Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Children's Ambassador

OK. I know I am a little late in posting this (the news broke 4 days ago, really) but I have just touched back down in New York and, I suppose, better late than never.

As many of you know Katherine Paterson has been named the new national ambassador for young people's literature. She succeeds Jon Scieszka as the second writer to hold the post. Paterson is best known in my book for "The Bridge to Terabithia," a novel I absolutely adored as a child first coming to literature and "Jacob Have I Loved." Perhaps Mrs. Paterson is not part of the youth culture but vetted she most definitely is. She has an impressive resume that spans decades of writing (both novels and picture books) as well as an elementary teaching career. Her books can be dark and a bit dangerous which is probably why she appeals so much to children. She is not afraid of going to places that are not all sunshine. And as we know from watching beloved author J.K. Rowling at work, children respect the honesty of darkness far more than the false reality of endless light.

I am looking forward to Paterson's rein and the twinkle-eyed spirit I hope she will bring to the job post. Some notes to come on winter reading soon but in the meantime, stay warm and happy reading!


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