Awards & Recognition Meet the new Ambassador of Young People’s Literature

The Library of Congress selected Kate DiCamillo as their new Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and it’s no secret why. She is the beloved author of some of the country’s most acclaimed children’s stories as well as an avid audiobook listener. Full of wit, warmth, and humor, her audiobooks are favorites of both kids and parents alike. Find out how Kate got her start writing stories in this article from The New York Times.

In an interview with AudioFile Magazine, Kate talked about the mesmerizing experience of listening to her stories on audiobook. “This wonderful thing happens. I’m not listening as writer but as someone being told the story. I’m in a trance from the storyteller’s voice.” AudioFile says Kate’s books have “a made-to-be-read-aloud quality” because she thinks about how they will sound when she’s writing. “When I get into the penultimate and final draft, I read aloud–that’s how I can tell it’s working,” she said. “Reading aloud influences the rhythm of the text, and maybe it’s partly why these narrators can make it into such amazing storytelling with their voices.”

Hear for yourself why Kate’s stories earned her this prestigious honor and a permanent place on our shelves and in our hearts:

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE read by Cherry Jones

A 2001 Newbery Honor Book, Kate’s debut novel tells the heartwarming story of a lonely girl named Opal who adopts an unusually friendly dog. Fun fact: Kate told AudioFile that she was inspired to write this story after reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963.

“DiCamillo’s debut novel… percolates with heartfelt emotion and eccentric Southern color as superbly performed by Tony Award–winning actress Jones… This is a top-notch treatment of an award-winning tale.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE TIGER RISING read by Dylan Baker

Kate’s second book, the story of two children who band together to rescue an imprisoned tiger, was nominated for the National Book Award.

“DiCamillo’s evocative, emotionally rich story about a boy caught in the powerful grip of grief is given even more dramatic depth via Baker’s sensitive and colorful performance.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX read by Graeme Malcolm

Kate tells the story of a heroic mouse named Despereaux in her third novel, winner of the Newbery Medal in 2003. Talented narrator Graeme Malcolm voices a diverse cast of characters, using English, French, and Italian accents, to bring the story to life.

“Imagine if you will, dear listener, a tale of mousedom so delicate that, like a soufflé, it risks collapse at the first cold breeze of cynicism. Narrator Malcolm’s voice, however, suffuses the text with a cozy warmth.”–The Horn Book Magazine


Enter the world of the wry and endearing Mercy Watson, an exuberant pig that’s sure to leave listeners laughing. There’s even more fun to be had in Volume II and Volume III of this popular series.

“McLarty does an excellent job of narrating Mercy’s adventures. His voice carries just the right balance of a knowing but friendly authority who himself is charmed by the overly enthusiastic Mercy.”–Publishers Weekly


Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Robert Zemeckis, this exciting audiobook follows the adventures of a porcelain rabbit.

“This stellar production achieves that looked-for audiobook synergy, where the author’s lyrical language is illuminated by a gifted reader’s voice. Part parable, part nursery tale, this chronicle of a china rabbit’s transformational journey provides the perfect material for a family listening experience. Distinguished actress Ivey delivers Edward’s tale as though she has a bevy of children gathered at her knee.”–The Horn Book Magazine

FLORA & ULYSSES read by Tara Sands

Kate’s newest audiobook already topped The New York Times and AudioFile Best of 2013 lists and it’s one of our Mock Newbery Picks. Watch narrator Tara Sands explain why she loves the eccentric characters in this audiobook in this video.

“Sands treats listeners to a lively, madcap adventure, taking on a variety of personalities with gusto.”–AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award Winner

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