Two National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature

American-born Chinese Gene Yang sits down with Chinese-born American Katherine Paterson to talk about the books that most influenced them as readers and writers. Paterson — the child of Christian missionaries — spent her early years in China. Her first language was Chinese, but the books that she remembers most vividly from her childhood were the works of British writers such as A.A. Milne and Robert Louis Stevenson. Paterson also talks about her beloved book, Bridge to Terabithia, and how writing that story helped her make sense of death — and it’s had the same impact on young readers. Her advice to young writers? Read, read, read.

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