Bridge to Terabithia

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First edition hardcover.

Bridge to Terabithia is a young adult book by Katherine Paterson and first published in 1977. It's a story 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.

The first time I knew anything about this book was from an example sentence in an elementary school textbook which used a quote from the book as an example sentence. At the time, I didn't know the origin of the quote, but I recognized the example about 20 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, a brown-haired tomboy, into 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.

Status

I used to have a hardcover version of this book, but I lent it to someone, and never got it back. I have read it a couple times.

Review

Good

  • 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.

Bad

  • 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.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Cover Art

Quotes

  • "She just took off running to the old Perkins place. He couldn't help turning to watch. She ran as though it was her nature. It reminded him of the flight of wild ducks in the autumn. So smooth. The word "beautiful" came to his mind, but he shook it away and hurried up to his house."
  • "He felt there in the teachers' room that it was the beginning of a new season in his life, and he chose deliberately to make it so. He did not have to make any announcement to Leslie that he had changed his mind about her. She already knew it."
  • "Those girls could get out of work faster than grasshoppers could slip through your fingers."

Links