The Wheeler Centre
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‘Reading aloud binds us together in unanticipated ways. It brings us home,’ Kate DiCamillo has written, recalling memories of her mother reading stories to her as a child growing up in Florida.
DiCamillo has a deep understanding of reading as a means of connecting us – as the former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, she has advocated for the importance of stories as a means by which children can see the world clearly. Her children’s stories and middle grade novels, from Flora and Ulysses to Because of Winn-Dixie, are treasured by readers of all ages for their careful, tender – and often magical – depictions of how it feels to grow up.
DiCamillo’s latest novel, Raymie Nightingale, follows in that tradition, and represents a form of homecoming for its author. Set in Florida in the golden patina of the ’70s, and centring on a ten-year-old protagonist grappling with abandonment by her father, the novel is, according to DiCamillo, ‘the absolutely true story of my heart’.
Listen to DiCamillo in conversation with Sally Rippin as they discuss the importance of reading and writing for everyone – and take lots of questions from readers young and old.
Kate DiCamillo is one of the United States’ leading junior fiction and illustrated fiction authors for children. She has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, with books translated into 41 languages.
Kate is one of only six people to have won two prestigious Newbery Medals, awarded by the American Library Association, for The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and Flora and Ulysses (2013). Kate recently completed her two year appointment as the Library of Congress’ National Ambassador for Young People's Literature 2014–2015. She is the fourth US National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
Sally Rippin has had over 50 children’s books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her most recent books include the popular Billie B. Brown and Hey Jack! series and the children’s novel, Angel Creek, which was published to critical acclaim.