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About the Author...

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She spent much of her early childhood being sick; she had multiple bouts of pneumonia and chicken pox. Around the age of five, her doctor suggested the “geographical cure” of moving to Florida. Kate’s mother, her sister, and Kate moved to Clermont, Florida, leaving her father behind in Pennsylvania.

As a child, DiCamillo loved animals. She wanted to be a veterinarian until she had a bad experience seeing a severely injured dog in a veterinarian’s clinic. She also loved reading books about animals until she read Sleeping Beauty, which gave her awful nightmares. After that point, she would not read books that had animals on the cover, making it ironic that her first book has a dog on the cover of it.

DiCamillo graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a degree in English. Then, in 1994, a friend convinced her to move with her to Minneapolis, MN. DiCamillo was struggling at the time with her life and not really getting anywhere, so the opportunity to move came at a good time. She started working at a book warehouse with children’s books. It was at this time that she had her “flashbulb moment.” After looking at some children’s books, she realized that she wanted to write children’s literature.

DiCamillo took a few writing classes, and in 1998 she won the McKnight Artist’s Fellowship for Writers. This allowed her to spend less time working, and more time writing. Her goal was to write two pages a day, every day when she woke up, for five days a week. It was this goal that led her to write what would become her first published book, Because of Winn-Dixie, in only six months.

After getting ignored by the publishing companies for a short time due to misplaced manuscripts, DiCamillo’s work was found and loved immediately. She signed on with Candlewick Press publishing company because she had been impressed in the past with their work. Her editor is Kara LaReau. DiCamillo is currently 37 years old, and still living in Minneapolis, MN. She fills her time writing, responding to fan mail, and doing some public speaking venues around the country. Her peers know DiCamillo as an excellent writer who has a great sense of humor and graceful humility in acknowledging her successes. DiCamillo has already won a Newbery medal for her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie.

Kate DiCamillo’s first book was Because of Winn-Dixie, and it was published in 2000. She has two other books currently published.


Check out the KidsReads website for more information on Kate DiCamillo.


Baxter, Kathleen. "Author Profile: Kate DiCamillo." Library Talk 14.4 (2001), 30-31.

Romano, Katherine. "Kate DiCamillo: A Promising Forecast." Teaching PreK-8 33.8 (2003), 52-54.


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Page last updated on April 1, 2004


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