"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Friday, January 8, 2010

Author Katherine Paterson becomes Children's Literature new ambassador in the US.

I just have to share excerpts from Katherine Paterson's speech, found in the last issue of Publisher's Weekly.

Paterson’s ambassadorial platform is "“read for your life.” With books, she said, kids (and adults) use their “powers of intellect imagination” and experience “delight.” Stories also teach children about people from other religions, races, and countries, said Paterson, who spent the first three years of her life living in China with her missionary parents. “Books help us make friends who are different from ourselves.”
It bothered Paterson when she heard a librarian say she didn’t buy any Virginia Hamilton books because no black children attended her school. “That’s the very reason you should be buying Virginia Hamilton’s books,” she said. “Because your kids don’t have an opportunity to have friends who are African-American, they should be making those friends in books. Same thing with religion.” Jimmy Carter said becoming friends with Anwar Sadat was the most important thing that happened to him as president, she added. “Neither was trying to convert the other. I love the fact that we might be able to do that in this country—that we might be able to learn to understand each other.... The more we know about each other, the better.”"


kate said...

Very interesting-- thanks for sharing! I agree about the "making friends in books"-- as a child (and beyond) I enjoyed reading about people whose life experiences were different from mine-- it gave me some insight I wouldn't otherwise have had.

Katia said...

Kate, how nice to hear from you. And yes, books are a wonderful way to peek into the lives of people who do things differently, or to visit other cultures. For me, books have always been what I turn to when I need... pretty much anything and everything in life (including parenting ;) But I like that Katherine Paterson, with her function, now, has such an approach. Then again, not surprising, considering she spent several years of her childhood in China. Another Third Culture Kid. Hope you are well, and your tailbone heals fast. Poor you. I've hard that it hurts a lot. Sending best wishes your way.