Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Katherine Paterson.
Bread and Roses, Too
When a strike takes a dangerous turn, Rosa and Jake leave their homes for the safety of a neighboring town. Paterson uses the real events of the Lawrence textile strike as a backdrop for a compelling story about the turn of the century immigrant experience.
Bridge to Terabithia
Despite coming from different backgrounds, fifth-graders Jess and Leslie develop a deep friendship. Together they create an imaginary place where they alone rule as king and queen. This Newbery Medal book is told with humor and sensitivity and is filled with the joy of friendship, the pain of losing it, and the hope of healing.
An ancient talisman resurfaces to once again create misery until a true heart destroys it forever. The husband and wife team rework this early 20th century fantasy making it accessible to contemporary audiences. Lush illustrations and rich language make this a fine family read aloud.
Lyddie is a resourceful, self-sufficient girl who leaves Vermont to work in a Lowell, Massachusetts factory. Historical detail about life in 19th century New England combined with a portrait of this fiercely independent girl create an unforgettable novel.
Marvin One Too Many
Marvin's excitement about first grade quickly dwindles when his name doesn't appear on the list and the class is short one desk. Add to that the fact that he struggles to read, well, it's clear that he's just "one too many." Things improve when Marvin's parents find out what is going on and his father shares his difficulty learning to read.
Marvin's Best Christmas Ever
The year that Marvin made a handsome wreath as a present for his parents, they decided to leave it up after the holidays. By spring, even though it was brown and no longer very attractive, the wreath had become home for another family. And so it stayed even longer making it Marvin’s best Christmas ever. As with other books about Marvin, readers will see themselves in his likable character.
Stories of My Life
Sophisticated readers who have enjoyed books by two-time Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson, can learn about the author's life and the backstory for her novels. Black and white photographs open each chapter. The book concludes with the death of her beloved husband, John. Though often sophisticated, the stories may inspire rereading and the sharing of family stories.
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure
Katherine Paterson contributes to this outrageous, over-the-top, illustrated fantasy. Based on an old parlor game, each author contributed to the story started by another. Fast and funny, the luminary authors and illustrators just may inspire young writers to try their hand at writing.
The Great Gilly Hopkins
Gilly is not a very likable girl, but then again, she doesn't really like herself very much. She's being placed in yet another foster home, with a fat and ugly foster mother. Gilly knows that her "real" mother is beautiful and that everything would be all right if she'd just come for her. Quirky characters, humor, and a poignant exploration of family are the hallmarks of this book that received many awards, including a Newbery Honor.
The Same Stuff as Stars
Eleven-year-old Angel and her seven-year-old brother are taken to live with their great-grandmother on her dilapidated Vermont farm. While the old woman is ill equipped to handle children, she's better prepared to commit to them than either of their parents. A "star man" and the town librarian end up helping the children in this poignant exploration of family.
The Smallest Cow in the World
Only Marvin loves Rosie, Mr. Brock’s bad-tempered cow. When Mr. Brock sells Rosie and the entire farm where Marvin’s dad works, Marvin must learn to cope with missing Rosie and with moving. He experiences difficult emotions that will resonate with readers of all ages in this first book about Marvin.
The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks
A mandarin duck is held captive for its beautiful feathers. The duck pines for its mate until a kind kitchen servant recognizes the bird's misery and releases it, infuriating the cruel lord. Later the duck returns with its mate and saves the servant from death. Rich, detailed illustrations capture the drama of this traditional Japanese story that won the Boston Globe/Horn Book award for illustration.
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