Born in 1932 in China to missionary parents, Katherine was herself a teacher and a missionary in Japan. She received master’s degrees in English Bible and Religious Education, and her husband is a Presbyterian minister. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Mrs. Paterson, among the most celebrated of our authors, has written more than 30 books for children, including 14 novels for young people. Two of these novels, The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, were National Book Award winners, in 1977 and 1979 respectively. The Great Gilly Hopkins was also the single Honor Book for the 1979 Newbery Medal. She received the Newbery Medal in 1978 for Bridge to Terabithia and again in 1981 for Jacob Have I Loved.
Her books have been published in more than 25 languages, and she is the 1998 recipient of the most distinguished international award given to a writer for a contribution to children’s literature, the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Katherine Paterson lives in Vermont, the setting for the last few chapters of Long Road Home.
Bridge to Terabithia: Jess Aarons had to be the fastest runner at Lark Creek Elementary School, the best, but when he was challenged by Leslie Burke, a girl, that was just the beginning of a new season in Jess’s life. Leslie and her parents were new comers to the rural community where Jess lived, and were thought to be a bit odd, for they didn’t even own a TV, though their house was filled with books. Some-what to Jess’s surprise, he and Leslie became friends, and the worlds of imagination and learning that she opened to him changed him for ever. It was Leslie’s idea to create Terabithia, their secret kingdom in the woods where they reigned supreme. There no enemy – not their teacher Monster Mouth Meyers, their schoolmates Gary Fulcher and Janice Avery, Jess’s four sisters, or even Jess’s own fears and Leslie’s imaginary foes – could defeat them. The legacy that Leslie finally brought to Jess enabled him to cope with the unexpected tragedy that touched them all.