suddenly her grandmother is gone, Tiger is left to make adult decisions by herself. With the help of Hurricane Audrey, Tiger learns how strong she is and where she truly belongs. Young readers will empathize with Tiger's embarrassment and her desire to escape to the big city where her Aunt Doreen, so different from her own mother, lives the glamourous life of a career girl in Earl Long's Baton Rouge. Holt provides us with a lyrical story about loyalty and family in the tradition of Jean Thesman's The Rain Catchers (Houghton, 1991/VOYA October 1991), in this tender look at a young girl's coming of age set in the tumultuous times of the 1950s South that will draw readers in with its poignancy and honesty. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
This debut novel won much acclaim when it was published, and has appeared on many lists including the ALA Best Books for Young Adults. It tells of a twelve-year-old girl whose parents are mentally handicapped—the three of them live with Tiger Ann's grandmother, capable and nurturing, in rural Louisiana. Tiger Ann's aunt lives in Baton Rouge, and when the grandmother dies, this aunt offers Tiger Ann a chance to start a new life with her in the city. A chance to get away from the shame of having "different" parents, to find new friends who won't associate her with them, to have access to all the conveniences of life in town—these are powerful attractions. I read a book with the same basic premise last year, Han Nolan's A Face in Every Window, which is far more complex and ultimately more satisfying. In contrast, this is for the youngest of the YA readers. Its strength is in the description of that Louisiana land Tiger lives on, the community, her family, her feelings. Readers whose "normal" parents embarrass them constantly will surely relate to how Tiger feels about her "different" parents. (Editor's Note: See also audiobook review of this title in this issue.) KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 1998, Random House/Dell/Yearling, 200p, $4.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-9-Set in the South in the late 1950s, this coming-of-age story explores a 12-year-old girl's struggle to accept her grandmother's death, her mentally deficient parents, and the changing world around her. By Kimberly Willis Holt. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In her first YA novel, Holt gives a fresh theme sensitive and deliberate treatment: The bright child of "slow" parents comes to terms with her family's place in the community. Tiger Ann Parker is smart; she's gotten straight A's and won the spelling bee five years in a row. People in her rural 1950s Louisiana community can't figure out where she got her brains, because everyone knows that her parents, are mentally challenged. Her mother has the capabilities of a six-year-old, while her father, a good steady worker at the nursery down the road, can't manage writing or simple math. Tiger loves her parents, but as she enters middle school she becomes increasingly aware that she's socially ostracized by her classmates; her affection for her family becomes mixed with shame and anger at their differences. When Tiger's loving grandmother, who has always run the household, has a fatal heart attack, Tiger is invited to live with her glamorous Aunt Doreen in Baton Rouge. Tempted to move away and reinvent herself, Tiger ultimately comes to appreciate her parents' strengths and her own as well. Tiger, with her warring feelings, is a believable and likable narrator, and while the offerings of big-city living are too patly rejected, a well-developed setting and fully-realized characters make this an unusually strong coming-of-age story. (Fiction. 10-14)

Starred Review Booklist

This lyrical first novel brings fresh perspective to the guilt and anger and caring that surround the mentally disabled. All the characters . . . are drawn with warmth but no patronizing reverence.
Starred Review The Horn Book

So honest is Holt's portrayal of Tiger, Momma, Daddy, Granny, and the rest that one wonders if she wrote their story while sitting in a rocker on a Saitter front porch, under the vast promises of a Louisiana Sky.

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Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 8.07(h) x 0.75(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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My Louisiana Sky 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Louisiana Sky is a book about a tomboy named Tigar. She lives with her parents and her grandma. Her parents are mentally slow. So Tigar's grandma lives with them. She gets teased about her parents a lot at school. Sometimes she wishes her parents were normal. Her grandma is very strict and she doesn't mess around. Her mom is playful and doesn't do a lot around the house. Her dad works at Mr. Thompson's plant nursery and he's only home at night. They are very close to each other. Tigar does chores with her grandma and likes to play baseball. Tigar wants to fit in with the other girls at school. She can't because they don't have a lot of money and because of her mom and dad. Tigar hangs out with boys most of the time. One of the boys Jesse wanted to be more then friends. So he kissed her but, she didn't want to be more then friends. That ruined the friendship. In the middle of all of this Tigar's grandma dies of a heart attack, because she saw a snake in her garden. Then her aunt comes to town to help with the funeral. While she's there she asks Tigar to come live with her. Tigar goes down to her aunt's house for a week to how she would like it. She is faced with a decision that will change her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eariler in 4th grade this year and I could imagine the book like it was a movie.They need to make a movie if not I need to see the movie so I just got it on my nook.AND WHOEVER SAID IT WAS BORING IF YOU don't like realistic fiction dont get the book.I think it's an awesome book.Read it if you don't belive me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this is so good so far
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is about a girl that has a hard life. It is recommended from any one from 9 to 99. I have been forced to read many books in my life and this one was probably the most heart warming I have ever read. I liked it because I love reading stories about people and their life. It is good for teenagers because it shows them that nobodys life is perfect and they are very fortunate to have parents like they have. Also it is a good book for any adult to read because they can just sit back and relax while reading it. So everybody out there go to your local library and check this book out today. You'll love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The role of parent and child were reversed at one point in this unusual story. I really enjoyed it and was proud of the child's role. She was brought up with love and compassion which helped her cope with her situation, under adverse circumstances.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My lousiana sky is the most greatist book ever it's very sad but i like it alot it's a book that takes you some where that you'll always want too be there it the most greatist book i ever read in my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a great read but it was kind of sad also. I recommend this book to whomever is into books that can be true and likes to read about older times. I loved to read My Louisana Sky so much I read it in about two days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this as a child in fourth grade, and now entering into 10, I am still in love with this book. It was a story i will never forget of a girl who was strong, and a family that had more love in it than anyone could imagine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Lousiana Sky is sad, but great!!! It's great for girls of all ages!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book four times and I loved it each time. This is a great book and the author did a wonderful job. I could realy relate to Tiger in many ways.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Authors Name: Kimberly Willis Holt Title ¿ My Louisiana Sky Genre- Fiction Tiger¿s mother is different, she plays hide and seek with the children on Sundays and acts like she is younger then Tiger. Tiger is confused because she doesn¿t understand why the other girls laugh when her mother is around. ¿Why is my mother different?¿ She always wonders. Tiger Ann is a very independent girl. She has a mother who is physically grown up but mentally she acts like she is six years old. She has a father who is mentally retarded. I liked this book because it seemed like the author of the book actually lived in Tiger Ann¿s shoes. For example, when Tiger was in Baton Rouge the author writes it as if she was actually in Baton Rouge walking down the street with her. While I read this book I made connections to the outside world. When Tiger¿s Granny died it reminded me of the time when Princess Diana died. I made that connection because Granny¿s death occurred so fast no one could help it and almost the same thing happened when Diana died. When Granny died, Tiger didn¿t know how to deal with the death of her grandmother. I think it was the same with Princess Diana¿s death. From the beginning of this book I used two main strategies. The first one was visualizing. This strategy helped me get the big picture about the story. Visualizing also helped me understand the book better.. Another strategy I used was asking questions. To answer some questions I had to make inferences if I could not find the answer in the text. The other questions I was able to find the answer directly from the text. Those are the two strategies I used, while reading the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Louisana Sky is a great book. Tiger Ann Parker is a pre-teen with 'slow' parents. That live in a rural area in Louisiana called Saitter. She deeply loves her parents and would do anything for them. As she enters middle school her peers look down on her and make fun of her because of her parents. While the children are making fun of her, their parents are baffeled about how Tiger managed to win the spelling bee 5 years in a row and how she has straight A's, they don't know where she gets it. She has the usual girl teenager problems with boys, even though she is living in the 1950's. She is a tomboy but thrives for the attention of the popular girls. Her grandmother is the one she goes to for help and when suddenly her grandmother, the backbone of the family the one who runs the house-hold entirely, has a heart attack, she is lost and confused. Her fancy, sophisticated Aunt Dorie Kay from Baton Rouge comes to the rescue and gives Tiger the chance to live with her in Baton Rouge. After Tiger gets to Baton Rouge she has a few changes made and gets her hair cut so that she looks like Audrey Hepburn and she goes shopping with her aunt for more sophisticated clothes. While living the life of her dreams as just Ann Parker she can't help wondering why her mother can't be like her Aunt Doreen.After she discovers some secrets she realizes how important her family really is to her. She is willing to take the bantering to live with her real parents that deeply love her and care for her. This book is entertaining and at times tear jerking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can somebody pls tell me if a girl who likes realistic fiction and kinda historical and hates fantasy would like this book? Looks good.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This vook is about tiger who has parents who everyon calls retarted but she perfers slow tiger loves to playbaseball and gets strait a's wich leaves the other parents scratching there heads with the odds i have people think i should be dummer then a box Of nails tiger her aunt gives her an opertunity to live a better life tiger soon has to decide whats more inportant to her family or a life with no worries a moving book great for a mother and daughter to read together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The movie is really inaproriate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing it was very upsetting that her grandmother died and i got real mad when it was the end of the book i wish she made this a series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in 3rd grade and since then i've read it at least 20 times! I'm 22 now and i still enjoy rereading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lve this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patata wheres yoour scrub