Monday, January 31, 2011
Bridge to Terabithia
Paterson, K. (1977). Bridge to Terabithia. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers Inc.
As an escape from the world around them, new friends, Jesse and Leslie, create the land of Terabithia in the woods near where they live. As bad as school or home life becomes these friends will always have their roles as king and queen of Terabithia. It is there that their friendship grows making all the bullies at school or Jesse's bossy sisters seem insignificant. Through his relationship with Leslie, Jesse begins questioning and challenging all of his fears, making him capable of dealing with the terrible tragedy he eventually must face.
This is a great book about friendship, fear, and loss. Jesse and Leslie, outcasts among their peers, take comfort in their friendship and their imaginative world of Terabithia. It is easy to identify with Jesse through his awkwardness with his peers, arguments with his sisters, and many fears common to someone his age. Everyone has most likely encountered someone like Leslie in their life, a fearless friend who pushes you to reach outside of yourself and overcome your fears.
Ages 9 - 12
Friendship, Loss, Death, Imagination
Newbery Medal, ALA Notable Children's Books, School Library Journal Best Book of 1977, Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award
Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr. (Jess): Jess is in the fifth grade, his parents struggle financially to raise he and his four sisters. Jess has an awkward time of fitting in at school and longs to be good at something so that everyone will recognize him. He becomes best friends with his new neighbor, Leslie, who likes him just as he is.
Leslie Burke: Leslie is the new girl at school, she doesn't fit in, but doesn't seem to mind. She befriends Jesse and takes him to the imaginary land of Terabithia, where they have no fears or worries.
As an escape from the bullies, bossy sisters, and fears of their world, Jesse and Leslie create the world of Terabithia, where they are king and queen. Through this imaginary world, the friends learn to deal with the fears and loss that life has in store for them.