“Powers of imagination...”This Newbury Award-winning classic is worth revisiting, if for its healing powers of imagination in the face of unfathomable tragedy alone.
This Newbery Medal-winning novel by bestselling author Katherine Paterson is a modern classic of friendship and loss.
Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
In addition to being a Newbery Medal winner, Bridge to Terabithia was also named an ALA Notable Children's Book and has become a touchstone of children's literature, as have many of Katherine Paterson's other novels, including The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Topics: Family, Grief, Virginia, Forest, Rural, Illustrated, Realistic, Friendship, Death, Made into a Movie, Coming of Age, Bullying, Childhood, Drowning, Creativity, Haunting, Outcasts, and Realism
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Although written for a younger audience, Bridge to Terabithia is a book that touches on so many timeless subjects (friendship, family, alienation, being different, bullies, and death) that it is a story that can be enjoyed by adults too.
The friendship that develops between Leslie and Jess is beautiful. The things that others see in them as oddities end up being the things that they admire in each other. Leslie is confident and imaginative, while Jess is kind and artistic.
My preconception of the book was that there would be a large portion of the book devoted to the imaginary land of Terabithia, but what I found was that Terabithia is really only a small part of the book (even though it does play a key role). The friendship between Leslie and Jess is really the focus of this book.
Altogether this is a beautiful book about friendship, but it does deal with the topic of death, so you'll want to be prepared for a tearjerker ending (which some younger kids might not be ready for).more