Katherine Paterson is a legendary children's books author whose work has garnered many awards, including two Newbery medals (
Bridge to Terabithia in 1978 and
Jacob Have I Loved in 1981), two National Book Awards (
The Master Puppeteer in 1977 and
The Great Gilly Hopkins in 1979), and the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal for her substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Some of her other award-winning books include
Come Sing, Jimmy Jo,
Stories of My Life. She served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2010-2011 and is currently vice president of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance. She lives in Vermont.
It's 1899 in a small town in Vermont, and the turn of the century is coming fast. According to certain members of the church where Robbie's father is the preacher, the end of the century might even mean the end of the world. But Robbie has more pressing worries. He's sure his father loves his simple-minded brother, Elliot, better than him, and he can no longer endure the tiresome restrictions of Christianity. He decides to leave the fold and decides to live life to the fullest. His high-spirited and often hot-headed behavior does nothing to improve his father's opinion of him, nor does it improve the congregation's flagging opinion of his father. Not until the consequences of his actions hurt others does Robbie put a stop to the chain of events he has set off and begin to realize his father might love him after all.