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Kate DiCamillo - Author

About the Author

Kate DiCamillo’s writing journey has been a truly remarkable one. She grew up in Florida and moved to Minnesota in her twenties, when homesickness and a bitter winter led her to write Because of WinnDixie – her first published novel, which became a runaway bestseller and snapped up a Newbery Honor. The Tiger Rising, her second novel, was also set in Florida and went on to become a National Book Award finalist. Since then, the bestselling author has explored settings as varied as a medieval castle and a magician’s theatre while continuing to enjoy great success, winning two Newbery Medals and being named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She now has almost 30 million books in print worldwide.

In 2016, Kate DiCamillo published her most autobiographical novel to date, Raymie Nightingale, which was a National Book Award finalist. And then, for the first time ever, she returned to the world of a previous novel in Louisiana’s Way Home to tell us more about a character that her fans already knew and loved. That novel garnered seven starred reviews and was, like its predecessor, a #1 New York Times bestseller. And now Kate DiCamillo returns once more to complete the Three Rancheros’ stories by writing a book about toughas-nails Beverly Tapinski.

Kate DiCamillo’s books’ themes of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances and their messages of shared humanity and connectedness have resonated with readers of all ages around the world. In her instant #1 New York Times bestseller The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a haughty china rabbit undergoes a profound transformation after finding himself facedown on the ocean floor – lost and waiting to be found. The Tale of Despereaux – the Newbery Medal–winning novel that later inspired an animated adventure from Universal Pictures – stars a tiny mouse with exceptionally large ears who is driven by love to become an unlikely hero. The Magician’s Elephant, an acclaimed and exquisitely paced fable, dares to ask the question What if ? And Kate DiCamillo’s second Newbery Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses, was released in 2013 to great acclaim, garnering five starred reviews and an instant spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Born in Philadelphia but raised in the South, Kate DiCamillo now lives in Minneapolis.

A Q&A with Kate Di Camillo:

You made the decision to write Louisiana’s story after her relentless voice consumed your notebooks. What made you want to write a novel about Beverly? Was there a voice, quote, or image that came to you that set her story in motion? 

Well, it’s odd. Beverly’s voice was relentless, too, but in a much less dramatic way than Louisiana’s. Telling Beverly’s story was like crouching in the woods with my hand out, hoping that a wild animal would come and eat out of my hand. I could feel her presence; I knew she wanted to speak. But I had to hold very, very still. And wait. The story started with the simple, declarative sentence “Buddy died.” And everything, all of it, unspooled from that. 

Once again you have created a novel that deals very pointedly with parental abandonment, and Beverly’s situation is possibly the most dire in all of your books. Is that theme still difficult to explore, or do you find you have more courage now than ever to tackle these kinds of raw and difficult truths?

These “difficult truths” show up in my stories no matter what I do. I have, in recent years, I suppose, turned and faced them more head-on, more directly. I am haunted by parental abandonment, and so it keeps showing up in my stories.

If Raymie Nightingale was the true story of your heart and Louisiana’s Way Home was a return to storytelling in the style of Because of Winn-Dixie, what is the personal impetus or connection for you to Beverly, Right Here?

Beverly is so much braver than I am. I wanted to leave and I couldn’t. Beverly does. Every time Beverly showed up in Raymie’s story, I was impressed by her ferocity, her tenderness, her utter lack of regard for the rules. She was the kind of kid I wanted to be. She is the kind of young adult I wanted to be.

 

Featured books by Kate DiCamillo

Other books by Kate DiCamillo

Beverly, Right Here

Beverly, Right Here

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2020

Revisiting once again the world of Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana's Way Home, No.1 New York Timesbestselling author Kate DiCamillo turns her focus to the tough-talking, inescapably tenderhearted Beverly Tapinski. Beverly put her foot down on the gas. They went faster still. This was what Beverly wanted - what she always wanted. To get away. To get away as fast as she could. To stay away. Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it's not running away ... it's leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly finds a job and a place to live and tries to forget about her dog, Buddy, now buried underneath the orange trees back home; her friend Raymie, whom she left without a word; and her mum, Rhonda, who has never cared about anyone but herself. Beverly doesn't want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn't want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can't help forming connections with the people around her - and, gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.

A Piglet Named Mercy

A Piglet Named Mercy

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2020

Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture book prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mercy Watson series. Mr Watson and Mrs Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door... In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive - and the Watsons' lives will never be the same.

Good Rosie!

Good Rosie!

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Beloved storyteller Kate DiCamillo and cartoonist Harry Bliss introduce some delightfully doggy dogs in a warm, funny tale of a timid pup who needs a friend. Rosie is a good dog and a faithful companion to her owner, George. She likes taking walks with George and looking at the clouds together. But the closest she comes to another dog is when she encounters her reflection in her empty dog bowl, and sometimes that makes Rosie feel lonely. One day George decides to try taking Rosie to the dog park, but the park is full of dogs that Rosie doesn't know, which makes her feel lonelier than ever. So when big, loud Maurice and small, yippy Fifi bound over and want to play, Rosie's not sure how to respond. Is there a trick to making friends? And if so, can they all figure it out together?

Beverly, Right Here

Beverly, Right Here

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 24/09/2019

Louisiana's Way Home

Louisiana's Way Home

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

Follow-up to the New York Times Bestselling Raymie Nightingale, from an internationally revered author, twice winner of the Newbery Medal. When Louisiana Elefante's granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn't overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from best friends Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana's life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of the small Georgia town in which they find themselves - including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder - she starts to worry that she is destined only for goodbyes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny's heads. But that is a story for another time.) Called one of DiCamillo's most singular and arresting creations by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale - and now, with humour and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

A Piglet Named Mercy

A Piglet Named Mercy

Author: Kate DiCamillo Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2019

Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture-book prequel to the New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson series. Mr Watson and Mrs Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door... In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive - and the Watsons' lives will never be the same.

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