Bridge to Terabithia

Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Crowell, 1977.

I remember reading this in grade school. No, I take that back. Someone read it to me as “quiet time” in grade school. Then, the movie came out. When Kisa rented it I discovered I had been mispronouncing “terabithia” for years (tera-beeth-ia instead of tera-bith-ia). Not my fault since someone else read it that way.

One of the problems of seeing a movie and then reading the book is the danger of making comparisons to the visuals on the big screen. Because I couldn’t remember the plot from 32 years ago that’s what happened to me. I kept seeing the movie in my mind as I read the words. Either way, it’s a really cute story.

Jesse Aaron is a loner who lives inside his little world of solitude and art. His family is large and boisterous and often times, Jesse doesn’t feel understood by anyone, especially having three sisters. When Leslie Burke moves in next door Jesse is determined to ignore her, too. Soon he discovers they have more in common than he would like to admit. Leslie is creative, smart and a tomboy who can run faster than he can. Eventually they are inseparable friends. Jesse learns more than he bargains for by befriending Leslie.

What I found most compelling is that Paterson wrote this book for her son after he loses a friend to a lightning strike. On the dedication page she indicates her son insisted her name be included.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter, “Best for Boys and Girls” (p 22). Note: Pearl indicates Bridge to Terabithia would be more suitable for girls, but I think it would be equaling interesting to boys.



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