Kate DiCamillo

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Kate DiCamillo
Kate dicamillo 2767.JPG
DiCamillo at the 2014 National Book Festival
Born Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo
March 25, 1964
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Genre Children's fiction
Notable works
Notable awards Newbery Medal
2004, 2014
National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Katrina Elizabeth "Kate" DiCamillo (born March 25, 1964)[1] is an American writer of children's fiction for all reading levels, usually featuring animals. She is one of six people to win two Newbery Medals, recognizing her novels The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and Flora and Ulysses (2013). Her best-known books for young children are Mercy Watson series illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.

[dated info]DiCamillo is the U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress for the term comprising 2014 and 2015.[2][3][4]


Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo suffered from chronic pneumonia. At age five, she moved to Clermont, Florida for her health (warmer climate) with her mother and her older brother Curt DiCamillo, who would become a noted architectural historian. Her mother was a teacher. Her father remained in Pennsylvania to sell his orthodontic practice and never rejoined the family in Florida.[5][1]

DiCamillo earned her college degree in English at the University of Florida in 1987 and worked in Florida after graduation. At age 30 she moved to Minneapolis and began working at a book warehouse. That job inspired her to write for children and allowed her to meet a sales representative for Candlewick Press, resulting in submission of a draft that would become Because of Winn-Dixie.[5]

Her 2003 novel The Tale of Despereaux was inspired by a friend's son, Luke Bailey, who asked her to write about an unlikely hero with "exceptionally large ears".[6]


DiCamillo won the American Library Association Newberry Medal recognizing the previous year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" in 2004 for The Tale of Desperaux and again in 2014 for Flora & Ulysses; only six writers have won two of the annual medals introduced in 1922.[7] She won the 2000 Josette Frank Award for Because of Winn-Dixie[8] and the 2006 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award in the children's fiction category for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.[9] She, co-writer Alison McGhee, and illustrator Tony Fucile won the ALA Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2011 recognizing Bink and Gollie as the previous year's "most distinguished book for beginning readers".[10]

In 2012 Winn-Dixie was ranked number 30 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S. audience. Despereaux (51) and Edward Tulane (59) also made the Top 100 list.[11]

DiCamillo is the fourth U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.



In 2005, Because of Winn-Dixie was released as a film by 20th Century Fox. Universal Pictures released The Tale of Despereaux on December 19, 2008.[14] The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane was optioned by New Line Cinema and is in early pre-production.[citation needed] 20th Century Fox has hired Martin Hynes to write a script based on the book, The Magician's Elephant.[15]




Chapter books

  • Bink & Gollie series, text by DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illus. Tony Fucile
    • Bink & Gollie (2010)
    • Bink & Gollie: Two for One (2012)
  • Mercy Watson series (Candlewick Press), text by DiCamillo, illus. Chris Van Dusen
    • Mercy Watson to the Rescue (2005)
    • Mercy Watson Fights Crime (2006)
    • Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (2006)
    • Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise (2007)
    • Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (2008)
    • Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes (2009)

Picture books

  • Great Joy (2007), illus. Bagram Ibatoulline
  • Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken (2008), illus. Harry Bliss

Short stories

  • "An Ordinary Boy", in Spider magazine for children (vol. 8, issue 9, September 2001)[17]
  • "Super Tulip", Spider (vol. 8, issue 9, September 2001)[18]
  • "A Rowdy Visit", Spider (vol. 9, issue 1, January 2002)[19]
  • "The Third Floor Bedroom", in Chris Van Allsburg, et al., The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)[20][21]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ninth Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators Sample Profile: Kate DeCamillo". The H.W. Wilson Company (wilsonbiographies.com). Archived from the original on 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2009-12-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Includes "Autobiographical Statement" by DiCamillo".
  2. Julie Bosman (January 2, 2014). "Newbery Winner to Promote Her Genre". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Sue Corbett (January 2, 2014). "Kate DiCamillo Named Next National Ambassador for Young People's Literature". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Monica Hesse (January 2, 2014). "Kate DiCamillo, author of 'Because of Winn Dixie', named children's literature ambassador". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Margolies, Jane (February 21, 2006). "Pleasantly Stunned, a Star Children's Author Hits the Tour Trail Again". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  6. Blais, Jacqueline (January 14, 2004). "Author's Newbery is no small thrill". USA TODAY.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA).
      "The John Newbery Medal". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  8. "Awards". The Children's Book Committee. Bank Street College of Education (bankstreet.edu). Retrieved 2015-10-29. With linked lists of past winners by decade.
  9. "Past Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winners" [1967–2014]. The Horn Book. May 30, 2011 [sic]. Retrieved 2015-10-29
  10. 10.0 10.1 "(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award winners and honor books, 2006–present". ALSC. ALA.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
      "Theodor Seuss Geisel Award". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2015-10-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Retrieved 2015-10-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "National Book Awards – 2001". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  13. "Guardian children's fiction award shortlist 2014". Emily Drabble. The Guardian. October 4, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
  14. The Tale of Desperaux (film). Universal Studios Entertainment.
  15. (Factiva).[dead link]
  16. "DiCamillo, Kate". Library of Congress Authorities (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved 2012-04-13. Point of entry to LC Online Catalog entries for books by Kate DiCamillo.
  17. "An Ordinary Boy". EBSCOhost. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  18. "Super Tulip". EBSCOhost. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  19. "A Rowdy Visit". EBSCOhost. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  20. "Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Allsburg will discuss The Chronicles of Harris Burdick at the Fitzgerald". Laurie Hertzel. Updated October 29, 2011. THE BOOKMARK: The latest from the local scene. Minneapolis StarTribune (startribune.com). Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  21. "The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales". goodreads. Retrieved 2012-04-13.

External links