Katherin Paterson is best known for writing Bridge to Terabithia but a viral tweet is reminding people that the author has continued to write for nearly four decades after Terabithia‘s release in 1977. The tweet from Bécquer Seguín, an assistant professor of Iberian studies at Johns Hopkins University, points out the fact that Paterson is “now writing socialist YA novels about the 1912 IWW strike and Cuba’s 1961 literacy campaign.”
The two books Seguín is referring to are 2006’s Bread and Roses, Too, which tells the story of a young girl in Lawrence, Massachusetts during the aftermath of the Lawrence Textile Strike (also known as the Bread and Roses Strike), and 2017’s My Brigadista Year, which is about a teen girl in Cuba who volunteers for Fidel Castro’s literacy campaign in the early 60s.
Did you know that the author of the 1977 children’s classic “Bridge to Terabithia” is…
… now writing socialist YA novels about the 1912 IWW strike and Cuba’s 1961 literacy campaign? pic.twitter.com/br4yiOJcpP
— Bécquer Seguín (@bcqer) June 1, 2021
The fact that Paterson was writing at all shocked many people who were only familiar with Terabithia and others were surprised that her more recent young adult novels featured such serious themes. While Paterson’s focus seems to have shifted more towards socio-political stories as she has grown older, her willingness to dive into “grown-up” themes should not come as too much of a shock for fans of hers, given that Terabithia explores including death, abuse, and loneliness.
What is most impressive is that Paterson continued to write badass young-adult novels into her 80s and she has spoken openly about her undying love of writing and storytelling.
“Eventually, a character or characters will walk into my imagination and begin to take over my life,” Paterson said of writing. “I’ll spend the next couple of years getting to know them and telling their story. Then the joy of writing far outweighs the struggle, and I know beyond any doubt that I am the most fortunate person in the world to have been given such work to do.”