Crossing the Bridge to Terabithia

An Interview with Katherine Paterson

“I got a very touching letter from a man who was a college student and his best friend had been killed over the holidays. He was so devastated that he went home and dug out his old copy of Bridge to Terabithia and read it again. He just wanted me to know what a great comfort it had been to him. That meant a great deal to me.”

Katherine Paterson on Author Visits

Of all the books in our home when the children were little, my favorite was Bridge to Terabithia. Katherine Paterson’s words captured so much of a youngster’s world–the hurts that inevitably come when growing up including those with school mates, siblings, parents, and the rules of the house. She captured the magic that comes through a child’s imagination and, if we’re lucky, how sharing that with another can double our joy.

This post is an homage to Katherine Paterson’s story, the most famous of any of her books. Her son, Peter, wrote the screenplay based on the book and co-produced the movie that Disney brought to the screen in 2018 which gave the book a second life.

Bridge to Terabithia is based on a true story that happened when Katherine’s son Peter was only eight years old. His friend, Lisa Hill, was struck and killed by lightning. Katherine wrote the book to sort out her own struggle about Lisa’s tragic death. When she finished, she read it to Peter before sending it to her editor with his permission.

As a writer, it was interesting listening to Katherine talk about the negotiations that happen when a book is made into a movie.

We didn’t win all the battles, but I think we won the major battles.

Katherine Paterson on Author Visits

To celebrate this old favorite of mine, I listened to it on Audible and then watched the movie on Disney+ — it did not disappoint.

Congratulations, @KatherinePaterson! Well deserved Newberry Medal winner!

You can find Katherine’s interview here:

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