What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Newbery winner with positive and imaginative tween characters is a real tear-jerker at the end when a main character dies.
What's the story?
Two tween outsiders -- quiet, artistic Jesse and free-spirited Leslie -- become friends and escape from overbearing parents and bullies at school in their own private kingdom of Terabithia. Their idyllic world is shattered by a tragic accident.
Is it any good?
Among countless books about friendship and loss, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA stands out for the tender care the author lavishes on her main characters, and for the honest portrayal of a child's grief and a child's capacity for creating beauty from tragedy. Jesse's life can be a struggle -- especially with four sisters and a need to hide his passion for drawing. But author Katherine Paterson gives voice to his fears and hopes without imposing judgment or commentary.
Readers will find much common ground with the protagonists. Jesse, though often annoyed by his sisters, tries to be kind, and sympathizes with his overworked mother. Leslie, the only child of wealthy, intellectual parents who sometimes forgets she's a child, knows what it's like to be an outsider. Though the last part of the book deals with death and its aftermath, this is ultimately a richly uplifting story of a boy and a girl who become friends despite their differences.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about so much in this book, from friendship to imagination to loss.
How does Terabithia strengthen Jesse and Leslie's friendship?
In what ways is their fantasy world similar to their everyday world?
Have you ever constructed a fantasy world?