Books by Katherine Paterson

MY BRIGADISTA YEAR by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"Educational and inspiring. (author's note, timeline) (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Paterson offers a coming-of-age tale about a girl stepping up to be part of something greater than herself in post-revolution Cuba. Read full book review >
STORIES OF MY LIFE by Katherine Paterson
Released: Oct. 16, 2014

"Paterson's legions of fans, young and old, will welcome this peek into her life and process. (timeline, family tree) (Memoir.14 & up)"
The noted writer offers both stories about her life and insights into where her book ideas came from. Read full book review >
GIVING THANKS by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"Suffused with and inspiring gratitude and joy. Amen. (Picture book/poetry. 7 & up)"
A beautiful collection that manages to be both near-universal and deeply personal. Read full book review >
THE FLINT HEART by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 27, 2011

"A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new generation. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
A heart-shaped talisman created in the Stone Age brings terribly corrupting power to those who possess it, until 12-year-old Charles Jago manages to destroy it permanently. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 4, 2011

"Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith. (author's, editor's and illustrator's notes, 'Canticle' translated by Bill Barrett) (Picture book/religion. 5-10)"
A gorgeous visual paean to the natural world that reflects and echoes the prayer it accompanies. Read full book review >
THE DAY OF THE PELICAN by Katherine Paterson
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"Nonetheless, a solid addition to the scant offerings on this subject. (Historical fiction. 10 & up)"
A realistically harsh yet hopeful account of an Albanian Kosovar family's flight from the violence ravaging their beloved home. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Interestingly, Jesus as an adult is always shown from behind or at a distance, making him a character that readers must interpret for themselves. (Nonfiction. 4-8)"
Newbery Medalist Paterson turns her talents and considerable experience as a religious educator to interpreting the life of Jesus in a style that children will understand. Read full book review >
BREAD AND ROSES, TOO by Katherine Paterson
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 4, 2006

"Paterson at her best—and that's saying a lot. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Known as the Bread and Roses strike, the 1912 mill workers' protest against working conditions in the mills of Lawrence, Mass., is the historical context for Paterson's latest work, a beautifully written novel that puts a human face on history. Read full book review >
BLUEBERRIES FOR THE QUEEN by John Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2004

"They beautifully juxtapose the magnificent horses, fire-breathing dragon, and royal robes of William's fairytale world with realistic images of cars, planes, and war work—images that will appeal to young readers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
This charming tale is based on an incident that happened to the young John Paterson during the summer of 1942, when Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, her daughter, and two granddaughters spent the summer near Lee, Massachusetts. Read full book review >
THE SAME STUFF AS STARS by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 23, 2002

"If she's almost too good to be true—constantly buckling seat belts, lecturing on the five food groups, and fussing over proper outerwear in the cold—readers will recognize her and root for her because the odds are so badly stacked against her. (Fiction. 10-13)"
A gently written tale of family caught in the most corrosive of situations, this is a story of guilt and reconciliation. Read full book review >
MARVIN ONE TOO MANY by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"The story functions well as an intermediate-level easy reader, but first-grade teachers and reading specialists will also find this a useful read-aloud to reassure all the Marvins who need a little extra time and help. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
Paterson and Brown (Marvin's Best Christmas Present Ever, 1997, etc.) continue their easy-reader series about a sensitive boy named Marvin with this latest addition to the "I Can Read" line. Read full book review >
THE FIELD OF THE DOGS by Katherine Paterson
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 2001

"Still, an imaginative blend of a what-if (dogs could talk) and a problem novel (on how to tame a bully). (Fiction. 8-10)"
Talking dogs and nasty bullies make odd yet compatible bedfellows in Paterson's intriguing and eccentric new novel. Read full book review >
PREACHER'S BOY by Katherine Paterson
Released: Aug. 23, 1999

"Talky, but nourishing for mind and spirit both. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Paterson (Celia and the Sweet, Sweet Water, 1998, etc.) rings out the 20th century with this ruminative tale of a 10-year-old freethinker, set in a small Vermont town at the very end of the 19th century. Read full book review >
CELIA AND THE SWEET, SWEET WATER by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 22, 1998

