Author Study Project

Kate DiCamillo

A short biography

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia in 1964. Because she had pneumonia for the first five winters of her life, the doctor suggested that she would do better in a warmer climate. So, in 1969, Kate, her brother, and her mother moved to sunny Florida. Kate's health improved and she quickly developed a fondness for the warmer South. Kate DiCamillo attended the University of Florida and majored in English. That is when she first decided to become a writer. For the next decade she wrote mostly short stories for adults, submitted them, and collected hundreds of rejection letters. To pay the bills, DiCamillo worked a variety of jobs at places like Disney World, Surfers' World, campgrounds, and greenhouses. After moving to Minneapolis, DiCamillo began working at a book wholesaler. That is when she started reading children's books and decided to try writing for a younger audience. During a long, cold Minnesota winter, DiCamillo felt homesick and wrote a story that took place in the warm South. That story, Because of Winn-Dixie, was not only accepted and published; it also received a prestigious Newbery Honor. Eventually, DiCamillo left her job at the book wholesaler to become a full-time author. When The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004, Kate DiCamillo solidified her place as one of today's most popular authors for young people. More recently, DiCamillo has tried her hand at writing books for an even younger audience. After delighting young readers with her whimsical Mercy Watson easy-reader series, DiCamillo published her first picture book, Great Joy, in 2007. Kate DiCamillo and her dog, Henry, live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kate DiCamillo is Best Known For…

Kate DiCamillo is an author whose children's books often confront themes of death and loss. She won a Newbery Medal in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux (2003)

• Because of Winn-Dixie (2000) *
• The Tiger Rising (2001)
• The Tale of Despereaux (2003) *
• The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2006)
• The Magician's Elephant (2009)
• Bink and Gollie (2010) *
• Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (2013)

Picture books
• Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken (2008)
• Great Joy (2007)

Quotes by Kate DiCamillo:
"Every well-written book is a light for me. When you write, you use other writers and their books as guides in the wilderness."
"Everything I write comes from my childhood in one way or another. I am forever drawing on the sense of mystery and wonder and possibility that pervaded that time of my life."
"Hands down, the biggest thrill is to get a letter from a kid saying, I loved your book. Will you write me another one?"
"I always write with music. It takes me a while to figure out the right piece of music for what I'm working on. Once I figure it out, that's the only thing I'll play."

About the story:

Bink and Gollie: A fantastic story of two little girls who use great vocabulary . Bink is younger than Gollie . Bink makes choices Gollie thinks are unwise, such as when Bink gets painfully colored socks . Gollie loves pancakes and goes on wild adventures. When Bink makes wild decisions, Gollie bribes her with pancakes . So when Bink gets hungry, that's when the trap is sprung.

Gigi's Review: It was a very good book  and I highly recommend this book to other children this book is built around the theme of friendship.  

About the story:

The Tale Of Despereaux : Despereaux is a very smart little mouse. He can read, and is noble. Despereaux is thrown into the dungeon for interacting with humans. There he meets a rat named Rescoro  . Rescoro realizes that Despereaux is a bright mouse and gets jealous because of the way rats are treated. Rescoro meets a girl named Miggry who works for Princess Pea. When Rescoro discovers Miggry wants to be a princess, he tricks her into kidnapping Princess Pea and Despereaux has to save the princess.

Gigi's Review: I was one of the best books I've read. I highly recommend this book to other children. This book is built around themes of love and bravery.

Because of Winn Dixie:

About the story: Opal and her father don't get along after her mother left. Opal is sent to go grocery shopping and finds a new friend when she adopts a dog who makes a huge mess in the grocery store. Opal names the dog after the store, Winn Dixie. Both Opal and her father are very unhappy after Opal's mother leaves, but they boTh love Winn Dixie. When Winn Dixie gets lost in a rain storm, Opal and her dad almost give up looking, but then have a very important talk and Opal realizes that her life will be alright.

Gigi's Review: This was an okay book but I enjoyed the emotion of  Opal. I recommend this book to preteen children. This book was built around the theme of regret.