Tag Archives: Katherine Paterson



August 26, 2013

This post is dedicated to my teacher friends, (whether teaching is in your past, your present or your future) who are thinking back-to-school thoughts. Probably none of them need a reminder about Katherine Paterson. But I hope all will enjoy. Any reader who spends time with a story by Katherine Paterson will be glad he or she did. You certainly don’t need to be a teacher to enjoy a book by Katherine Paterson. Nor do you need to be a young reader. Most of the time we get carried away with our tremendous need to catagorize.

Who can forget that moment in Bridge to Teribithia when……..

This author has brought, pleasure, pain, and thoughtfulness to many young readers and adult readers alike. She has won numerous awards including two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. Her international awards include the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the biggest prize in children’s literature. In 2013 she was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal from the American Library Association for her substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Recently she has served as the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. There are good reasons she and her books deserve our attention.

She was born in China to Christian Missionary parents; her first language was Chinese. However much of her growing up years were spent in the United States. She was educated in this country and today lives in Barre, Vermont with her husband, a retired Presbyterian pastor.

I will mention several of her many books, those especially dear to my heart, and the books that started my conversation with friend Judith on a bakery and books. Also, I will list her latest book, and two books of essays because I have heard her speak and think she has much wisdom on the subjects of reading and writing. First the two books Judith and I had a conversation about in the Aug. 19 post.

Bread and Roses, Too (2008)
This story is based on the real events of the 1912 strike in Lawrence, MA textile mills. Hardships faced by immigrants of an earlier generation provide a history lesson, and their stories are relevant in today’s world.

Lyddie (reissued 2004)
Lyddie’s story of personal determination is inspiring and interesting. Her story dramatizes the plight of factory workers and nineteenth century poverty. It is set in Massachusetts in the 1840’s.

Bridge to Teribithia (reissued 2004)
The most well-known of Paterson’s books and winner of the Newbery Medal, this is a story of a young person coming to grips with a terrible tragedy.

The Great Gilly Hopkins (June, 1987)
I remember being absolutely taken in by this story of an eleven-year-old who is a foster child. Many of the reluctant readers I have taught formed a bond with Gilly.

The Invisible Child. (Dec. 2001)
Speeches and Essays, including some of her best known.

A Sense of Wonder (Nov. 1995)
Critical Essays on Reading and Writing give insight into the minds of children and writers.

The Flintheart (Sept. 2011) Written with John Paterson and illustrator John Rocco.
This fairy tale of an ambitious Stone Age man is retold.

I heard Katherine Paterson speak a few years ago and found her an inspiring speaker. In January she is scheduled to speak in Chicago at the Modern Lang. Assoc. Annual Convention. More information about Katherine Paterson and her books, as well as reading guides can be found at the following:

March 13, 2013

Sept. 9, 2006



Reader’s Guides can be found at www.houghtinmifflin.com

No doubt many of you have your own favorite Katherine Paterson book. We’d like to hear about it.



From Guest Blogger Judith Vitali


Paulette responded to my sharing a link today from Bread and Roses Bakery in Ogunquit, Maine….she mentioned the children’s book by Katherine Paterson, Bread and Roses,Too….and here is how the exchange went….

Paulette: Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson about the strike in the mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a children’s book for readers of any age.

Judith: and that is how the bakery got its name…breadandrosesbakery.com/about-us/history…not only is the food delicious, but the owner is obviously a very caring employer who also frequently gives back to the community.

Judith: Lyddie is another Katherine Paterson book about the mills in Lowell, Young Adult, but I recommend for adults as well…Paterson is one of my favorite children’s authors.

Paulette: I like Lyddie even better than Bread and Roses, Too. I love both. Your bakery brought them to mind. The information at the website is very interesting. Why not send me copy via e-mail for a guest blog. Everyone would love it.

Paulette started my mind going in many different directions…I had shared the bakery’s picture because it featured whoopee pies (a family favoite…and then I realized how much I admire the woman who started Bread and Roses…I first visited it when it was down an alley and extremely small in size…the business has grown, but Mary continues with her compassion and passion for high standards, her employees and the town of Ogunquit.

Then Paulette mentioned children’s literature… when I taught fifth grade, most of my reading during the school year was Young Adult fiction…fast reads, but wonderful stories indeed I often felt these novels should be shared with adults as well… such fascinating topics and outstanding writing…so many favorites…I loved Katherine Paterson and Cynthia Voight … another of my favorite books was The Cay by Theodore Taylor (read it to my class every year, and the ending still brought tears to my eyes).

So here’s to Paulette’s blog at www.readeatlive.com and our quest for good food, good reading, and good times… share with good friends, of course.

Here’s to Judith, one of the first guest bloggers here. Thank you!
Oh, and I can tell you those whoopee pies from Bread and Roses Bakery are seriously melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

You are all invited to comment or send me copy via e-mail to include in an upcoming post.