Dines, Carol 1956-
Dines, Carol 1956-
Born 1956, in Rochester, MN; daughter of a doctor; married Jack Zipes (a writer); children: one daughter. Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1978; Colorado State University, M.A., 1981. Hobbies and other interests: Yoga, cross-country skiing, cooking vegetarian meals, spending time with family.
Home—Minneapolis, MN, and Rome, Italy. E-mail— [email protected]
Writer and teacher. Worked variously as a camp counselor, water-aerobics instructor, waitress, and Cuisinart demonstrator.
Delacorte Press Prize for first YA novel, runner-up; Judy Blume Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; Minnesota Arts Board artist's fellowship; Wisconsin Arts Board work-in-progress grant; first place, Voices of the Land Essay Contest.
Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.
Talk to Me: Stories and a Novella, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.
The Queen's Soprano, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.
As a child, becoming a writer was one of the many careers Carol Dines hoped to pursue when she grew up; other possibilities included "camp director, psychologist, tour guide in Italy, yoga teacher, [and] artist," Dines wrote on her home page. Having tried out some of these jobs, as well as several others, Dines now works as a teacher of reading and writing as well as a writer. Her books for young adults include Best Friends Tell the Best Lies and The Queen's Soprano, as well as the short-fiction collection Talk to Me: Stories and a Novella.
"My parents were very big on books," Dines recalled on her home page. "Growing up, my mother read to us every night. When we got old enough, we had summer reading lists and a strict rules forbidding television Monday through Friday. Summers, after lunch, we had a reading hour. I loved reading. I loved spending time alone. I still do."
Best Friends Tell the Best Lies is a tale of the friendship between fairly innocent Leah and her sophisticated new friend Tamara, a young woman prone to outrageous behavior who is also, possibly, a compulsive liar. Based on a true story and set in seventeenth-century Rome, The Queen's Soprano tells the story of Angelica Voglia, a seventeen year old who longs to sing in public, although Pope Innocent XI has mandated that women sing only in their own homes or in a convent. To avoid an arranged marriage, Angelica flees to the quarter of Rome ruled by Queen Christina of Sweden, and begins a new life working at an opera house where women are encouraged to share their gifts. While some reviewers, including Jennifer Mattson of Booklist, felt that the novel's complex historical era overshadows Dines's story, a contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote that the inclusion of "rich detail" adds depth to a tale that is "riveting in both action and description." Kathy Lehman, reviewing The Queen's Soprano for School Library Journal, predicted that readers "will admire the young woman's steadfast devotion against tremendous odds."
In Talk to Me Dines collects six stories about young people fighting against apathy and ignorance in their own lives. For some, this means speaking out against sexual harassment, while for others it simply means airing family secrets and expressing emotions honestly. "The characters are believable in their imperfections, as
are the stories' resolutions," Jennifer M. Brabander wrote in a Horn Book review of the collection. Booklist reviewer Debbie Carton praised Dines' stories for their "incredibly real dialogue," and a Publishers Weekly critic pointed out that the author's "cast of well-defined, sympathetic characters" come together to provide a "thought-provoking commentary" on teen life.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, July, 1997, Debbie Carton, review of Talk to Me: Stories and a Novella, p. 1811; March 15, 2000, review of Talk to Me, p. 1362; February 15, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Queen's Soprano, p. 90.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1989, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 272; September, 1997, review of Talk to Me, p. 9; June, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Queen's Soprano, p. 449.
Emergency Librarian, September, 1989, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 49.
English Journal, March, 1991, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 84.
Horn Book, May-June, 1989, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 375; May-June, 1997, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Talk to Me, p. 318.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of The Queen's Soprano, p. 455.
Kliatt, May, 2006, Myrna Marler, review of The Queen's Soprano, p. 7.
Publishers Weekly, February 24, 1989, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 236; May 12, 1997, review of Talk to Me, p. 77; May 10, 1999, review of Talk to Me, p. 70.
School Library Journal, April, 1989, Renee Steinberg, review of Best Friends Tell the Best Lies, p. 118; May, 2006, Kathy Lehman, review of The Queen's Soprano, p. 123.
Metronet Authors and Illustrators Web site,http://www.metronet.lib.mn.us/ (April 30, 2001), "Carol Dines."
Book Loons Web site,http://www.bookloons.com/ (December 5, 2006), Ricki Marking-Camuto, review of The Queen's Soprano.
Carol Dines Home Page,http://www.caroldines.com (November 22, 2006).