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Katherine Paterson Quotes

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Katherine Paterson Quote: “A dream without a plan is just a wish.”

A dream without a plan is just a wish.

— Katherine Paterson



Katherine Paterson Quote: “A library is a feast to which we are all invited.”

A library is a feast to which we are all invited.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Reading can be a road to freedom or a key to a secret garden, which, if tended, will transform all of life.”

Reading can be a road to freedom or a key to a secret garden, which, if tended, will transform all of life.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.”

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “I guess real maturity, which most of us never achieve, is when you realize that you’re not the center of the universe.”

I guess real maturity, which most of us never achieve, is when you realize that you’re not the center of the universe.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Everybody gets scared sometimes, May Belle. You don’t have to be ashamed.”

Everybody gets scared sometimes, May Belle. You don’t have to be ashamed.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “One thing living in Japan did for me was to make me feel that what is left out of a work of art is as important as, if not more important than, what is put in.”

One thing living in Japan did for me was to make me feel that what is left out of a work of art is as important as, if not more important than, what is put in.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death.”

I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading.”

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading.

— Katherine Paterson



Katherine Paterson Quote: “Everything comes in useful once in a hundred years.”

Everything comes in useful once in a hundred years.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences, but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections.”

Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences, but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Teachers have almost stopped reading aloud to their classes because of the pressure of testing and tight curricula, but it is the books we read together and talk about together that bring us closer together.”

Teachers have almost stopped reading aloud to their classes because of the pressure of testing and tight curricula, but it is the books we read together and talk about together that bring us closer together.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”

It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there – like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.”

She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there – like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “My heart is heavy, she thought. It’s not just a saying. It is what is – heavy, a great stone lodged in my breast, pressing down my whole being. How can I even stand straight and look out upon the world? I am doubled over into myself and, for all the weight, find only emptiness.”

My heart is heavy, she thought. It’s not just a saying. It is what is – heavy, a great stone lodged in my breast, pressing down my whole being. How can I even stand straight and look out upon the world? I am doubled over into myself and, for all the weight, find only emptiness.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “You have to believe it and you hate it. I don’t have to and I think it’s beautiful.”

You have to believe it and you hate it. I don’t have to and I think it’s beautiful.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “I know a movie and a book are two different things and you are going do different media in different ways. No author can want a movie to be exactly like the book because then it will be a bad movie.”

I know a movie and a book are two different things and you are going do different media in different ways. No author can want a movie to be exactly like the book because then it will be a bad movie.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.”

Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “You never know ahead of time what something’s really going to be like.”

You never know ahead of time what something’s really going to be like.

— Katherine Paterson



Katherine Paterson Quote: “I love revision. Where else can spilled milk be turned into ice cream?”

I love revision. Where else can spilled milk be turned into ice cream?

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “February is just plain malicious. It knows your defenses are down.”

February is just plain malicious. It knows your defenses are down.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.”

As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “The name we give to something shapes our attitude toward it.”

The name we give to something shapes our attitude toward it.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Sitting in cold wet britches for an hour was no fun even in a magic kingdom.”

Sitting in cold wet britches for an hour was no fun even in a magic kingdom.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “I woke up one morning and realized that what I wanted to say to everyone – children, young people, adults – was: Read for your life.”

I woke up one morning and realized that what I wanted to say to everyone – children, young people, adults – was: Read for your life.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “We all learn here by the honorable path of horrible mistakes.”

We all learn here by the honorable path of horrible mistakes.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “You think it’s so great to die and make everyone cry and carry on. Well it ain’t.”

You think it’s so great to die and make everyone cry and carry on. Well it ain’t.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “My writing comes from ideas that make a sound in my heart.”

My writing comes from ideas that make a sound in my heart.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “You gotta know someone cares about you, or you just give up.”

You gotta know someone cares about you, or you just give up.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Mandarin ducks mate for life and will die of loneliness if separated from their chosen mate.”

Mandarin ducks mate for life and will die of loneliness if separated from their chosen mate.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Our fundamental task as human beings is to seek out connections-to exercise our imaginations.”

