The Hans Christian Andersen Award

1998 - Katherine Paterson

Born: 31 October 1932, Jiangsu, China

Author's quote: "The wonderful thing about books is that they allow us to enter imaginatively into someone else's life. And when we do that, we learn to sympathize with other people. But the real surprise is that we also learn truths about ourselves, about our own lives that somehow we hadn't been able to see before. "

Field: Children's Literature

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Katherine Paterson

About Katherine Paterson

Katherine Paterson (born October 31, 1932) is an American author best known for children's novels. For four different books published 1975-1980, she won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. She is one of three people to win the two major international awards: for "lasting contribution to children's literature" she won the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing in 1998. For her career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense", she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council in 2006, the biggest prize in children's literature. She was awarded the 2007 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She was the second U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, 2010–2011, and she received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the American Library Association in 2013.

She was born Katherine Womeldorf in Huai'an, Jiangsu, China, to Christian Missionaries Rev. George Raymond (G.Raymond) and Mary Womeldorf. Her father was a principal at Sutton 690, a school for girls, and traveled throughout China as part of his missionary duties. The Womeldorf family lived in a Chinese neighborhood and immersed themselves in Chinese culture. When Katherine was five years old, the family was forced to leave China during the Japanese invasion of 1937. The family moved to Richmond, Virginia for a short while before returning to China to live in Shanghai. In 1940, the family was forced to flee again, this time to North Carolina.


Stories of My Life - Katherine Paterson

By Jane Leone

One of my lifetime favorite children's authors shares her personal history with us her devoted readers. Now in her 80's her life as a child in China, a student in Japan, a mother of four, the winner of 2 Newbury awards and the Hans Christian Anderson International Award for children's literature, fill each page as Kathryn Paterson shares her life experiences. The book is a delight!


Stories of My Life - Katherine Paterson

By Alma Sillman

This book is wonderful. Katherine Paterson was my 6th grade teacher many years ago, so I especially enjoyed the chapter on her first year of teaching. She is an excellent writer. My children & grandchildren have enjoyed her books.