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“... every time you look at the world and the people in it closely, lovingly, imaginatively, it changes you. The world, under the microscope of your attention, opens up like a beautiful, strange flower and gives itself back to you in ways you could never imagine.”
“The world is dark, and light is precious. Come closer, dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story.”
“... an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.”
“'Farewell' is not the word that you would like to hear from your mother as you are being led to the dungeon by two oversize mice in black hoods. Words that you would like to hear are 'Take me instead. I will go to the dungeon in my son's place.' There is a great deal of comfort in those words.”
“... there is no comfort in the word 'farewell,' even if you say it in French. 'Farewell' is a word that, in any language, is full of sorrow. It is a word that promises absolutely nothing.”
“Poetry. He liked the word — its smallness, its density, the way it rose up at the end as if it had wings.”
“She never believed it when someone said there was good news. In her experience, when there was good news, people just said what the good news was. If there was bad news that they wanted you to believe was good news, then they said, 'Good news!'”
“Flora hated the phrase 'correct me if I'm wrong.' In her experience, people said it when they knew they were right.”
“Mr. Staphopoulos was very passionate about people not drowning. 'Land is an afterthought, people!' That was what Mr. Staphopoulos said to all his Lifesaving 101 students.”
“It occurred to her that nobody really knew what anybody else was upset about, and that seemed like a terrible thing.”
Kate DiCamillo, U.S. writer for children, Newbery winner
Full name: Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo.