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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Kid Lit TV Commenter Linda Mitchell

What a blessing and a treat to get to hear this conversation between these two incredible authors. Thank you so much for sharing this gem.
I’m curious, what is the book Gene is holding? A journal?
I read The Secret Garden about age 11 and that book was the beginning of my literature journey too! I had conservative parents that did not censor what I read…they are heroes for that!
A lovely, lovely conversation. Gene’s laugh is infectious…and so is Katherine’s love of literature.
Thanks, again.

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