Bridge to Terabithia was written in 1977 by Katherine Paterson, and dedicated to her son, David, following the death of his childhood best friend, Lisa Hill.
While I had viewed the terrific film based on the book, I had never actually read the book. Since for the month of June I was focusing on reading and reviewing some of Katherine Paterson’s best books, I felt it was high time to correct that!
“He had to be the fastest– not one of the fastest or next to the fastest, but the fastest. The very best.”
The story is centered around a fifth grade boy, Jess Aaron, and his relationships with his family, schoolmates, and best friend, Leslie Burke.
“It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength.”
Throughout the story, we see that Jess is not only a very lonely boy– stuck right in the middle of his four sisters and having no friends at school– but also feels discouraged and unloved at home.
In his art, he creates his own dreams, keeping them all to himself. Until he is befriended by Leslie, the new girl next door, and Miss Edmunds, his music teacher.
Overall, I found Bridge to Terabithia to be a sweet, beautiful story that handles delicately the matter of childhood death.
I also came away from the book wanting to be the kind of friend that Leslie Burke was. I want to so impact the lives of those around me, so that when our paths part, I changed their life in some small way. Really, I think that is part of the message of this book– be the friend who encourages, who is loyal, who is a real, true friend.
While not a perfect book, I definitely think it is worth reading, and would highly recommend. I would give the Bridge to Terabithia an “A”.
Have you read the book? If so, what are your thoughts?