“Stories Connect Us”

“When we read together—when a grandfather reads to a granddaughter, when a teacher reads to a classroom, when a parent reads to a child, when a sister reads to a brother, when everyone in a town reads the same book silently, together—we are taken out of our aloneness.
The story opens doors for us; and we, in turn, open the doors of our hearts to each other.
When we read together,
we welcome each other in.”

Kate DiCamillo has always respected the story: “I never know what I’m doing. But the story knows. That is, the story is smarter than me and figures out how it should be told, if I have enough sense to step back and let it be.”

She also appreciates the importance of sharing stories: “There is something in our hearts and bodies that responds naturally to stories. We have a powerful biological connection to the tale: the need to tell one, the need to be told one, seem to be hardwired into us.

Story is the most practical and the most accessible, the most frivolous and the most necessary of all the art forms; practical in that for the whole of our existence it has served as a way to pass on information, warnings, worries, explanations; accessible in that it has the most intimate and immediate power. On the page or around the fire, the storyteller turns to her audience and says, ‘Listen, I will tell you, and only you, this.’ ” During her ambassadorship, Kate DiCamillo hopes to engage towns, schools, hospitals, community centers—anywhere people can gather and talk about books they have read together. She wants to encourage reading communities to explore how literature for all ages can change how they see one another.

When two people, or groups of people, read the same story, it connects them.
Conversations can be sparked between children and parents, children and grandparents, teachers and students, parents and teachers, librarians and patrons, as well as between friends, and reading becomes a means to be a part of that conversation.

From Massachusetts to Nebraska, Florida to Utah, and Connecticut to Washington, communities have used Kate DiCamillo’s books in ONE BOOK programs.

One Book * One Community * One School

“If you want to ‘Unite a Community in the Joys of Reading,’ as we say, you must choose the books of Kate DiCamillo! Several years ago, when we chose Kate as our featured author for the Naperville Reads citywide reading program, we knew we had an author who could connect through her books to a wide audience: boys, girls, educators, parents, and others in the community. Our featured title that year was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It was the perfect title for discussions, activities, and read-alouds. Kate’s titles were a focus of our program for so many extraordinary reasons: character, exquisite writing, plot, beyond-the-book activity extenders — discussion topics for readers were endless. Her books were born to share and build community!” —Becky Anderson, president of the American Booksellers Association and owner of Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, Illinois

“We had a marvelous time with The Tale of Despereaux. With all the resources available, we had a ton of kids and adults reading the book. We even hired a movie theater to do a screening of the movie. This was a terrific way to utilize a book, and it has opened doors for this program all over the city.” —Gene Nelson, director, Provo City Library ProvoREADS! a joint initiative of the Provo City School District and the Provo City Library, Provo, Utah

“Reading Because of Winn-Dixie was a tremendous experience at our school. One year later, students still talk about Opal and her friends. They make connections with other books they are reading and refer to quotes and scenes from Because of Winn-Dixie all the time.” —Michael D. Bates, Ed.D, teacher at Timmons Elementary School, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

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