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Gates of Excellence: On Reading and Writing Books for Children
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Gates of Excellence: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A collection of essays relating to the author's experience as a writer of novels for children, and her ideas on children's literature in general.
Paperback, 125 pages
Published May 19th 1988 by Lodestar Books (first published 1981)
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Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always loved reading Katherine Paterson's writing. I first read Bridge to Terabithia (one of my all-time favorite books) when my mom told me it was witten by a woman who happens to vacation in the same up-state New York community as our family. I felt connected to Katherine Paterson because of this, and she became a celebrity to me as I grew up (one of my most embarrasing moments involves me getting red-faced and flustered when my mother re-introduced me to her--I was 22). As I became a ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Some essays are great; other pieces included do not reach that height. Very interesting to learn more about this author and how some of her books came about.
Katie Fitzgerald
Gates of Excellence: On Reading and Writing Books for Children is a 1981 collection of essays by Newbery author Katherine Paterson in which she reflects upon her work as a children's writer and the reading of children's literature in general. Included in the collection are book reviews and articles Paterson wrote for various publications, as well as newly written pieces for this book and excerpts from her Newbery and National Book Award acceptance speeches.

What struck me about this book as
Alana Puskarich
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a collection of essays on writng books for children and this might possibly be on the best things I have ever read. It was a very slow read as many of the essays ripped at my heart and sat with me for days. I have not read many of Katherine Paterson's books so I feel like I need to do that at some point, but her writing on writing has been both challenging and incredibly encouraging. I got this from the library and now I need to buy it.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard book to find but worth the search. The more I read of Katherine Paterson, the more I love her.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
A collection of essays, speeches, and book reviews written by the great Katherine Paterson – Gates of Excellence is a master class in being a writer of books for children. (Paterson would likely take umbrage with that statement and insist that she is a writer of books that children happen to like and that she is NOT a master.) Taking the stance that children are not silly, mindless creatures to simply be entertained but small humans with troubles and fears all their own, Paterson argues that ...more
Karen Mcintyre
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-writing
I loved Katherine Patterson long before I knew anything about her person journey, but I suppose to love an author is to - at least in part recognize that their journey brought them to write the text that we love.

This book is about both the process of reading and of writing for young people. I bought it long before I thought about writing for anyone -- but myself! I bought it to find out what motivated her. And what a right tapestry of life's stories are woven into her works. She spoke to my
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not very familiar w/ Katherine Paterson unfortunately. I have only read Jacob Have I Loved. HOWEVER this book about writing for children is AWESOME. It is a collection of her book reviews, conference talks, and essays and relates many sound philosophies and analogies for life. So far sooo good.:)
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good guide to writing for children, but actually a decent "how to" writing guide in general. It's short and funny. I enjoyed the author's fiction as a kid (heck, I still occasionally read Jacob Have I Loved), and that same voice shines through in this book like an old friend.
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful bits of wisdom, honesty and hope.
Cheryl Bloser
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am thoroughly enjoying her book. I like her writing style and intend to read one of her novels.
I used this book in my Children's Literature Class - spring 2009. It is an excellent resource, so I bought it for my home MLS resource library.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted
“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.” 3 likes
“I had no study in those days, not even a desk or file or bookcase to call mine alone....It might have happened sooner [the writing of work worthy of publication] had I had a room of my own and fewer children, but somehow I doubt it. For as I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who took away my time and space are those who have given me something to say.” 3 likes
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