kate dicamillo newbery award medal flora and ulysses

Kate DiCamillo, ‘Because Of Winn-Dixie’ Author, Wins 2014 Newbery Medal

Kate DiCamillo is doing what she does best, writing children’s fiction books. Her most recent success is a tale about a squirrel and a vacuum cleaner titled, “Flora And Ulysses”. For the second time in her writing career, Kate DiCamillo was awarded with the John Newbery Award Medal for the year’s best work of children’s literature.

Newbery Award winning books receive the Newbery medal of honor stamped to the front of their books. DiCamillo has had the honorable seal on one of her books in the past. In 2004, her book “The Tale of Despereaux” won the award. The exciting tale of a brave young mouse coming to the rescue of a maiden in distress captured the imaginations of children everywhere. The book performed so well, it was turned into an animated movie.

Kate DiCamillo is also the author of another book that became a movie. “Because Of Winn-Dixie” attracted dog lovers everywhere with the story of a friendship between a young girl and a dog. Although Winn-Dixie did not win the Newbery Medal, it did receive an honorable mention.

The newest children’s book from Kate DiCamillo, “Flora And Ulysses”, is a story about a girl named Flora who has a bit of an obsession with comic books. She discovers a squirrel who has been badly injured by the vacuum cleaner and Flora comes to the rescue. To the surprise of Flora, the squirrel, and the reader, the squirrel has now been blessed with super powers. Through it all the young girl discovers some amazing truths about hope.

Her outstanding work in children’s literature has also earned Kate DiCamillo the honor of becoming the Library of Congress‘ National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014-2015. DiCamillo knows something about overcoming difficult circumstances and being able to regain hope. Born in Philadelphia, she developed chronic pneumonia and was forced to move to Clermont, Florida at the age of five with her mother and older brother. Though her health improved, the move caused her parents to be separated, never to be reunited.

“For a long time we lived with the conceit that he would be coming; we existed in a state of group denial,” DiCamillo told the New York Times in 2006. “That’s a hole you keep trying to fill up.”

She has certainly found a way to take the emotions of missing her father and turn them into something that is accessible to children. Don’t be surprised to see “Flora and Ulysses” on the big screen someday. Kate DiCamillo seems to have the “golden” touch.

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