I ‘ve got a new favorite episode of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. It’s no wonder, because in this episode, I’m having a conversation with Kate DiCamillo on reading aloud for connection.

There is so much packed into this conversation.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • what Kate really thinks when we ask our kids “what did the author mean?”
  • how books help us jump into the Great Conversation (“unwittingly”, as she says)
  • that stories are smarter than their authors… and what that means for readers

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

  • 1:28 Reading aloud with kids in school
  • 5:35 Kate DiCamillo is here!
  • 9:29 ‘Same side of the table’
  • 10:54 In a new light
  • 12:03 Trying to get to the table
  • 15:12 How we talk about books
  • 18:45 Not getting in the way of the story
  • 25:11 The Great Conversation
  • 28:19 Themes and stars
  • 32:02 Microscopes, telescopes and flashlights
  • 34:21 Character wants versus needs
  • 36:16 More Mercy
  • 37:10 Writing advice
  • 39:01 A coffee invitation
  • 41:01 Let the Kids Speak

Links from this episode:

A quote to remember:

“Reading aloud ushers us into a third place, a safe room. It’s a room where everyone involved: the reader and the listener, can put down their defenses and lower their guard. We humans long not just for story, not just for the flow of language, but for the connection that comes when words are read aloud. That connection provides illumination.”

– Kate DiCamillo

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Books from this episode:

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Episode 121
Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

India Opal is at the grocery store when she makes a new friend -- a dog she names Winn Dixie (after the store, of course!). Winn Dixie helps Opal navigate Naomi, Florida, and find the inner courage to learn about her mom who left when she was 3.

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

From the wonderful Kate DiCamillo, the story of a rabbit who was very loved, until he was lost … An important message is delivered in this sweet story.

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Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Mercy is a porcine wonder and very loved by the Watson family. A great way to introduce kids to the fabulous Kate DiCamillo.

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The Magician’s Elephant

The Magician’s Elephant

$6.99

**Description from Amazon: A classic tale by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, America's beloved storyteller. When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The for...

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Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

FROM SARAH:

"It's funny how ideas are, in a lot of ways they're just like seeds. Both of them start real, real small and then... woop, zoop, sloop... before you can say Jack Robinson, they've gone and grown a lot bigger than you ever thought they could." This is one of my top recommendations for teens. An absolutely unforgettable read-aloud.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him...

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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in this award-winning tale of adventure, hope, and light. Don't miss the Author Access where Kate DiCamillo answers questions about this book in RAR Premium.

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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Holy unanticipated occurrences! From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black and white by K. G. Campbell.

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Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise

Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise

$5.99

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When the Watsons decide to zip their porcine wonder into a formfitting princess dress for Halloween – complete with tiara – they are certain that Mercy will be beautiful beyond compare.

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Good Rosie!

Good Rosie!

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Beloved storyteller Kate DiCamillo and cartoonist Harry Bliss introduce some delightfully doggy dogs in a warm, funny tale of a timid pup who needs a friend.Rosie is a good dog and a faithful companion to her owner, George.

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Ribsy

Ribsy

Author:
Series: Episodes, 121, Book 6
Tag: Episode 121

FROM SARAH

I once asked Newbery-Award winning author Kate DiCamillo which famous book character she would have dinner with, if she could, and do you know what she said? Yep. Ribsy. I bet you'll understand why when you read this tale of America's favorite dog!

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary gives Henry's dog, Ribsy, center stage in this dog's eye view of the adventure of a lifetime. This classic story about a dog and his boy is as fresh and funny as ever!

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

$8.99
Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this remarkably moving novel has impressed the hearts and minds of millions of readers. Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice.

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The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising

**Description from Amazon: A National Book Award finalist by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo.Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger—a real-life, very large tiger—pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets ...

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Mercy Watson Fights Crime

Mercy Watson Fights Crime

$5.99

**Description from Amazon: * "Another rollicking addition starring the porcine wonder. . . . Will keep newly independent readers turning the pages.—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review) (ages 6-8)Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he's just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing...

