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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia (original 1977; edition 1987)

by Katherine Paterson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,398440200 (4.03)232
Title:Bridge to Terabithia
Authors:Katherine Paterson
Info:HarperTrophy (1987), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Books I have read, Owned - Physical
Tags:death, virginia, young adult, fiction, newbery award, 1-b, 2-own-parents, 3-read

Work details

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977)

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English (438)  Hungarian (1)  English (1)  English (440)
Showing 1-5 of 438 (next | show all)
Jesse Aarons a fifth grader becomes friends with his new neighbor Leslie Burke. Jess is an artist who enjoys drawing. He also trained everyday during the summer to be able to be the fastest kid in school. Leslie is from a rich family and is very smart and talented. Both are bullied at school and decide to create a world that will be a sanctuary for them. They name this land Terabithia. Leslie uses the rope swing to get into Terabithia without Jesse. The rope broke and Leslie drowns. Jesse is devastated from her death that he is incapable of accepting she died. Jess builds a memorial for Leslie in the entrance to Terabithia and fills the void of her spot by having his little sister rule beside him in Terabithia.

Personal Reaction:
This book is such a heart breaking book. It tells an important story though. Jesse and Leslie needed the friendship they had. They both benefited from the friendship. It breaks my heart to read about something like this. I definitely think all children should read it at some time in their life.

Classroom Extension:
1. Use it as a beginning to learning about imagination and friendship. It can be used to show how happy those can make you.
2. Use it to reinforce how important being yourself is. ( )
  ShaLee.Hale | Dec 1, 2016 |
Jesse is a young boy who is bullied and teased constantly at school and at the same time he is trying to get attention from his father who focuses his time with Jesse's sisters. He trained all summer running to try to be fastest runner in school but he loses against the new girl, Leslie. Although he is upset about losing he strikes a strong friendship with Leslie. The two couldn't be more opposite though because she is a rich city girl and he is a poor country boy. Through their differences their friendship is strong and it is at this time that they both create an imaginary world called Terabithia, filled with a land of monsters, trolls, ogres, and giants. They make themselves king and queen of this land they rule. Jesse has learned so much from this friendship and learned what Leslie has taught him.

Personal Reaction:
I have always heard of this book but have never read it. I absolutely loved the story and the imagination here. The story was great and it shows the hurt bullying causes but also the joy a great friendship can bring.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1.) Have students use their amazing imaginations and make up a world they wish to rule and present to the class.

2.) Have a movie day and watch the movie. ( )
  Jasmine.Afable | Nov 30, 2016 |
The main character Jess, in the story, "Bridge to Terabithia," befriends a new classmate Leslie, who is somewhat of a loner and gets picked on. They become really great friends and together, they imagine up and create this new "fantasyland" called Terabithia, where they are free from bullies and reign as King and Queen. They play in "Terabithia" throughout the story and their bond gets closer, in and out of the fantasyland. One tragic day, Jess learns that Leslie accidentally drown in the creek trying to get to Terabithia. He is completely distraught and considers giving up on Terabithia, and his newfound sense of self altogether. However, he decides that in order to keep Leslie's memory alive, he must continue Terabithia to honor her and himself. So he brings his sister into the secret fantasyland and declares her the new queen of Terabithia, assuring that Leslie will live on there forever and ever. A good extension activity would be to have the children write a story or draw a picture of their perfect "fantasyland" and describe what it would look like. Another extension activity would be to have the children organize a mock memorial for Leslie, and write a "speech" to honor her memory. ( )
  ashlynnfoy | Nov 29, 2016 |
I like how real the story feels, even the kids' imaginations become real. It is a little sad but a good read. ( )
  ceb651 | Nov 10, 2016 |
I think this book would be great for literature groups. It is a fun and exciting book but has a tragedy to it. ( )
  Olivia.Morris | Nov 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 438 (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, Katherineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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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Original language

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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:50 -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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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140366180, 0141323477

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