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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia (original 1977; edition 1987)

by Katherine Paterson

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11,057361253 (4.03)215
Title:Bridge to Terabithia
Authors:Katherine Paterson
Info:HarperTrophy (1987), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Books I have read, Books I can lend you
Tags:death, virginia, young adult, fiction, newbery award, 1-b, 2-own-parents, 3-read

Work details

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Author) (1977)

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» See also 215 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
I read this enchanting book for the first time at age 10 and I remember wishing for and fantasizing about having a secret hideout myself. I also remember crying... a lot. The story is extraordinarily engaging and while the foreshadowing of Leslie’s death seemed a little heavy-handed this reading around, I did have to choke back tears nonetheless. ( )
  crunchymunchkin | Apr 23, 2015 |
Bridge to Terabithia takes place in a small town shortly after the Vietnam War. The story is told from the perspective of a young boy named Jess. He gets a new neighbor right before school starts. She is his age, a girl named Leslie. At first he can’t stand her because she out runs him at school and she acts strange for a girl. Eventually he changes his mind about her and they become the best of friends. Together they invent a magical world called Terabithia and name themselves King and Queen. Over the year, they share so much with each other. Jess, who is handier, shows Leslie and her dad a few things about building. Leslie, who comes from a family of writers, tells Jess all of the stories she knows. They spend almost every day together until one day tragedy strikes. Jess is forced to deal with a situation most children his age never face. We read along as he progresses through the stages of grief from denial to eventually acceptance. In the end, he learns to cherish what he had with Leslie and decides to share Tarebithia with his little sister.

Personal Experience:
I laughed and cried while reading this book. I read it before in the 8th grade, but since it has been so long I decided to read it again. It was so much different reading it as an adult. As a child, I only remembered the magic of Terabithia. I remember the count jester puppy and the club house they built. And I remember it being sad. Now that I’m older I can relate more to the adults in the book. I also understand more about the way Jess behaves when he finds out about his friend. It was harder to imagine one of my kids experiencing this king of loss than it was to imagine myself as Jess.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1.) I would have the class imagine our own world like Terabithia. We could draw our positions (King, Queen, and Knight….etc.) from a hat. We could have a class discussion about what our kingdom would look like and what creatures we would have to face.
2.) I would have the children draw themselves as their given roles inside the new imaginary Kingdom.
3.) Aside from general classroom extension, this book is a good example of the grieving process and children suffering a great loss. If I ever have a student going through this, I would recommend this to them or even read it with the entire class to find common ground. ( )
  CamilleSchmidt | Apr 15, 2015 |
This is the story about a boy named Jesse. He trains all summer to win a race, but when school starts back, he is defeated by a new girl named Leslie. He doesn't care for Leslie at first, but after he is around her a while, he starts to like her a they become the best of friends. In the beginning Jesse is stand offish and fearful, but Leslie brings out a different side in him. Together they create and imaginary sanctuary down by the creek, and they are the leaders of it. It is a place they can go where all their worries and pains will be taken away. One day, one of his teachers whom he secretly has feelings for, invites him on a little trip. He accepts without his parents or Leslie knowing where he has gone. But when he returns home, he learns of his best friends death by accidentally drowning at the creek. He feels extremely guilty because he wasn't there to go to the creek with her that day, and he can't get over it. One day when he goes down to the creek, he finds his sister May Belle, who he was never really close with before attempting to cross the creek to Terabithia (Leslie and Jesse's sanctuary). He helps May Belle and is able to feel his emptiness of Leslie by allowing May Belle to take Leslie's place and become a new leader of Terabithia.
Personal Reaction:
I love this book. I remember reading it when I was younger but had forgot about it until now. I think when I read it back then, I was more saddened by it. This time, it was really sad but made me realize that children have different ways of coping with things and it's important to let them do that.
Classroom Extension:
1. I think it would be a good idea for us as a class to create a small space in the room for children to go to when they are feeling sad or down or just need a minute to themselves. We could make it a little happy space that they can go to and write, think, or whatever they need to do.
2. In the story, Jesse and Leslie also have a confrontation with a bully. They get revenge on the bully, but later find her crying. The bully tells them about her troubling past, so then Jesse and Leslie are nice to her. I could have the students do a journal entry on how they feel about bullying and why it is so important to be considerate of your peers.
  Brandy9706 | Apr 15, 2015 |
Obviously groundbreaking at the time. Now a few of the references are dated, and, as best I know, Jesse and the whole class would get more support at school. Almost every child will face loss at some time, and be affected even if the person lost is 'just' a classmate. Books like this help. And the thing is, they help even more if they're good stories - which this is. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This fantasy/adventure story, is about two friends with great imagination. The two preteen's create a whole new fantasy world to escape reality. Just when things are good, Jess' life turns upside down. This adventure book is fun and very imaginative, it will have you in tears as well. Students can make predictions about the book and its main characters, they can also complete character studies as part of an in-depth look at Jess and Leslie's friendship. ( )
  Jihan0228 | Apr 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
Valerie O. Patterson (Children's Literature)
Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr. practices all summer so that he can be the fastest runner in his rural Virginia fifth-grade class. Despite his practice, however, he loses the race on the first day of school to Leslie Burke, the new girl in school whose hippy parents have moved from Washington, DC. Despite Jesse’s lost running dream, he becomes fast friends with Leslie. Together they build the imaginary kingdom of Terabitia in the woods. To Jesse, Leslie is “more than his friend. She was his other more exciting self--his way to Terabithia and all the worlds beyond.” When Jesse’s favorite teacher takes him to see the art museums in Washington one rainy day, he returns home to find his world permanently changed by tragedy--Leslie’s death. Despite his heartache, Jesse moves forward, a stronger and more whole individual for his friendship with Leslie. Written by the author for her then young son whose best friend was killed by lightning, this Newbery Medal winner moves the heart and spirit with its beautiful writing, wrenching honesty, and hopeful ending. 2005 (orig. 1977), HarperCollins, $5.99. Ages 9 to 12.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Valerie O. Patterson

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paterson, KatherineAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I wrote this book
for my son
David Lord Paterson,
but after he read it
he asked me to put Lisa's name
on this page as well,
and so I do.


David Paterson and Lisa Hill,

First words
Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity - Good.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Bridge to Terabithia is a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. Paterson drew inspiration for the novel from a real event that occurred in August 1974 when a friend of Paterson's son was struck by lightning and killed. It is the story of fifth grader Jess Aarons, who becomes friends with his new neighbour Leslie Burke. After meeting Leslie, Jess is transformed. He becomes courageous and learns to let go of his frustration.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064401847, Paperback)

The story starts out simply enough: Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade--he wants it so bad he can taste it. He's been practicing all summer, running in the fields around his farmhouse until he collapses in a sweat. Then a tomboy named Leslie Burke moves into the farmhouse next door and changes his life forever. Not only does Leslie not look or act like any girls Jess knows, but she also turns out to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. After getting over the shock and humiliation of being beaten by a girl, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay.

Despite their superficial differences, it's clear that Jess and Leslie are soul mates. The two create a secret kingdom in the woods named Terabithia, where the only way to get into the castle is by swinging out over a gully on an enchanted rope. Here they reign as king and queen, fighting off imaginary giants and the walking dead, sharing stories and dreams, and plotting against the schoolmates who tease them. Jess and Leslie find solace in the sanctuary of Terabithia until a tragedy strikes and the two are separated forever. In a style that is both plain and powerful, Katherine Paterson's characters will stir your heart and put a lump in your throat.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:19 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

(summary from another edition)

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Editions: 0140366180, 0141323477

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