Reading for a Lifetime Together

A Story of Childhood
January 10, 2010, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Jess Aarons is going into the fifth grade and dreams of being the fastest boy in his school.  His true interests lie in drawing and painting, but to prove to his family that he is not a baby boy anymore he wants to win the races.  However, on the first day of school Jess’s new neighbor, Leslie Burke runs in the races and beats all of the boys.  At first Jess despises Leslie but being nieghbors brings them closer togehter.  Their favorite pastime is going into the woods and pretending to be the king and queen of an imaginary kingdom called Terabithia.  The only way to enter the magical land of Terabithia is to swing across the river on a rope that hangs from a tree. 

Jess and Leslie battle different problems in their lives together.  Jess’s father becomes unemployed and the seveth-grade bully causes problems for Jess’s younger sister May Belle.  They find out more about themselves and each other through their expeirences together.  Leslie also introduces Jess to his imagination and shows him true courage.  At Christmastime Jess gives Leslie a puppy, which they name Prince Terrian; and Leslie gives Jess an expensive paint set.  One day Jess’s music teacher invites him to come with her to Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian Institution’s Art Gallery.  Jess tells his sleeping mother that he is leaving and goes on a lovely day trip with Miss Edmunds.  When Jess returns home he finds his family sitting around the kitchen table crying and comforting each other.  They tell Jess that his friend Leslie drown in the creek while he was gone.  Jess becomes devastated and goes through denial, anger, fear and sadness.  He doesn’t know how to go on without Leslie.  However, he realizes that Leslie would not want him to give up and leave their land of Terabithia, so he invites May Belle to be the new queen.  Together they build the bridge to Terabithia.


I love this book.  I read it once in fifth grade and wanted to read it again.  Although I knew what happened at the end I still cried.  I feel like I can relate to the setting very easily because I live in the country with woods and a creek in my back yard.  Also, when I was younger my brother and I would hike through our woods together and pretend we were Indians or Tarzan and Jane.  The Bridge to Terabithia is a story that reminds its readers to never forget the innocence of childhood or where their imaginations have taken them.



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