Bridge to Terabithia is one of my top favorite books of all time. While teaching third grade, I would read this book every year with my students. It quickly became a favorite to many of them as well. Below is a quick summary in my words of what the book is about.
A fifth-grade country boy named Jess begins the school year wanting to be the fastest kid in his grade. However, he is out ran by a new girl named Leslie. Even as he tries not to like her, they become best friends. She is everything he thinks he’s not: smart, sophisticated, artistic, rich and blessed with good parents. Jess and Leslie build an imaginary stronghold that only they know about and once tragedy strikes, he realizes just how much hope Leslie broughthim.
This book has so many themes and evokes such emotion from the reader. A child, even from a young age such as 8 or 9, can truly identify with the way Jess feels throughout the book and so many know what it’s like to have a special friend who is different from you in every way, but is still your best bud. Books can teach children empathy and this specific book is full of scenes that do just that.
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Paterson, Katherine (1972). Bridge to Terabithia. New York, NY: Crown.