Her most famous book is at number eight on the most challenged books of the nineties, and now Katherine Paterson is the official National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Author of the Bridge to Terabithia, Paterson is both a Newberry Medal and National Book Award winner. Now she’s the second ever person to act as the ambassador for kid lit by the Library of Congress.
A mother of four – as she says in her biography “two adopted and two home-made” – Paterson is the author of more than a dozen books, including personal fave The Great Gilly Hopkins. But it’s Terabithia – which was made into a movie in 2007 – that is best known and perhaps most controversial. Ninth on the list of most challenged books between 1900 and 2000, number eight on that list for the nineties, it’s been cited repeatedly “for offensive language, sexual content, and references to the occult and Satanism.”
And as any fan of Banned Books Week knows – that’s exactly what makes her the type of author kids want to read.
“There are folks who believe that children’s books should teach lessons to children,” Paterson once said. “I believe they should tell a story about people as truthfully and powerfully as possible. When you tell a powerful story it nearly always seems to offend somebody.”
We can’t think of anyone better to take the post. What about you?
More by this author: