Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


ChildrenFantasyBridge to Terabithia Bridge to TerabithiaKatherine Paterson; HarperTrophy 2003WorldCat

Jess Aarons lives with his family on a farm a few hours out of Washington D.C. The community is poor and his family is struggling. Leslie Burke and her family move into the run-down farmhouse next to them. Jess has been practicing running all summer so he will be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. Unfortunately, Leslie outruns all the boys in the school.

Jess is prepared to dislike Leslie because she is a girl, new, and an outsider. But Leslie is able to overcome his antagonism and becomes his best friend. Jess helps Leslie adjust and she helps him learn to examine his creativeness. They create their own special hiding place of fantasy, Terabithia. Fifth grade continues as they continue to deal with their families, their peers, their problems, and their joys.

Bridge to Terabithia is a wonderful book for a reader just getting into what my daughter called “chapter books”, around eight to ten or so. This book looks at the emotions of a ten-year-old boy as he is going through the changes that happen as he changes from a self-centered boy into an aware youth who is beginning to learn more about the world around him. This is a moving, poignant book that is aimed for the child approaching and entering the stage where Jess is in his life.

It is also a good book for a child to realize that their families love them and have plans for them. But they are able to look into themselves and discover what they want. Hopefully, the young reader will understand they can look into different options for their life.

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