Since we have a new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, that means Katherine Paterson has stepped down. But her article on her experience as ambassador is just lovely. Just to get you started:
““Bridge to Terabithia saved my life.” The speaker was Trent Ready, a 6’7″ veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The 400 or so middle schoolers in the audience were staring up at the stage transfixed as he told them that reading a children’s book in the desert, during a time when he thought any day might be his last, had made it possible for him to keep going–to find beauty in the midst of the ugliness of war. “I just want you guys to realize how important reading is. How a book can save your life.”
Standing on the stage next to Trent as he made this plea for the vital importance of reading, I was as moved as the audience by his words. I’d been travelling as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature urging young and old to “Read for your life” and here was Trent delivering my message more eloquently than I possibly could have to this auditorium full of children. It was a culminating experience of two memorable years as Ambassador.“
My heart! The tears! The rest of the article is fantastic as well. Congratulations Katherine, and onto another great year of children’s literature ambassadorship!