Books by Kate DiCamillo

BEVERLY, RIGHT HERE by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 24, 2019

"A satisfying read that stands alone but is richer for its company. (Fiction. 10-14)"
The friendship of strangers helps a 14-year-old runaway realize that there are important connections to be found at home as well. Read full book review >
A PIGLET NAMED MERCY by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 2, 2019

"Younger siblings of the Mercy chapter-book lovers will find their way into the series with this first look, written just for them. (Picture book. 3-5)"
To paraphrase an immortal spider, Mercy is some pig. Read full book review >
LOUISIANA'S WAY HOME by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 2, 2018

"For readers who relish thoughtfully constructed plots, well-developed characters, and carefully crafted language, this will be a special treat. (Historical fiction. 9-13)"
Abandoned twice over, Louisiana Elefante discovers in herself the "magic that puts things back together." Read full book review >
GOOD ROSIE! by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"Subtle lessons about entering a new and unfamiliar territory, finding companions, and the value of a friendly, approachable attitude are all conveyed with a delicate touch. Good Rosie—good story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A lonely, brown-and-white terrier named Rosie learns how to stand up to a bully and how to make new friends in this understated, gently humorous story. Read full book review >
EUGENIA LINCOLN AND THE UNEXPECTED PACKAGE  by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"Eugenia's need for routine and her intolerance of change and uncertainty will resonate with readers who experience life similarly. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Mercy Watson's neighbors, the Lincoln Sisters of 52 Deckawoo Drive, return in their second adventure, and now it's elder sister Eugenia's turn in the spotlight. Read full book review >
LA LA LA by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"For a dreamer, it's easy to imagine a singer in the benevolent face in the moon—here it's a symbol of hope. (Picture book. 5-adult)"
A lonely child's perseverance helps her find the unlikeliest of companions. Read full book review >
WHERE ARE YOU GOING, BABY LINCOLN? by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A loving and sweet addition to the Deckawoo Drive series. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Baby Lincoln has always yielded to her older sister, Eugenia, but now it is time to take a stand. Read full book review >
RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 12, 2016

"Once again, DiCamillo demonstrates the power of simple words in a beautiful and wise tale. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
Ten-year-old Raymie Clarke of Lister, Florida, has a plan to get her father to come back home. Read full book review >
FRANCINE POULET MEETS THE GHOST RACCOON by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"New readers ready for a challenge and some laughs will welcome more characters from Deckawoo Drive. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Francine Poulet, the laconic and intrepid animal control officer of Gizzford County, is having a crisis of confidence. Read full book review >
LEROY NINKER SADDLES UP by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 26, 2014

"Filled with love and kindness and glorious sweet-talk: 'Yippee-i-oh.' (Fiction. 6-9)"
Leroy Ninker dreams of being an honest-to-goodness cowboy as he watches Western movies while working at the concession stand at the drive-in theater. Read full book review >
FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Original, touching and oh-so-funny tale starring an endearingly implausible superhero and a not-so-cynical girl. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
When a cynical comic-book fanatic discovers her own superhero, life becomes wonderfully supercharged. Read full book review >
BINK & GOLLIE by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 23, 2013

"There may be no new ground broken, but there is still another bumper crop of fun to be had with these two BFFs. (Early reader. 6-8)"
Fans of Bink and Gollie will be pleased to welcome them back in three more humorous linked adventures that, as in their earlier appearances, play off their differences but ultimately affirm their mutual affection. Read full book review >
BINK & GOLLIE by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2012

"Friendships can be tricky to navigate, but if youngsters find half of the joy and loyalty of this pair, they'll be set. (Early reader. 6-8)"
Winsome duo Bink and Gollie are back, this time zipping through a day at the state fair (Bink & Gollie, 2010). Read full book review >
BINK & GOLLIE by Kate DiCamillo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

If James Marshall's George and Martha were not hippos and were both girls, they would be much like best friends Bink and Gollie in this charming early-reader series debut. Tall, quirkily formal Gollie says "Greetings"; the shorter, more casual Bink just says hello. Gollie uses words like "compromise" and "implore"; Bink needs to learn them fast to keep up. Three winsome short stories—"Don't You Need a New Pair of Socks?," "P.S. I'll Be Back Soon" and "Give a Fish a Home"—illustrate the eminently surmountable challenges to Bink and Gollie's friendship in rapid-fire dialogue that manages to be both witty and earnest. Fucile's terrific, cartoonish artwork is expressive and hilarious—black-and-white scratchy lines and washes that effectively use spot color to highlight, say, alarmingly hideous rainbow socks or the faint underwater orange of a freshly liberated pet goldfish. One favorite wordless spread shows Bink holding up her goldfish bowl at the movie theater so her fish-friend can see Mysteries of the Deep Blue Sea… seated next to a mortified Gollie. More, please! (Early reader. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT by Kate DiCamillo
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Ten-year-old Peter Augustus Duchene goes to the market for fish and bread but spends it at the fortuneteller's tent instead. Seeking his long-lost sister, Peter is told, "You must follow the elephant. She will lead you there." And that very night at the Bliffenendorf Opera House, a magician's spell goes awry, conjuring an elephant that crashes through the ceiling and lands on Madam Bettine LaVaughn. Reading like a fable told long ago, with rich language that begs to be read aloud, this is a magical story about hope and love, loss and home, and of questioning the world versus accepting it as it is. Brilliant imagery juxtaposes "glowering and resentful" gargoyles and snow, stars and the glowing earth, and Tanaka's illustrations (not all seen) bring to life the city and characters from "the end of the century before last." A quieter volume than The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2006), this has an equal power to haunt readers long past the final page. (Fantasy. 8-13)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON THINKS LIKE A PIG by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2008

Mercy Watson, beloved porcine wonder, meets Francine Poulet, "the best animal control officer in the history of the world." When Mercy discovers freshly planted pansies next door, what can she do but eat them? Never mind that the pansies belong to the next-door neighbors, pig-loving Baby and her pig-hating sister, Eugenia. When the furious Eugenia sees the incriminating pansy petals on Mercy's chin, her anger gets the best of her and she reports Mercy to Animal Control. The officer, beak-nosed Poulet, is energized by the challenge of adding a new animal to her life capture list. DiCamillo's comic timing coupled with Van Dusen's familiar, over-the-top gouache depictions of the emotional Mercy and her caring, buttered-toast-bearing "parents" make this a welcome addition to the popular series. Fifteen very short action-packed chapters make this a fine step up for readers ready for a slightly more challenging read than Henry and Mudge. (Fiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
GREAT JOY by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

Newbery Medalist DiCamillo is joined again by the illustrator of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2005) in this moving story that offers the reader (or young listener) a treat: a story with an outwardly simple plot but with an inner core of meaning that is deeply satisfying. The main character, Frances, is a little girl who lives in a city apartment with her mother in the 1940s. From their second-story window, Frances watches an older man standing on the corner with an organ grinder and a little monkey in a red cap. In a series of tiny actions that all add up to something larger, she draws the lonely man into her world, and by the final, wordless spread, a stranger has come in out of the cold to join the group. DiCamillo tells her story with a light, deft hand and a minimum of words that make the story all the more powerful. Ibatoulline's mysterious paintings are understated as well, filled with subtle, glowing accents from streetlights, shop windows and stage lights when Frances performs her role as an angel in her church pageant. This simple but powerful story will indeed bring the reader great joy. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

Everyone's porcine wonder is back, and just in time for Halloween. Mrs. Watson knows just what Mercy should be for the holiday—a tiara-and-pink-tulle-clad princess. Mercy is dubious, especially after struggling with her dress, until the word "treats" is mentioned. Toast with a great deal of butter is her favorite treat, and that thought is enough to keep our little porker in the game. Following the formula perfected in the earlier titles, the hilarity is found more in the super-saturated illustrations than in the words. Whether Mercy is flying after a terrified cat or snuffling for butter candy, the illustrations are energetic and the sly wit is infectious. One quibble: Because of the placement of spot art, some of the nighttime images show a blue-black darkness and others look like broad daylight. No matter, though—young readers will clamor for more adventures with this irrepressible retro pig and her lovable family. (Fiction. 5-8)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

