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Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo (born March 25, 1964) is an American children's author. She is known for her Newberry Award-winning books including Because of Winn-Dixie, adapted into film in 2005, and The Tale of Despereaux, adapted into film in 2008, and the Mercy Watson series.


Early life

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania DiCamillo suffered from chronic pneumonia. At age 5, she moved from Philadelphia to Clermont, Florida for her health with her mother and older brother, Curt DiCamillo, who would become a noted architectural historian. Her mother was a teacher. Her father stayed behind to sell his orthodontic practice and never rejoined the family in Florida.[1][2]

DiCamillo majored in English at the University of Florida and worked for various jobs after graduation until moving to Minneapolis at age 30. She began writing there around working in a book warehouse, where she met a sales representative for Candlewick Press and submitted a draft of what would become Because of Winn-Dixie.[3]


Her 2003 novel The Tale of Despereaux was inspired by a friend's son who asked her to write a story about an unlikely hero with "exceptionally large ears".[4]

In 2005, Because of Winn-Dixie was released as a film by 20th Century Fox. A Universal Pictures release of The Tale of Despereaux was released on December 19, 2008,[5] and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane was optioned by New Line Cinema and is in early pre-production.[6]

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Early Chapter Books

Picture Books

"Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken," 2008

"Great Joy," 2007



  3. Margolies, Jane (2006-02-21). "Pleasantly Stunned, a Star Children's Author Hits the Tour Trail Again". The New York Times.
  4. Blais, Jacqueline (2004-01-14). "Author's Newbery is no small thrill". USA TODAY.
  5. The Tale of Desperaux official film site
  7. American Library Association. 2001 Newbery Medal and Honor Books.
  8. American Library Association. Laura McGee Kvasnosky wins Geisel Award for "Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways". Press release. January 22, 2007.

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