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Kate DiCamillo’s Life and Books Essay (Biography)

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Updated: Jun 3rd, 2022


Kate DiCamillo is a renowned American writer for children’s literature. She has climbed the ladder in this field and has found her way to the New York Times bestsellers’ list. She has received numerous awards in line with her work. A good example was the Newbery Honor. She works in a bookstore and writing is her part time job (Margolies, 2006).

Background Information

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and grew in Florida. Kate DiCamillo together with her mother and brother moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Florida because she was suffering from chronic pneumonia and Florida was much warmer for her condition. In Florida people talked slowly and had an accent. She also had a dog called Nanette. She loved it so much and spent most of her time with it.

Her sickly nature contributed to her growth as a writer. This is because she used story books to entertain her self at that early age. This developed a reading culture in her and she would read everything she laid her hands on.

She went to the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In 2006, she delivered the commencement address in the same university. Since early in her life, Kate DiCamillo had a desire to write. This dream was later realized when she was employed in a book warehouse and was based on children’s department.

It was then that she started reading children’s literature. She developed interests and she decided to write in this line. Up to date, Kate writes novel s as part time and she usually write two pages a day for five days in a week. In addition, she works at books store in children’s department.

The job at the warehouse not only gave her the inspiration to write but also gave her the opportunity to meet the right people in the field. For instance it was during this time that she met Candlewick press personnel who later took her first novel draft for processing to the complete novel.

According to her, Florida was a great inspiration for her. Unlike what she was used to at her early age, Florida was small and thus people existed as a single family. At her twenties she moved to Minnesota and it is during this time that she missed the warmth that she had experienced in Florida.

Her first novel was Because of Winn-Dixie which is a praise hymn to dogs and friendship of the south. She wrote it in Minnesota. It was one evening when she was going to sleep when she heard a young girl singing the same praise hymn with southern accent. She listened to what India Opal Buloni was telling her and wrote her novel (DiCamillo, 2000). She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Children’s Literature

Kate DiCamillo has won many awards. Her first novel; Because of Winn- Dixie led her to receive Newbery Honor. The second one, The Tiger Rising was a National Book award Finalist. The Tale of Desperaux, her third novel also won an award by the name Newbery Medal. In addition, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride received Theodor Geisel Honor.

Every novel she has written has had different inspiration. The Tale of Despereaux novel of 2003 was inspired by a friend’s son. From a single statement of a hero who had extra ordinary ears, Luke Bailey gave Kate an idea that developed into a whole novel (DiCamillo, 2003).

Because of Winn-Dixie resulted from homesick for Florida. She missed her lovely dog. In some circumstances, characters just come from nowhere and they help in development of a story. Her childhood also influences the way she writes in one way or another. For instance separation from her father shaped who she was and is and the way she perceives the world.

Her novels are among the favorite in the market and this has continued to create more opportunities. For example her novels have been translated to films by other big companies. 20th Century Fox translated her first novel Because of Winn-Dixie into film. The Tale of Despereaux was made a film by Universal Pictures in 2008. New Line Cinema released the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane film (DiCamillo, 2006).The 20th Century Fox is working on her latest book The Magician’s Elephant.


Much of Kate DiCamillo’s time goes to creating of stories. She concludes that it has nothing to do with talent as she used to think in college when she was being complimented for her good writing. She now believes in hard work. Kate puts it that she never want to write but she is always glad that she has done it.

The rewarding of it all is when the stories have an impact on the reader. Her greatest inspiration is when she feels that the small stories she writes impacts positively. In addition, Kate DiCamillo never fails to encourage upcoming writers. She urges them to write in smaller chunks every day. She also tells them that the stories are around them and that they only need to look around and develop novels.


DiCamillo, K. (2000). Because of Winn-Dixie. Cambridge, Mass: Candlewick Press.

DiCamillo, K. (2006).The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press.

DiCamillo, K. (2003). The tale of Despereaux : being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

Margolies, J.( 2006). Pleasantly Stunned, a Star Children’s Author Hits the Tour Trail Again. The New York Times. Retrieved from on 19th may 2011.

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