- Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo’s writing journey has truly been a remarkable one. She grew up in Florida and moved to Minnesota in her 20s, where homesickness and a bitter winter led her to write Because of Winn-Dixie—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 best-selling author has explored settings as varied as a medieval castle, a magician’s theatre and the bustling streets of Memphis, while continuing to enjoy great success, winning two Newbery Medals and being named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. In Raymie Nightingale, DiCamillo’s latest novel, she returns to her roots, once more setting the story in the Central Florida of her childhood. Like Raymie Clarke, the hero of this novel, DiCamillo grew up in a small southern town in the ’70s with a single mother, and she, too, entered a Little Miss contest and attempted to learn to twirl a baton. But while Raymie’s story is inspired by the author’s own life, DiCamillo has transformed these seeds of truth into fiction—and in doing so has captured a more universal truth. No matter where her books are set, their 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?” DiCamillo’s second Newbery Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures was released in 2013 to great acclaim, garnering five-starred reviews and an instant spot on the NewYork Times bestseller list. Born in Philadelphia but raised in the South, DiCamillo now lives in Minneapolis.