A Bear Called Paddington

In 1958, an editor at Collins named Barbara Ker Wilson received a manuscript submission about a talking bear, which she opened with “initial suspicion” —as the publisher had received many other proposals featuring humanized animals that “are invariably either whimsy-whamsy, written down, or filled with adult innuendoes.” More

Heaven Is for Real

The life-changing story of a boy who experiences Heaven, with 11 million copies sold. More

Gregory Maguire

One of the reasons HarperCollins has been my most frequent publisher for thirty-three years is that I admired three children’s books published by Harper & Row within a year of each other (the year I was turning nine). More

Inventing the Western

Zane Grey and A. B. Guthrie Jr. were considered two of the foremost writers on the American West. More

Bridge to Terabithia

Newbery Medal–winning novel; a true modern classic and touchstone of children’s literature. More

To Kill a Mockingbird

When J. B. Lippincott (later acquired by HarperCollins) editor Therese (Tay) von Hohoff saw the first draft of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), she saw a promising story, but one in need of some reshaping and editing. More

A Christmas Carol

Dickens’s beloved classic of the meaning of Christmas that has inspired countless adaptations. More

The Hours

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award; made into an Oscar-winning film. More

Divergent

First book in the Divergent trilogy, which has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide. More

George R. R. Martin

It was in 1993 that George R. R. Martin–already an acclaimed author of science fiction and horror novels, and well known for his work in Hollywood as a screenwriter on The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast–decided he needed a broader outlet for his creativity and conceived of A Song of Ice and Fire, a truly monumental fantasy series. More

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Multimillion-copy global bestseller that won critical acclaim for its beautifully wrought depiction of innocence corrupted. More

Tracy Chevalier

I read because I want to know what it’s like to look at the world through someone else’s eyes, and reading is a remarkably efficient and vigorous way of doing that. More

C.S. Lewis and Christianity

Born in 1898 in Belfast, Clive Staples Lewis lost his faith in Christianity at a young age after his mother died and he was sent away to boarding school. More

A Woman of Substance

With her unforgettable heroine Emma Harte, Bradford popularized the rags-to-riches family saga. More

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), a story about growing up poor in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, was originally an entry for a Harper & Brothers memoir contest. More