Everyone's porcine wonder is back, and just in time for Halloween. Mrs. Watson knows just what Mercy should be for the holiday—a tiara-and-pink-tulle-clad princess. Mercy is dubious, especially after struggling with her dress, until the word "treats" is mentioned. Toast with a great deal of butter is her favorite treat, and that thought is enough to keep our little porker in the game. Following the formula perfected in the earlier titles, the hilarity is found more in the super-saturated illustrations than in the words. Whether Mercy is flying after a terrified cat or snuffling for butter candy, the illustrations are energetic and the sly wit is infectious. One quibble: Because of the placement of spot art, some of the nighttime images show a blue-black darkness and others look like broad daylight. No matter, though—young readers will clamor for more adventures with this irrepressible retro pig and her lovable family. (Fiction. 5-8)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON FIGHTS CRIME by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

Mercy is back in this fun third installment of merrymaking, buttered-toast eating, and crime solving. When she's awakened by the sound of the toaster being dragged across the counter, she discovers a cowboy named Leroy walking off with a sackful of kitchen loot. Exhaustion gets the better of the porcine wonder and she settles down for a nap while Leroy settles down to some serious stealing. When Leroy opens up a butter-barrel candy, our butter-loving heroine wakes and gives Leroy a pig-bronco ride as she searches for the source of the butter smell. Of course, neighbors Eugenia and Baby Lincoln get in on the act and soon the firefighters and Officer Tomilello do too. A snack of toast with a great deal of butter follows for all. Silly crime-solving for the growing number of Mercy's young fans moving on from easy readers. (Fiction. 6-8)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2006

She's back! Mercy, the porcine wonder, is back in all her buttered-toast eating glory. It's Saturday, time for a ride in the pink convertible. But, does Mercy like to ride or drive? Drive! Only Mrs. Watson's promise of extra helpings of hot buttered toast can get this clever pig to scoot across the front seat and enjoy the weekly adventure. And when next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln hankers for a little adventure of her own, the fun really begins. From the toast icons that surround the page numbers, to faux-tape spine, and hilariously gaudy over-the-top illustrations, this is a throw-back in the best sense of the word. When Mercy ends up sitting on top of Mr. Watson in the driver's seat and Baby has to crawl over the seat to help out, it's hard not to think of Lucy, Ethel and Ricky caught in another pickle. All's well that ends well, of course, and that means everyone can celebrate with a stack of toast and an extra pat of butter. (Fiction. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by Kate DiCamillo
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2006

Once again, DiCamillo harkens back to an older storytelling style, filled with magic and the transformational power of love. Edward Tulane is a china rabbit—dapper and serious and more than a little superior. His mistress, Abilene Tulane, loved him and "thought almost as highly of Edward as Edward thought of himself." Edward is interested in little beyond his own comfort and beauty. Indeed, everyone except for Abilene's grandmother, Pellegrina, condescends to him. She commissioned his making, ordered his dapper clothing and smart pocket watch and, in the end, demanded a good deal more of Edward than he thought he wanted to give. Her warning, "You disappoint me," thrusts Edward into the adventure that becomes his life. He learns about love, loss and consequences. Somewhere between fairy tale and fable, DiCamillo spins the tale of Edward, transformed by the lives he touches. The reader will be transformed too. Sumptuous gouache illustrations complement the old-fashioned, dramatic narrative. Keep the tissues handy for this one. (Fiction. 7+)Read full book review >
MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Hilarity and hijinks abound in this tale about a voracious swine with an overweening yen for hot buttered toast. Mercy is the beloved pet pig of the doting Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Mercy sneaks into her owner's bed one night, her added heft causes the bed to fall partway through the ceiling. Although the besotted Watsons assume Mercy is trotting off to seek help, the only search and rescue Mercy seems to care about involves butter and hot bread. In her quest for some midnight munchies, Mercy awakens the crotchety neighbor. Wild chases and mayhem ensue before help arrives in the guise of firefighters. DiCamillo aims for over-the-top fun with her tale of porcine shenanigans, and Van Dusen's gouache illustrations provide a comical counterpart to the text. The glossy paintings, with exaggerated caricatures and lively colors, complement DiCamillo's tone, although the scowling, lantern-jawed visage of the crabby neighbor borders on the unpleasant. With vocabulary that may prove too challenging for a novice, DiCamillo's tale is best suited for those ready to move up. However, the pacing and the action easily make it right for shared reading. (Fiction. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

