I took an unexpected trip to Latvia this summer. My sister and brother-in-law are adopting, and I was asked to join them on a trip to visit the children. I’ll let you to imagine the heartwrenches of visiting an orphanage.
On my way out the door to my flight I grabbed Paterson’s Invisible Child off my bookshelf for travel reading, and it turned out to be a timely choice. Katherine Paterson’s fiction for children has looked hard in the face that this world groans; everything is not all right here (see her books Bridge to Terabithia, or The Great Gilly Hopkins for instance).
In this collection of speeches and essays she reflects on her career and what moves her to do the kind of writing that she does. For all the lonely, misunderstood, despised, the fearful, for those longing for approval and love, for those deeply wounded and looking for hope – these are the children to whom Katherine writes. In other words humans (be it young ones). But for all their hurts, there is meaning in the universe; she wants her readers to know that, and perhaps by means of a story she can help them see it.