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Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One

$5.99

**Description from Amazon: Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books.Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse – until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it’s love at ...

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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

FROM SARAH: 

Jonathan Auxier is one of my very favorite storytellers- don't miss his episode on the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. He's also a favorite WOW: Writers on Writing presenter in RAR Premium! This is my favorite of his books and also one of my all-time favorite reads. I learned so much, and my heart grew five sizes. Recomended for ages 10+. Or just read it yourself!

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived. With her wits and will, she's manage to beat deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan's Sweep disappears suddenly and then she's caught in a chimney fire, everything changes. It starts with a black piece of coal.

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Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale

$7.99

**Description from Amazon: A 2016 National Book Award Finalist! Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship. Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win...

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Louisiana’s Way Home

Louisiana’s Way Home

$16.99

**Description from Amazon: From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo comes a story of discovering who you are — and deciding who you want to be.When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana i...

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Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow

$15.95

**Description from Amazon:  “This is a book about Heaven,” says Jayber Crow, “but I must say too that . . . I have wondered sometimes if it would not finally turn out to be a book about Hell.” It is 1932 and he has returned to his native Port William to become the town's barber. Orphaned at age ten, Jayber Crow’s acq...

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Great Joy (midi edition)

Great Joy (midi edition)

$8.99

"Newbery Medalist DiCamillo spins a tale of compassion and holiday warmth."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review) (Ages 4-8)A NEW YORK TIMES BestsellerA TIME MAGAZINE Top 10 Book of the YearFour starred reviews (BOOKLIST, KIRKUS REVIEWS, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL)It is just before Chr...

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The Last Battle: The Chronicles of Narnia

The Last Battle: The Chronicles of Narnia

$20.52

Narnia...where the last king makes a stand and sad farewells turn to joy, where the Adventure begins again.
The Unicorn says that humans are brought to Narnia only in time of greatest need, and that time is now. The great Lion Aslan, the heart of Narnia, is missing. An impostor roams the land in hi...

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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years a...

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Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia

The 40th anniversary edition of the classic Newbery Medal-winning title by beloved author Katherine Paterson, with brand-new bonus materials including an author's note by Katherine herself and a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Kate DiCamillo. Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer...

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A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

$12.95

FROM SARAH:

Read. this. book. The end.

😉 Ok fine, I'll give you more than that. Katherine Paterson's essays on what children's literature does for the humans soul are unparalleled. They make me want to drop everything and read, read, read. Read alone. Read with people I love. Read. There are various collections of these essays (with a lot of crossover), but they are all out of print and can be difficult to find, so just get your hands on whichever one you can.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading and writing for children that were originally published as two books, Gates of Excellence and The Spying Heart. Combined for the first time in one volume with a new introduction, these writings come from speeches Katherine Paterson has given all over the world, from her book reviews, and from articles she has authored on her craft.

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If You Want to Write

If You Want to Write

$5.95
Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

2011 Reprint of 1938 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Ueland published two books during her life. The first was "If You Want to Write," first published in 1938. In this book, she shares her philosophies on writing and life in general....

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A Piglet Named Mercy

A Piglet Named Mercy

$18.99
Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture-book prequel to the New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson series.Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something diff...

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Beverly, Right Here

Beverly, Right Here

$16.99
Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

Revisiting once again the world of Raymie Nightingale, two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo turns her focus to the tough-talking, inescapably tenderhearted Beverly.   Beverly put her foot down on the gas. They went faster still. This was what Beverly wanted — what she always wanted. To get ...

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La La La: A Story of Hope

La La La: A Story of Hope

$17.99
Author:
Series: Episodes, 121
Tag: Episode 121

Conceived by Kate DiCamillo and featuring enchanting illustrations by Jaime Kim, this nearly wordless graphic story follows a little girl in search of a friend.“La la la . . . la.” A little girl stands alone and sings, but hears no response. Gathering her courage and her curiosity, she skips far...

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