David Paterson met Lisa Hill on the first day of second grade at Takoma Park Elementary School in Maryland. They spent many hours together, playing around Sligo Creek and creating imaginative adventures.
“People ask me if we created dragons,” Paterson says. “We did a lot of different things, but I couldn’t actually tell you if we had any scripts for it. It was just kids being kids.”
Their friendship, however, had an extraordinary impact on millions of kids — serving as the basis for “Bridge to Terabithia,” a Newbery Medal-winning novel by David’s mother, Katherine Paterson. Three decades later, the dramatic story grows even bigger with the release of the movie, which was co-written and produced by David Paterson, now 40.
We talked to him about his childhood, the book and calling his mommy.
Q. Your mother asked your permission to publish the book?
A. Yeah, can you believe that — putting her career in the hands of an 8-year-old?