Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is a beautiful, enthralling tale of growth and loss.

Set in a rural southern American town during the 1970s, the story centers around a fifth grader named Jesse. Opening as Jesse begins fifth grade, the monotonous tone that Jesse’s life has fallen into is perfectly reflected in the writing style. The only thing that Jesse has to look forward too at that point is the possibility of beating other children in some races. As the story continues we learn about Jesse’s passion for art and how he is snubbed for it by everyone around him except his music teacher.

Just as Jesse prepares to begin the school year a new family moves in next door. They have a daughter named Leslie.  Leslie and Jesse become close after multiple shenanigans mostly involving races as well as Leslie’s superiority in them. As their friendship develops, showing great growth throughout the story, Leslie’s creativity is shown in the magical world she and Jesse invent. They call this world Terabithia and roleplay as the king and queen of it while they explore the forest that surrounds their homes. Leslie provides Jesse with companionship and an escape from reality, also encouraging his love for art;  but when tragedy strikes, what part will Leslie play in his life now?

Bridge To Terabithia is well written and features a fascinating cast of relatable and three dimensional characters. The emotions of the characters and magic of Terabithia will keep one entertained throughout the story. I would recommend this story to people who enjoy tales that focus on the emotional conflicts and turmoil of characters. It is a short story and thoroughly worth the time it takes to read it.