Anyone familiar with children’s literature knows the gifted pen of award-winning Katherine Paterson. Sales of her books are in the millions, and the list of coveted awards they have garnered – including two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, and the Regina Medal – is remarkable.
A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading and writing for children that were originally published as two books, Gates of Excellence and The Spying Heart. Combined for the first time in one volume with a new introduction, these writings come from speeches Katherine Paterson has given all over the world, from her book reviews, and from articles she has authored on her craft. Her trademark wit, imagination, and perception are in full evidence; she reveals why she remembers being kissed by Miss Maude Henderson, the last person ever kissed by General Robert E. Lee; relates the heartbreaking source of her novel Bridge to Terabithia; and describes her dismay at failing as a foster parent to two Cambodian boys. Most of all, this extraordinary writer shares her ideas about writing for children, tells of her passion for reading, and allows us to witness her talent. Teachers, writers, students, parents, librarians – anyone who reads Katherine Paterson’s essays – will come away with an expanded vision and a sense of her deep respect for words, ideas, literature, and people.