Katherine Paterson Quotes

30 of the best book quotes from Katherine Paterson
“For the first time in his life he got up every morning with something to look forward to. Leslie was more than his friend. She was his other, more exciting self – his way to Terabithia and all the worlds beyond.”
Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia
Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.
Leslie Burke
″‘He believed her because here in the shadowy light of the stronghold everything seemed possible. Between the two of them they owned the world and no enemy, Gary Fulcher, Wanda Kay Moore, Janice Avery, Jess’s own fears and insufficiencies, nor any of the foes whom Leslie imagined attacking Terabithia, could ever really defeat them.‘”
″‘She loved you, you know.’ He could tell from Bill’s voice that he was crying. ‘She told me once that if it weren’t for you…’ His voice broke completely. ‘Thank you,’ he said a moment later. ‘Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to her.‘”
“He would like to show his drawings to his dad, but he didn’t dare. When he was in first grade, he had told his dad that he wanted to be an artist when he grew up. He’d thought his dad would be pleased. He wasn’t.”
″‘Leslie, I swear – I’d go in there if I could.’ He really thought he would, too. ‘You ain’t scared of her, are you, Leslie?’ He didn’t mean it in a daring way, he was just dumbfounded by the idea of Leslie being scared.”
“He wondered what it would be like to have a mother whose stories were inside her head instead of marching across the television screen all day long.”
“There in their secret place, his feelings bubbled inside him like a stew on the back of the stove--some sad for her in her lonesomeness, but chunks of happiness, too. To be able to be Leslie’s one whole friend in the world as she was his – he couldn’t help being satisfied about that.”
“Suddenly his mother let out a great shuddering sob. ‘O my God. O my God.’ She said it over and over, her head down on her arms. His father moved to put his arm around her awkwardly, but he didn’t take his eyes off Jess.”
″‘Course you’re scared. Anybody’d be scared. You just gotta trust me, OK? I’m not gonna let you fall, May Belle. I promise you.‘”
“They had never been there in the dark. But there was enough moon for them to find their way into the castle, and he could tell her about his day in Washington. And apologize. It had been so dumb of him not to ask if Leslie could go, too.”
“The reaction didn’t seem to bother her. She stood there in front, her eyes saying, ‘OK, friends, here I am,’ in answer to their open-mouthed stares while Mrs. Myers fluttered about trying to figure where to put the extra desk.”
“His father sat down on the dirt beside him...He was crying now, crying so hard he could barely breathe. His father pulled Jess over on his lap as if he were Joyce Ann. ‘There. There,” he said, patting his head. ‘Shhh. Shhh.‘”
“She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there – like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.”
“It was Leslie who had taken him from the cow pasture into Terabithia and turned him into a king. He had thought that was it. Wasn’t king the best you could be? Now it occurred to him that perhaps Terabithia was like a castle where you came to be knighted. After you stayed for a while and grew strong you had to move on.”
“Terabithia was their secret, which was a good thing, for how could Jess have ever explained it to an outsider? Just walking down the hill toward the woods made something warm and liquid steal through his body.”
“Now it was time for him to move out. She wasn’t there, so he must go for both of them. It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength. ‘As for the terrors ahead—for he did not fool himself that they were all behind him—well, you just have to stand up to your fear and not let it squeeze you white. Right, Leslie?’ ‘Right.‘”
“Jess drew the way some people drank whiskey. The peace would start at the top of his muddled brain and seep down through his tired and tensed-up body. Lord, he loved to draw.”
“She was scraping at the mud on her bare legs. ‘I just wanted to find you, so you wouldn’t be so lonesome.’ She hung her head. ‘But I got too scared.‘”
“He screamed something without words and flung the papers and paints into the dirty brown water… He watched them all disappear. Gradually his breath quieted, and his heart slowed from its wild pace. The ground was still muddy from the rains, but he sat down anyway. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere. Ever again. He put his head down on one knee.”
“It wasn’t so much that he minded telling Leslie that he was afraid to go; it was that he minded being afraid. It was as though he had been made with a great piece missing… Lord, it would be better to be born without an arm than to go through life with no guts.”
“What my mother bore him was girls, twin girls. I was the elder by a few minutes. I always treasured the thought of those minutes. They represented the only time in my life when I was the center of everyone’s attention. From the moment Caroline was born, she snatched it all for herself. ”
“She was so sure, so present, so easy, so light and gold, while I was all gray and shadow. I was not ugly or monstrous. That might have been better. Monsters always command attention, if only for their freakishness. My parents would have wrung their hands and tried to make it up to me, as parents will with a handicapped or especially ugly child. Even Call, his nose too large for his small face, had a certain satisfactory ugliness.”
″‘Jacob have I loved …’ Suddenly my stomach flipped. Who was speaking? I couldn’t remember the passage. Was it Isaac, the father of the twins? No, even the Bible said that Isaac had favored Esau. Rebecca, the mother, perhaps? It was her conniving that helped Jacob steal the blessing from his brother. Rebecca—I had hated her from childhood, but somehow I knew that these were not her words...”
″‘I think I seen every island in the world,’ he said. ‘And you come home to the prettiest one of all,’ I answered. ‘Yeah,’ he said, but his focus blurred for a moment. ‘The water’s about to get her, Wheeze.’ ‘Only a bit, to the south,’ I said defensively. ‘Wheeze, open your eyes,’ he said. ‘In two years I’ve been gone, she’s lost at least an acre. Another good storm—’ It wasn’t right. He should have been more loyal. You don’t come home after two years away and suddenly inform your mother that she’s dying.”
″‘Call,’ I would say, watching dawn break crimson over the Chesapeake Bay, ‘I hope I have a sky like this the day I get married.’ ‘Who would marry you?’ Call would ask, not meanly, just facing facts.”
“She came round where I could see her, her arms halfway stretched out as though she would have liked to embrace me but dared not. I jumped aside. Did I think her touch would taint me? Somehow infect me with the weakness I perceived in her? ‘You could have done anything, been anything you wanted.’ ‘But I am what I wanted to be,’ she said letting her arms fall to her sides. ‘I chose. No one made me become what I am.‘”
“All my dreams of leaving, but beneath them I was afraid to go. I had clung to them, to Rass, yes, even to my grandmother, afraid that if I loosened my fingers an iota, I would find myself once more cold and clean in a forgotten basket.”
“But I had never caused my parents, ‘a minute’s worry.’ Didn’t they know that worry proves you care?”
″‘So. What’s Miss Caroline got to say for herself these days?’ Call’s face flamed in pleasure. It was the question he had been bursting to answer. ‘She—she said, ‘Yes.’ I knew, of course, what he meant. There was no need to press him to explain. But something compelled me to hear my own doom spelled out. ‘Yes’ to what?′ I asked.”
“Hate. That was the forbidden word. I hated my sister. I, who belonged to a religion which taught that simply to be angry with another made one liable to the judgment of God and that to hate was the equivalent of murder.”

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