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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia (original 1977; edition 1987)

by Katherine Paterson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,821336259 (4.03)213
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 (1977)

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Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
This Newberry chaper book tells the story of two very imaginative fifth graders, Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke. Jesse was the middle child and only boy amongst his four sisters. He loved running and was training to be the fastest kid in the fifth grade. The day of the big race he was ready and he beat all the other boys, the only problem is the new girl, Leslie, decided to race too and she beat everybody including Jesse. At first Jesse doesn't want anything to do with, but as the story goes on they become the best of friends. They find a place in the woods to call their own, and they call it Teribithia. They also conquer a bully together. One day when Jesse and Leslie are supposed to go to Teribithia together Jesse gets invited to something else and goes to that instead. When Jesse comes home he finds out that while trying to cross the creekto Teribithia the rope snapped and Leslie fell into the creek and drowned. Jesse doesn't know how to deal with his emotions at first but with the help from others in his life he begins to cope.

Personal Reaction:
I saw the movie based on this book when it came out in theaters in 2007 and loved it, so even though I'm not much of a reader I really enjoyed this book. It had been years since I had watched this movie, but the details the author provided helped me remember and really picture it in my head as I was reading. I cried whenI watched the movie and I cried reading the book too, thinking about someone so young losing their life and how her family and Jesse must have felt.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. I hope and pray to never lose a student but if that were to ever happen I think this book would be a good read for my students and myself to help us get through how we feel. It was also be good book if anyone has lost someone close to them.
2. I think this book would be a great creative group assignment to use their imagination to come up with a place of their own as a class for the classroom.
  AlexCCrupper | Nov 10, 2014 |
"Bridge to Terabithia" is the story of a friendship between Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke who create an imaginary world only the two of them know about, Terabithia. Jess and Leslie face common problems in schools like being picked on, trying to fit in, and taking a stand. Yet, they are able to deal with them through their imaginary world.

I liked this story due to the very realistic main character. Jess is an average ten-year-old boy who deals with trying to fit in. For example, when Leslie, who is out of the ordinary, comes on the bus, she calls Jess, but Jess who is intentionally sitting by May Belle, pretends he doesn't hear her. Another example is when Jess hears of Leslie's death after building a strong friendship. Jess griefs in a very real way. Not only does he cry, but he screams that he wishes he never met her and he hates her. Many children may react in this way due feeling angry that they are left without the person any longer.

I also liked this story due to tough issues it touches on such as death of a best friend. The friendship between Jess and Leslie becomes inseparable as the story goes on. But Jess is left to deal with all the emotions and grief of losing his best friend when she dies. However, Leslie changes Jess forever. From their friendship, he learned a lot about himself and was able to make a closer connection to himself as well as his family. I think it shows the reader how the mark his best friend made on him will last the rest of his lifetime. I think the main message is of friendship and just be who you really are. Leslie and Jess could be themselves with each other and weren't afraid of being judged. Leslie helped Jess to hold on to that even if she was no longer with him. ( )
  KendraEscalona | Nov 10, 2014 |
I really did not enjoy reading this book and thought it was going to be much better. I thought the book was too short and had more potential if it was longer. The characters were not developed enough so it made it hard to connect to the book. The language was descriptive at points of the book but could have used more detail. The writing was not very engaging. Since it was a chapter book, I read a few pages a day and always had to go back and reread almost half of what I already read because I already forgot what happened from reading the day before. The book was not memorable or engaging. The plot is organized but fast paced. It felt like the book was rushing to end. There are no illustrations in the book because it is a chapter book. At the end of the book one of the main characters dies. I found this shocking and rushed. I was shocked to see that I was not sad or emotional about this since books usually affect me greatly. I believe this is because the characters were not well developed. The big idea of the book is friendship and loss. ( )
  smeyer8 | Nov 10, 2014 |
1. This is a story about a friendship between boy and girl neighbors, Leslie and Jess. They play at their secret, imaginary world, Terabithia. The ending is quite sad when one child dies from the rope swing to Terabithia. The other child is forced to deal with feelings they'd never had before.
2. I really enjoy this story because it shows friendship in the face of adversity. It also shows children and families dealing with death. I think it's good for children because it can be difficult to deal with death and this is a way for them to gain more of an understanding of what people go through, specifically children.
3. I feel this would be a good book for 5th-6th graders. They are old enough to understand dealing with death and some may have had to already.
  samjanke | Oct 29, 2014 |
I had many mixed feelings about this book. There were aspects of the story that I loved and some aspects of it that I did not like. First, I liked the overall plot of this book a lot. I thought the whole idea of friendship and self-acceptance was a very good component of the storyline. Jesse and Leslie demonstrated to readers that difference among friends can be a very good thing. For example, Leslie and Jesse taught each other a lot about one another through their differences of lifestyle and personalities.
With this being said, I very much enjoyed the characters in this story, in general. I felt that their personalities were extremely realistic. For example, after Leslie’s death I feel that Jesse’s reaction is similar to how I feel any child would react. He first was in complete denial about her death, and then grew angry at her for leaving him. Thus, I feel the realistic characters were a good component to the story. However, I think that has this story was a bit rushed and that had it been a bit longer, the characters could have developed more and the important events could have been developed more. For example, when Leslie died, we found out about her death when Jesse was told by his family. I think if the story was longer, (although it is appropriate for the suggested readers’ age) her death would have seemed more significant. But, since the plot was shorter than I think it should have been, I didn’t think, as a reader, that I was able to envision the sadness of her death as well as I should have.
I believe the main idea of this message was about friendship and how Jesse, the main character grew through his friendship with Leslie. I think the book, through the realistic characters, was able to stress the importance of this main message. ( )
  sarahwarner329 | Oct 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 332 (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
Katherine Patersonprimary 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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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140366180, 0141323477

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