Paterson, K. (1972). Bridge to Terabithia. NY: Crown.
Bridge to Terabithia is the story of a boy’s journey as he grows and changes through the death of a friend. Jess and Leslie quickly become friends when Leslie’s family moves next door to Jess’s family. They escape from the real world to the woods behind their house which they call Terabithia. As the rulers of Terabithia, these two children form a bond that cannot be broken. After a terrible accident, Jess has to learn to cope with his feelings and lean on his family during his time of need.
Plot and Setting-
The plot of Bridge to Terabithia is essential to the theme of friendship that runs throughout the novel. The story tells of Jess and Leslie, two neighbors who become the best of friends and then are separated by death. These children start as enemies at recess and then become the king and queen of Terabithia. When Jess learns of Leslie’s death, he refuses to accept it at first. Finally at the end of the novel, he begins to process her death, and he is inspired to build a bridge to Terabithia in Leslie’s memory. The rural setting is also very important to the novel. The family lives in the country, many miles from the city in a very poor town. The lack of money in the town is evident at Jess’s school because Jess’s class has thirty-one students in a small basement room. Jess and Leslie cope with the small town world around them by creating their own imaginary kingdom, Terabithia, where they are king and queen. This becomes their place of solace together and later a place of memorial after Leslie’s death.