Saturday, February 1, 2014

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo

Holy bagumba! What an amazing week this has been for children's literature. I don't think I have stopped smiling since Monday afternoon.

I asked two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and Newbery Honor authors Holly Black (Doll Bones), Kevin Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller), Amy Timberlake (One Came Home), and Vince Vawter (Paperboy) the same three questions. I will share their responses over the next five days. First up is Kate DiCamillo, the recipient of the 2014  John Newbery Medal for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Congratulations, Kate! 

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by K.G. Campbell | Candlewick Press | 2014 Newbery Medal 

Mr. Schu: Everyone loves hearing about THE CALL. What ran through your head when the phone rang? What were you thinking about when the Newbery committee was laughing and clapping?  What did you do after you hung up the phone? 

Kate DiCamillo: I was deeply asleep when the phone rang.  

I was crying while the Newbery committee was laughing and clapping.

After I hung up the phone I cried some more.  
And then I wondered if I had dreamed the whole thing.

Did I say “thank you” to you guys?
Gosh, I hope so.
Thank you thank you thank you.

Mr. Schu: Yes, you thanked us multiple times. :)

Mr. Schu: What does the Newbery mean to you? 

Kate DiCamillo: Newbery means eight year old me standing in the Cooper Memorial Public Library in the children’s section staring at the spin rack, which was full of paperback Newbery winners.

For the adult me, it means that my story will stay in print.

It means that some kid years and years from now, will get to look at the cover of my book and think: hmmm, maybe this one, the one with the squirrel and the medal on it.

Mr. Schu: Please finish this sentence starter: 

Reading is the whole wide world to me.

Mr. Schu: Thank you, Kate! 

Kate DiCamillo talks about Flora and Ulysses. 

Download the Flora and Ulysses discussion guide. 

Download "A Conversation with the Author." 

Kate visited Red Balloon Bookshop on December 7, 2013. 

Kate DiCamillo presented at the 2009 National Book Festival.

"I decided a long time ago," DiCamillo says, "that I didn't have to be talented. I just had to be persistent."

You don't want to miss this interview with Kate DiCamillo.

Kate DiCamillo received the 2013 Kerlan Award. 

Travis Jonker and I named Bink and Gollie the best book of 2010. 

"Holy bagumba, Kate DiCamillo, superheroine, you have done it again—created a book that is a joy for adults and children alike. It is perfect as a family read-aloud or for an adult/child reading group." - Anita Silvey 

Mr. Travis Jonker sat down with Ambassador Kate. 

Kate DiCamillo wants to spread the joy of reading. 

Newbery Medalists Katherine Paterson and Kate DiCamillo discuss writing contemporary fiction. 

"I would never be a writer unless I wrote something." -Kate DiCamillo

This video made me laugh out loud multiple times.  


  1. Thank you, John. I listened to every word. I'm so glad you are back talking about all these wonderful books.

  2. Thank you for this posting. I have shared videos with both my class and the afterschool book club. They love Kate and her books.

  3. Thank you for this post. I shared the videos with both my class and after school book club. They love Kate and her books and were so excited about the Newbery.

  4. OK, I now have the next couple of hours of my life planned! lol No way I don't want lots of Kate :D

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Love being able to "connect" with favorite authors!

  6. Thanks for the post! love being able to "connect" with a favorite author!