Our fundamental task as human beings is to seek out connections-to exercise our imaginations.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “If we marvel at the artist who has written a great book, we must marvel more at those people whose lives are works of art and who don’t even know it, who wouldn’t believe it if they were told. However hard work good writing may be, it is easier than good living.”

If we marvel at the artist who has written a great book, we must marvel more at those people whose lives are works of art and who don’t even know it, who wouldn’t believe it if they were told. However hard work good writing may be, it is easier than good living.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “This is what art is all about. It is weaving fabric from the feathers you have plucked from your own breast. But no one must ever see the process – only the finished bolt of goods. They must never suspect that that crimson thread running through the pattern is blood.”

This is what art is all about. It is weaving fabric from the feathers you have plucked from your own breast. But no one must ever see the process – only the finished bolt of goods. They must never suspect that that crimson thread running through the pattern is blood.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “If you could hold your nose to avoid a stink, or close your eyes to cut out a sight, why not shut off your brain to avoid a thought?”

If you could hold your nose to avoid a stink, or close your eyes to cut out a sight, why not shut off your brain to avoid a thought?

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “He may not have been born with guts, but he didn’t have to die without them.”

He may not have been born with guts, but he didn’t have to die without them.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “The last dregs of winter spoiling the taste of everything.”

The last dregs of winter spoiling the taste of everything.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “What a gift of grace to be able to take the chaos from within and from it create some semblance of order.”

What a gift of grace to be able to take the chaos from within and from it create some semblance of order.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength.”

It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Lord, let me heed the angels you put in my path.”

Lord, let me heed the angels you put in my path.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “We do have trouble dealing with death, but it’s the one thing that is guaranteed we are all going to have to do, and we are going to have to face it many times before we die ourselves.”

We do have trouble dealing with death, but it’s the one thing that is guaranteed we are all going to have to do, and we are going to have to face it many times before we die ourselves.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Death is very mysterious to us. One moment someone is there with us, and the next moment they’re not.”

Death is very mysterious to us. One moment someone is there with us, and the next moment they’re not.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “On Decoration Day, while everyone else in town was at the cemetery decorating the graves of our Glorious War Dead, Willie Beaner and me, Robert Burns Hewitt, took Mabel Cramm’s bloomers and run them up the flagpole in front of the town hall. That was the beginning of all my troubles.”

On Decoration Day, while everyone else in town was at the cemetery decorating the graves of our Glorious War Dead, Willie Beaner and me, Robert Burns Hewitt, took Mabel Cramm’s bloomers and run them up the flagpole in front of the town hall. That was the beginning of all my troubles.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Read for fun, read for information, read in order to understand yourself and other people with quite different ideas. Learn about the world beyond your door. Learn to be compassionate and grow in wisdom. Books can help us in all these ways.”

Read for fun, read for information, read in order to understand yourself and other people with quite different ideas. Learn about the world beyond your door. Learn to be compassionate and grow in wisdom. Books can help us in all these ways.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “The work reveals the creator – and as our universe in its vastness, its orderliness, its exquisite detail, tells us something of the One who made it, so a work of fiction, for better or worse, will reveal the writer.”

The work reveals the creator – and as our universe in its vastness, its orderliness, its exquisite detail, tells us something of the One who made it, so a work of fiction, for better or worse, will reveal the writer.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “A great novel is a kind of conversion experience. We come away from it changed.”

A great novel is a kind of conversion experience. We come away from it changed.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Youth is a mortal wound.”

Youth is a mortal wound.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “You don’t have to fight dragons to write books. You just have to live deeply the life you’ve been given.”

You don’t have to fight dragons to write books. You just have to live deeply the life you’ve been given.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Reading has made such a profound difference to my life. I’m sure I became a writer because of the power of literature in my own life.”

Reading has made such a profound difference to my life. I’m sure I became a writer because of the power of literature in my own life.

— Katherine Paterson


Katherine Paterson Quote: “Crazy people who are judged to be harmless are allowed an enormous amount of freedom ordinary people are denied.”

Crazy people who are judged to be harmless are allowed an enormous amount of freedom ordinary people are denied.

— Katherine Paterson

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