What I think I’m doing when I write for the young is to articulate the glorious but fragile human condition for those whose hearts have heard, but whose mouths, at five or ten or fourteen, can’t yet express. But the truth is I can’t really express it either. So what happens is a reciprocal gift between writer and reader: one heart in hiding reaching out to another. We are trying to communicate that which lies in our deepest hearts, which has no words, which can only be hinted at by means of a story. And somehow, miraculously, a story that comes from deep in my heart calls from a reader that which is deepest in his or her heart, and together from our secret hidden selves we create a story that neither of us could have told alone.
~Katherine Paterson, “Heart in Hiding” from The Art and Craft of Writing for Children.