My Louisiana Sky
Coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Tiger Ann Parker, who lives in Saitter, Louisiana, with her grandmother and her developmentally disabled parents. Set in 1957, Tiger has always dreamed of being more like her Aunt Dorie Kay, but eventually learns to accept her parents and gains confidence in herself.
Twelve-year-old Tiger Ann Parker is the sharp, staight-A, hardworking daughter of Corrina and Lonnie Parker, two mentally challenged adults possessed with a childlike awe of the world. Meeting life's responsibilities is up to Tiger. One of her tasks is upholding the family farm with her grandmother, Jewel, a stern but loving maternal force. Tiger's intelligence makes her all too aware that there's much more to the world than feeding chickens and hanging out with her only friend, Jessie Wade. Isolated from most other children her age, Tiger sees the future in her dreams of movie-star glamour and big-city living; and she sees it especially in the likes of her Aunt Dorie Kay, a successful Baton Rouge beauty who has become forever estranged from her mother, Jewel.
As Tiger prepares to enter middle school, she becomes increasingly aware of being socially ostracized by her peers because of her peculiar family. As her affection for her parents becomes mixed with feelings of shame and embarrassment, Tiger finds herself faced with another challenge: the death of her grandmother. An offer for a new life comes from the visiting Dorie Kay. She takes Tiger back to Baton Rouge to pick up her maid, Magnolia, who, Dorie Kay has decided, will help the family get back on its feet in Saitter. During Tiger's short trip to Baton Rouge, Dorie Kay attempts to subtly transform Tiger into a city girl and even suggests she come to live with her permanently. The offer is tempting, but Tiger feels guilty at the thought of leaving her parents.
Tiger returns home with Magnolia to a disastrous mess. Corrina has not been out of Jewel's nightgown since Tiger left and the house is in chaos. The prospect of living in Baton Rouge becomes more enticing to Tiger. She complains to Magnolia that she is tired of being the grown up. Magnolia asks her to contemplate why she would want to leave home where she has two parents who love her so much. Just when Tiger decides to move to Baton Rouge, a disaster strikes Saitter, which ultimately helps Tiger realize how much she loves her parents and how much they love her. Tiger finally appreciates what she has and where she truly belongs.