Katherine Paterson was in her 40s and a married mother of four when she sent her first young adult novel, The Sign of the Chrysanthemum, to a publisher. She did not know anyone at the publishing house, nor did she have an agent. Set in 12th-century Japan, the novel was rescued from rejection by an editor who loved her writing and another who had just returned from Japan. Like her first book, her next two novels were set in Japan. But it was her fourth, Bridge to Terabithia, based on a tragedy endured by her young son, that won the Newbery Medal and made her a successful, famous author. More than 30 years later, Paterson continues to write popular novels, many set in Vermont where she now lives.