"Paterson's storytelling makes this a cut above many happily-ever-after tales, and Vagin's use of line in his fine paintings matches the story's style and tone. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Paterson (Parzival, p. 60, etc.) presents an original story with the age-old feel of a classic as she conjures up a brave and good-hearted heroine, a curmugeonly canine companion, and an adventurous journey through—where else?—the deep, dark forest. Read full book review >
PARZIVAL by Katherine Paterson
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1998

Written in high-toned but not ornately formal language, this abridged rendition of a 13th-century, pre-Galahad Arthurian legend highlights the Grail Knight's spiritual growth. Read full book review >
MARVIN'S BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER by Katherine Paterson
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 30, 1997

"Brown's soft, colored-pencil illustrations flow with the change of season and perfectly match the story's gentle charm. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Although his sister, May, always makes the best presents, Marvin is determined to create a Christmas gift his family will never forget. Read full book review >
JIP, HIS STORY by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Regardless, this is fine historical fiction. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Set in the 1850s, this story centers on a boy named for his supposed abandonment by gypsies and for his swarthy complexion. Read full book review >
THE ANGEL AND THE DONKEY by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 18, 1996

"Of particular interest is the afterword, which offers a brief overview of biblical writers and comments on the distinctiveness of Balaam's story. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The story of Balaam's ass is a comic item found in the Old Testament, here invested with great solemnity and dread. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Expect high demand for this collection as the holidays approach. (Short stories. 10+)"
Paterson (Flip-Flop Girl, 1994, etc.) wrote these stories over the years for her husband, a pastor, to read to his congregation each Christmas Eve. Read full book review >
FLIP-FLOP GIRL by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Touching, engrossing, beautifully wrought. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Paterson writes of today's gritty reality in an easily read story about a fourth grader whose father's death has thrown her family out of balance. Read full book review >
THE BIG BOOK FOR OUR PLANET by Ann Durell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Six conservation organizations are to benefit. (Anthology. 6-12)"
Again, an all-star collaboration in aid of a worthy cause: Mother Earth herself. Read full book review >
THE KING'S EQUAL by Katherine Paterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

"A handsome book; an entertaining, thought-provoking story. (Fiction/Young reader. 7-10)"
On his deathbed, the wise old king decrees that his arrogant son will not inherit the crown until he marries "a woman who is your equal in beauty and intelligence and wealth." Read full book review >
THE SMALLEST COW IN THE WORLD by Katherine Paterson
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Brown's unassuming realistic illustrations deftly extend the story, catching the nuances of this nice family's emotions and some authentic details of present-day farming. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
No one loves cross Rosie but Marvin; she steps on feet, switches faces with her tail, and shoves the people on Brock's farm. Read full book review >
LYDDIE by Katherine Paterson
Released: March 1, 1991

"Deftly plotted and rich in incident, a well-researched picture of the period—and a memorable portrait of an untutored but intelligent young woman making her way against fierce odds."
Abandoned by their mother, whose mental stability has been crumbling since her husband went west, Lyddie and her brother Charlie manage alone through a Vermont winter. Read full book review >
PARK'S QUEST by Katherine Paterson
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1988

"Park's quest is a fine journey of discovery, and the characters he meets are uniquely memorable."
In a multilayered novel filled with themes of reconciliation and renewal, the two-time Newbery winner draws parallels between a boy's quest for the family of his father, killed in Vietnam, and the Arthurian legends. Read full book review >
CONSIDER THE LILIES by John Paterson
FRIENDS AND SCHOOL
Released: Sept. 25, 1986

"Plant lore gleaned from botanists and Biblical scholarship is presented in italics: the 'lilies of the fields' were probably anemones; and myrrh may refer either to the gum of the Commiphona or of the rock rose; etc. A visual delight which may find an audience with both Bible students and naturalists."
The history and symbolism of 39 plants of the Bible, presented with related Bible texts. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 24, 1981

"Reading them in one lump tends to clot one's consciousness."
Several of Paterson's Washington Post Book World reviews, articles from The Writer, her award acceptance speeches, and some original chapters on her own writing and her thoughts on writing for young people—collected here, she says, for her adult readers, "not all [of them] librarians or teachers," just people who "have learned. . . truly how to read." Read full book review >
JACOB HAVE I LOVED by Katherine Paterson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 22, 1980

"Louise's earlier, intense feelings evoke recognition and sympathy, but this hasn't the resonant clarity of Bridge to Terabitha or The Great Gilly Hopkins."
We meet Louise Bradshaw in the summer of 1941, smarting under the disproportionate attention lavished on her fragile, musically talented twin sister Caroline since their birth 13 years earlier. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Sept. 7, 1979

"This is several notches above the usual Christmas story collection, and a boon for groups concerned with the meaning of the holiday."
Paterson's well-tuned, sentimental Christmas stories seem less well suited to a children's book than to a family magazine, especially a church magazine—and indeed the flap tells us that they were originally read in Christmas Eve church services by the author's minister husband. Read full book review >
THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS by Katherine Paterson
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1978

"Without a hint of the prevailing maudlin realism, Paterson takes up a common 'problem' situation and makes it genuinely moving, frequently funny, and sparkling with memorable encounters."
Paterson's bright eleven-year-old has a lot in common with: other foster children we've met in fiction: sulky, surface-tough, perversely set on being "hard to manage," determined after several rejections never to accept an overture, and still cherishing the fantasy that her real mother will come to her rescue. Read full book review >
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Donna Diamond
FICTION
Released: Sept. 14, 1977

"You'll remember her too."
Paterson, who has already earned regard with her historical fiction set in Japan, proves to be just as eloquent and assured when dealing with contemporary American children—and Americans of very different backgrounds at that. Read full book review >
THE MASTER PUPPETEER by Haru Wells
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1976

"The deep bond between Jiro and the puppet-master's son Kinshi, both apparently unloved by their demanding fathers, forms this adventure's stable core, but Paterson's ability to exploit the tension between violence in the street and dreamlike confrontations of masked puppet operators is what makes this more lively and immediate then her other, equally exacting, historical fictions."
Here we move forward six hundred years from the 12th century Japan in Of Nightingales That Weep (1974) to a year when the country is ravaged by famine and Jiro, the puppet-maker's son, decides that a theater apprenticeship will be the best way to fill his stomach and ease the burdens of his hard-pressed family. Read full book review >
OF NIGHTINGALES THAT WEEP by Haru Wells
FICTION
Released: Sept. 23, 1974

"Again the exquisitely reconstructed backgrounds and episodes and the gradual character development will induce admirers of historical fiction to share Takiko's experience of her times and follow her dramatic progress from innocence to extremity."
Like Muna in The Sign of the Chrysanthemum (KR, 1973) Takiko, the daughter of a samurai, is a young teenager in 12th century Japan who loses a parent and moves about on her own during the wars between the Heike and the Genii dans. Read full book review >
THE SIGN OF THE CHRYSANTHEMUM by Peter Landa
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 23, 1973

"This introspective adventure, in which Muna learns to fred his fortune within himself, will attract those readers who can be sustained by the carefully evoked setting and a realistic, stoical resolution which leaves some questions, philosophic and factual, open-ended."
Suspended in delicate imagery and among the many layered feuds between the Samurai clans of the Genii and Heike is the subdued quest of the nameless orphan Muna, who flees the burial of his peasant mother to search for a warrior father identifiable only by a small chrysanthemum tattoo. Read full book review >

"An outstanding contribution."
A cruel Japanese lord is preparing to execute Yasuko, the kitchen maid who set free a lovely mandarin drake the lord had in captivity, and Shozor, the one-eyed servant who tried to take the blame in her place. Read full book review >