Bridge to Terabithia is a book about two fifth-graders who pretend to live in a magical forest kingdom called Terabithia in order to escape the real world where they both feel ostracized. It was written by Katherine Paterson and published in 1977.
The first time I knew anything about this book was from an example sentence in an elementary school textbook which used the line about getting out of work like a grasshopper through your fingers as an example of a simile. I didn't know where it came from, but I recognized the example about 15 years later when I first read the book. My desire to read the book came after seeing that it was being made into a movie, and wanting to know what it was about first. I bought the book, read the book, and adored it, Then, I watched the
2-hour long special effect movie, and was thoroughly disappointed. They made Leslie, who is a brown-haired tomboy, a blonde manic pixie dream girl. Shameful. I have since found out that the book was first made into a movie in 1985, but I have yet to see it.
- The book is well-written, exciting, and interesting through the whole story.
- Each of the characters, even the villains, have depth; nobody is two-dimensional.
- I love the friendship that grows between Jess and Leslie.
- I like how it explains that bullies are often made that way due to things outside their control and should be helped rather than hurt.
- It's interesting that Leslie, who doesn't believe in a god, enjoys church more than everyone who does.
- The book hits you hard right in the feels.
- Leslie's atheism is seen as a punishment worthy of hell by everyone, even Jess, and in the end, while there is some acquiescence from Jess's father, they don't really change. While this is pretty accurate in real life, I would have preferred if the people learned more from the outcome.
Hardcover, USA, Crowell. This is the first art used on the book. It's pretty awful. The background looks like a petri dish and Jess (or is it Leslie) looks like an albino.
Paperback, USA, Avon Camelot. Same god-awful art from the original, only, this time, the kids are caught in a forest fire!
Hardcover, USA, New Windmills. Kind of terrible. The kids are creepy looking, and it makes the book look like it's about two kids who get a puppy.
Paperback, Unknown, Puffin. Hideous kids in bell-bottoms perform a Satanic ritual in the black forest. Fancy!
Unknown, USA, Unknown. Looks like a 1980s release. The art is well-made, but the kids just look bored.
Hardcover, USA, Unknown. It just looks like Jess is trying to yank down the tree. The art is technically good, it's just a boring scene.
Mass market, USA, Harper. The strange lighting around the ramshackle fort and gnarled old tree give an air of mystery. A pretty good cover.
Hardcover, USA, Harper. The soft lines and silhouettes give this art a nice dreamy quality. I like it.
Paperback, Unknown, Puffin. Looks like two kids playing on a rope swing while the forest burns.
Paperback, USA, Harper. The 40th anniversary art is wonderful. The watercolor gives it a dreamy feel, and the castle in the background is nice. I like that both kids and the prince are included. My only problem is that the rope is clearly not long enough to cross the ravine.
Paperback, USA, Puffin. Wonderful ink art, great use of color, illustrates the feel of the story.
Paperback, USA, Puffin. This release uses a promo picture from the 2007 movie. The blue and orange palette is overused, but it certainly looks interesting. However, Leslie is not supposed to be a manic pixie dream girl.
Unknown, UK, Puffin. Another Puffin cover with a still from the film. It just looks like a summer camp photo.
Paperback, UK, Puffin. A crotch-shot of a ten-year-old. Great work Puffin!