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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.


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