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A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

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Anyone familiar with children's literature knows the gifted pen of award-winning Katherine Paterson. Sales of her books are in the millions, and the list of coveted awards they have garnered - including two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, and the Regina Medal - is remarkable. A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading an Anyone familiar with children's literature knows the gifted pen of award-winning Katherine Paterson. Sales of her books are in the millions, and the list of coveted awards they have garnered - including two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, and the Regina Medal - is remarkable. A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading and writing for children that were originally published as two books, Gates of Excellence and The Spying Heart. Combined for the first time in one volume with a new introduction, these writings come from speeches Katherine Paterson has given all over the world, from her book reviews, and from articles she has authored on her craft. Her trademark wit, imagination, and perception are in full evidence; she reveals why she remembers being kissed by Miss Maude Henderson, the last person ever kissed by General Robert E. Lee; relates the heartbreaking source of her novel Bridge to Terabithia; and describes her dismay at failing as a foster parent to two Cambodian boys. Most of all, this extraordinary writer shares her ideas about writing for children, tells of her passion for reading, and allows us to witness her talent. Teachers, writers, students, parents, librarians - anyone who reads Katherine Paterson's essays - will come away with an expanded vision and a sense of her deep respect for words, ideas, literature, and people.


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Anyone familiar with children's literature knows the gifted pen of award-winning Katherine Paterson. Sales of her books are in the millions, and the list of coveted awards they have garnered - including two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, and the Regina Medal - is remarkable. A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading an Anyone familiar with children's literature knows the gifted pen of award-winning Katherine Paterson. Sales of her books are in the millions, and the list of coveted awards they have garnered - including two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, and the Regina Medal - is remarkable. A Sense of Wonder is a collection of more than three dozen critical essays on reading and writing for children that were originally published as two books, Gates of Excellence and The Spying Heart. Combined for the first time in one volume with a new introduction, these writings come from speeches Katherine Paterson has given all over the world, from her book reviews, and from articles she has authored on her craft. Her trademark wit, imagination, and perception are in full evidence; she reveals why she remembers being kissed by Miss Maude Henderson, the last person ever kissed by General Robert E. Lee; relates the heartbreaking source of her novel Bridge to Terabithia; and describes her dismay at failing as a foster parent to two Cambodian boys. Most of all, this extraordinary writer shares her ideas about writing for children, tells of her passion for reading, and allows us to witness her talent. Teachers, writers, students, parents, librarians - anyone who reads Katherine Paterson's essays - will come away with an expanded vision and a sense of her deep respect for words, ideas, literature, and people.

30 review for A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liaken

    I've been savoring this book. Usually I read books pretty quickly, but this one wanted the slow-cooker. Paterson offers so many wonderful insights in this book. . . . If you are interested in children's literature or writing for children . . . or just like to read, give this book a look. Okay, I'm mostly finished. This book is so wonderful, so worth the read. There is repetition of ideas and concepts, but this makes it a thorough teacher. Paterson writes from her heart and her spirit. I had to a I've been savoring this book. Usually I read books pretty quickly, but this one wanted the slow-cooker. Paterson offers so many wonderful insights in this book. . . . If you are interested in children's literature or writing for children . . . or just like to read, give this book a look. Okay, I'm mostly finished. This book is so wonderful, so worth the read. There is repetition of ideas and concepts, but this makes it a thorough teacher. Paterson writes from her heart and her spirit. I had to add it to my "healing" and "spirituality" bookshelves. ______________ What can I say? After I finished it, I started reading from the beginning again. What a wonderful, spiritual read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Molly Grimmius

    More beautiful, truthful and insightful essays and speeches about reading and writing for children. I just can’t even. Katherine Paterson is amazing in writing for our kids and always writing a story with such hope. Once again flagged so many quotes. Also added bonus of hilirious and well written book review she did for the Post...added a ton of new books to read plus mourned over the fact that no writes a book review like Katherine Paterson anymore. A good collection to any lover of books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    “It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The book is comprised of many excellent five star worthy chapters, and some lesser quality - mainly those that are book reviews that seem to be included as filler material, books that unfortunately haven't stood the test of time and are now, 30 years later, out of print. Katherine's reasons for writing, her thoughts on her own books, and the importance of story and imagination for all ages were some of my favorite themes of the book. I wish I had known her books as a teenager, but I likely would The book is comprised of many excellent five star worthy chapters, and some lesser quality - mainly those that are book reviews that seem to be included as filler material, books that unfortunately haven't stood the test of time and are now, 30 years later, out of print. Katherine's reasons for writing, her thoughts on her own books, and the importance of story and imagination for all ages were some of my favorite themes of the book. I wish I had known her books as a teenager, but I likely would have been at that time like many who had written to her complaining of the language. I'm glad to be getting aquainted with her body of work now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    I sought out this book after I had the pleasure of seeing Katherine Paterson speak in person. She is incredibly eloquent and has really lovely ideas. This collection is a little bit repetitive and so I found it a bit slow at times, but overall it's very good. Super heart-warming, it will speak to anyone who honestly believes in the power of story [not just for children, but generally].

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Her National Book Award and Newbery Medal speeches, plus dozens of other beautifully crafted essays that will make you run to the page to write.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christian McKay

    I can't do justice to this right now. Hopefully I'll get back to it soon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kay Hart

    A beautiful book. Coffee over cake with an old friend. Genuine advice from someone you trust.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    A delicious collection of essays, speeches, and book reviews by acclaimed author Katherine Paterson. Highly recommended for educators, parents, and children’s authors.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Maloney

    A must have and a must read. Validated my role as mother and educator. I copied so many quotes from this book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julia Burford

    I picked this up after it was recommended on the Read-Aloud Revival podcast (episode 121) A collection of essays on reading and writing for children, this book is just wonderful to read and think further into why this particular author writes the things she does, and her ideas about writing for children and her passion for reading. I really enjoyed it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dougfann

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  15. 4 out of 5

    the_storied_life (Joyce Santiago)

  16. 4 out of 5

    SBC

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wolfe

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kate Rice McHugh

  19. 4 out of 5

    Edith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debra

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hani Iskadarwati

  22. 4 out of 5

    Delona

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rheena

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monica Sharman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Polly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Halter

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

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