Dear reader, light your lamp and listen to the tale of Despereaux, the last mouse born of Antoinette. Born with his eyes open and ears much too large, Despereaux seems destined for early death. A true Renaissance mouse, he can hear honey, read words, and appreciate fine music. But he cannot conform to the strictures of the mouse world. Rodents and humans don't mix, yet he falls in love with the Princess Pea, earning the wrath of all the mice in the castle. The melodramatic voice of the narrator glides through DiCamillo's entirely pleasing tale, at times addressing the reader directly, at others, moving the reader back and forward in time. Never does she abandon the reader in the dungeon with Despereaux, the dark-hearted rats, or the guard and fellow inmate, Gregory. And so unwinds a tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood, a servant who wishes to be a princess, a knight in shining—or, at least, furry—armor, and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama. (Fiction. 7-12)Read full book review >
THE TIGER RISING by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

Themes of freedom and responsibility twine between the lines of this short but heavy novel from the author of Because of Winn-Dixie (2000). Three months after his mother's death, Rob and his father are living in a small-town Florida motel, each nursing sharp, private pain. On the same day Rob has two astonishing encounters: first, he stumbles upon a caged tiger in the woods behind the motel; then he meets Sistine, a new classmate responding to her parents' breakup with ready fists and a big chip on her shoulder. About to burst with his secret, Rob confides in Sistine, who instantly declares that the tiger must be freed. As Rob quickly develops a yen for Sistine's company that gives her plenty of emotional leverage, and the keys to the cage almost literally drop into his hands, credible plotting plainly takes a back seat to character delineation here. And both struggle for visibility beneath a wagonload of symbol and metaphor: the real tiger (and the inevitable recitation of Blake's poem); the cage; Rob's dream of Sistine riding away on the beast's back; a mysterious skin condition on Rob's legs that develops after his mother's death; a series of wooden figurines that he whittles; a larger-than-life African-American housekeeper at the motel who dispenses wisdom with nearly every utterance; and the climax itself, which is signaled from the start. It's all so freighted with layers of significance that, like Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue (2000), Anne Mazer's Oxboy (1995), or, further back, Julia Cunningham's Dorp Dead (1965), it becomes more an exercise in analysis than a living, breathing story. Still, the tiger, "burning bright" with magnificent, feral presence, does make an arresting central image. (Fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE by Kate DiCamillo
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2000

A 10-year old girl learns to adjust to a strange town, makes some fascinating friends, and fills the empty space in her heart thanks to a big old stray dog in this lyrical, moving, and enchanting book by a fresh new voice. India Opal's mama left when she was only three, and her father, "the preacher," is absorbed in his own loss and in the work of his new ministry at the Open-Arms Baptist Church of Naomi [Florida]. Enter Winn-Dixie, a dog who "looked like a big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out in the rain." But, this dog had a grin "so big that it made him sneeze." And, as Opal says, "It's hard not to immediately fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor." Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets Miss Franny Block, an elderly lady whose papa built her a library of her own when she was just a little girl and she's been the librarian ever since. Then, there's nearly blind Gloria Dump, who hangs the empty bottle wreckage of her past from the mistake tree in her back yard. And, Otis, oh yes, Otis, whose music charms the gerbils, rabbits, snakes and lizards he's let out of their cages in the pet store. Brush strokes of magical realism elevate this beyond a simple story of friendship to a well-crafted tale of community and fellowship, of sweetness, sorrow and hope. And, it's funny, too. A real gem. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >