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Author Katherine Paterson Discusses Vermont Reads Book in Bradford, Richmond

Image of Katherine PatersonStatewide — Katherine Paterson, the award-winning Vermont author whose works have made her an icon of children’s literature, will make two appearances this spring in Bradford and Richmond to discuss her novel Bread and Roses, Too. The book is the 2018 selection for the Vermont Humanities Council’s statewide Vermont Reads program.

Paterson will speak at Bradford Academy Auditorium on May 31 and at Richmond Free Library on June 5. Both events take place at 6:30 pm and are free and open to the public. Richmond Free Library requests that attendees reserve their space by pre-registering at the library or by contacting or (802) 434-3036.

In addition to her appearances this spring, Paterson will speak on two occasions at other venues in the fall (details to be determined).

Bread and Roses, Too is a novel of historical fiction that tells the story of the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike in the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile mills through the eyes of an Italian-American girl and a runaway boy. The novel relates the journey of Rosa, who, along with Jake and other children, are sent temporarily out of harm’s way to foster families in Barre, Vermont, as children actually were during the strike. The book’s themes include the immigrant experience in America, labor history, and local Vermont history.

“I’m always looking for something to write about,” Paterson said in a recent interview. “In the Aldrich Library in Barre, I saw this picture of all these children standing on the steps of the Old Labor Hall. The caption was, ‘Children from the Lawrence strike come to Barre.’ . . .  I had one of those writerly chills up and down the spine that said, ‘There’s a story here that needs to be uncovered.'”

Paterson is a world-renowned children’s author and Vermont resident. She has published more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for Bridge to Terabithia in 1978 and Jacob Have I Loved in 1981. She also earned the National Book Award for The Master Puppeteer (1977) and The Great Gilly Hopkins (1979).

Jan Blomstrann is the underwriter of the 2018 Vermont Reads program. The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation also supports the program. Vermont Public Radio is the Vermont Reads media partner.

VHC is still accepting applications for Vermont Reads 2018. For priority consideration, community-based organizations should submit their application by June 1. Communities will receive up to 75 books, based on the strength of their application, as well as multiple resource and publicity materials. To apply, visit vtreads.org or contact Richelle Franzoni at or 802.262.1355.

About Vermont Reads

2018 marks the 16th year of the Vermont Reads program, in which the Vermont Humanities Council invites citizens across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to the book’s themes. Vermont Reads brings people together to read, discuss, and build activities around the book—promoting community-building, open dialogue, inter-generational exchange, a focus on the humanities, and literacy. Over two hundred different Vermont towns and cities have participated in Vermont Reads to date.

About Vermont Humanities Council

A statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1974, the Vermont Humanities Council seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning.