“New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children: Read More”

Katherine Paterson has been appointed the Library of Congress’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature:

“New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children: Read More” (via the New York Times)

Hooray! And a lovely, Matilda-ish quotation from Paterson:

As the daughter of missionary parents in China, she read her way through her parents’ library of children’s classics by A. A. Milne, Beatrix Potter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Grahame and Frances Hodgson Burnett. “That is where the friends were,” she said, evoking her lonely childhood.

Also, raise your hand if you cried when you read The Bridge to Terabithia. (On a side note, I’ve heard that the 2007 movie was actually quite good – it was simply very poorly marketed, as its trailers appeared to have confused both fans and those unfamiliar with it.) I also cried A Lot when I read The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved, and I’m pretty sure also during Of Nightingales that Weep.

– E

6 thoughts on ““New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children: Read More””

  1. Also, raise your hand if you cried when you read The Bridge to Terabithia.

    ME! I read it in fifth grade–I had just started public elementary school and my class had read it the year before, so the teacher gave it to me so I’d know what was going on. He planned to warn me it was sad but didn’t worry about it because I had just started. The next time he looked over, I was practically sobbing. The perils of being a fast reader. (I saw him again years later and he said he still tells that story.)

  2. Anda – I hope you have the time to read the book sometime. It’s… pretty inexpressibly wrenching, even if you know the ending. Books always tend to get inside of me more than movies do.
    And out of curiosity, how did you find the movie as a whole?

    Kakaner – Somehow, I am not shocked by this at all. Gilly is amazing and messed me up but good; I love how Paterson inverts the typical YA deus ex machina ending in there.

    Maureen, that is such a sweet story. Err, not that I mean to revel in your anguish, but… it is pretty adorable, and also rather representative of my childhood, too. :P

  3. I’ll admit to being one of the people misled by marketing- I was expecting a cheesy fantasy flick riding on Harry potter coat-tails like Eragon or Spiderwik. I saw it a while ago on DVD, I loved the ditsy artsy-girl character- pretty much me as a kid.
    Like I said, I hadn’t read the book so I was expecting a cheesy happy ending so a certain part caught me completely off guard The female bully character was another one I liked, the fact that she was a girl was ( to me) realistic.
    This is the sort of movie that would benefit from a second viewing. I saw it a long while ago, really I just remember being pleasantly surprised at what wasn’t another poorly done attempt by Hollywood to cash in on the YA fantasy craze. If the story holds up the now dated viz effects (I doubt they had much of a budget for them) on the second viewing, we have a good movie.

  4. another poorly done attempt by Hollywood to cash in on the YA fantasy craze
    That’s totally what was wrong with the trailer. I clearly remember thinking “Spiderwick whaaaat” when I first saw the trailer – misrepresentation/mismarketing ftw.

    I’m not sure if you’ve read any of Paterson’s other work, but she definitely has a knack for writing characters that have much more grit and reality to them than those in many YA works. They’re instantly recognizable as people we knew, or aspects of ourselves, without being clichés. I think that’s part of why her books tend to be really painful.

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