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Friday, March 25, 2022

'Offered As A Gift'


“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” Kate DiCamillo

Born on this date in 1964, DiCamillo is one of the world’s leading writers of fiction for kids at all reading levels.  Her exemplary career has produced two Newbery Medals for The Tale of Despereaux  and Flora and Ulysses, one of just 6 people in the world to win two such awards.  

Her best-known books for young children are the “Mercy Watson” series illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.  She also wrote one of my all-time favorites, Because of Winn Dixie.    In 2014 and 2015 DiCamillo was appointed by the Library of Congress as the U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

DiCamillo works full-time in a used bookstore, where she does some writing each weekday.  “I get up. I drink a cup of coffee. I think,” she said.  “The last thing I want to do is write.  Then I go to the computer and write.  My goal is two pages a day, five days a week. I never want to write, but I'm always glad that I have done it. After I write, I go to work at the bookstore.”      

Every well-written book is a light for me,” she said.  “When you write, you use other writers and their books as guides in the wilderness.” 

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