Katherine Paterson

American children's writer born and mainly raised in China

Katherine Womeldorf Paterson (born October 31, 1932) is a Chinese-born American writer best known for children's novels, including Bridge to Terabithia. For four different books published 1975-1980, she won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards.

Katherine Paterson (2011)


  • She just took off running to the old Perkins place. He couldn't help turning to watch. She ran as though it was her nature. It reminded him of the flight of wild ducks in the autumn. So smooth. The word "beautiful" came to his mind, but he shook it away and hurried up to his house.
    • Jesse Aarons
  • He felt there in the teachers' room that it was the beginning of a new season in his life, and he chose deliberately to make it so. He did not have to make any announcement to Leslie that he had changed his mind about her. She already knew it.
    • Jesse Aarons
  • When Leslie spoke, the words rolled out so regally, you knew she was a proper queen. He could hardly manage English, much less the poetic language of a king.
    • Jess Aarons
  • He was angry, too, because it would soon be Christmas and he had nothing to give Leslie. It was not that she would expect something expensive; it was that he needed to give her something as much as he needed to eat when he was hungry. [...] She wouldn't laugh at him no matter what he gave her. But for his own sake he had to give her something he could be proud of.
    • Jesse Aarons
  • Even a prince may be a fool
    • Leslie Burke
  • "Why don't we change our clothes and watch TV or something over at your house?" He felt like hugging her. "I'll make us some coffee," he said joyfully. "Yuk," she said smiling and began to run for the old Perkins place, that beautiful, graceful run of hers that neither mud nor water could defeat.
    • Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke (the last time they see each other)
  • Lord, it would be better to be born without an arm than to go through life with no guts.
    • Jesse Aarons
  • If there was anything her short life had taught her, it was that a person must be tough. Otherwise, you were had.
    • Gilly Hopkins
  • "Trotter its all wrong. Nothing turned out the way it was supposed to." "How do you mean supposed to? Life ain't supposed to be nothing, 'cept maybe tough." [..] "If life is so bad, how come you're so happy?" "Did I say bad? I said it was tough. Nothing to make you happy like doing good on a tough job, now is there?"
    • Gilly Hopkins and Trotter

Quotes about Katherine Paterson

  • (Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?) Katherine Paterson’s books — which were almost traumatizing to me as a kid, but which I appreciate now for challenging me and my worldview.
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