Can’t believe I’d never read this one before!

January 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson; published by Harper Trophy, New York, 1977.

Jess and Leslie get off to a rough start when she moves into Jess’ neighborhood but it isn’t long before they overcome their differences and discover that they share a special gift: the ability to imagine a world they dub Terabithia.  There they are safe no matter the adventure.  That is, they are safe until one fateful afternoon when Leslie meets with disaster when she tries to visit Terabithia alone.  In the end, Jess must deal with grief and rebuilding relationships.

The illustrations are superfluous to the emotional text that paints a story strong enough to bring tears to the eyes.  I would recommend this book for upper elementary students (even middle schoolers) who are looking for a story that is more than an adventure—to students looking for a more mature read.  Perhaps I would tie it in with the movie version; especially because Terabithia is much more developed in the book than in the movie.

By the way, I just learned that Katherine Paterson is the heir-apparent to Jon Scieszka as the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature.  Brava!

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Entry filed under: Newbery Award or Honor Book, Realistic Fiction. Tags: , , , .

Loved the movie, loved the book more Desperate hero in Tale of Despereaux


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