The title, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, is only one year and a month old. The first ambassador, Jon Sciezka, turned over his title to Newbery Award winning author Katherine Paterson, on Tuesday, Jan. 5th.
Paterson's most famous book is The Bridge to Terabithia, based on the actual death of her son, David's, good friend during his childhood. The book was made into a major motion picture in 2007. David Paterson worked on the screenplay for the movie.
Paterson won a Newbery Award for The Bridge to Terabithia and another one for Jacob I Have Loved, a novel that addresses conflicts between fraternal twins.
Winner of numerous other awards, Paterson's works include "problem" novels that deal with difficult subjects, such as death, social commentaries, and historical fiction like her look at textile factory workers in New England in the first half of the 1800s, Lyddie.
Paterson is known best for her novels for readers in middle and high school but she has written original folktales that can be enjoyed by much younger readers. Her The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks is a touching story of compassion and faithfulness with exquisite illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon.
This just introduces the wonderful writings of Katherine Paterson. Her novels take place all over the globe and in many time periods, and they are always fascinating and challenging.