Bridge to Terabithia

January 22, 2015

Bridge to Terabithia Katherine PatersonChildren’s Fiction
163 Pages
ISBN 13: 9780064401845
Scholastic Publishing
Rating: 4 stars


The book is about family, friendship and loss. Jesse Aarons is the only boy in the family, often the neglected child and yet the most relied upon. Leslie Burke is only an child, an outgoing tomboy, and she with her family moved to the small town, beside the Aarons, so her parents can learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Before the start of school, Jesse keeps running every morning so he can be the fastest kid in school. Jesse wasn’t friendly to his neighbour but warmed up to her in a few days. Leslie is clearly a smart, able, outgoing, funny and energetic tomboy. Jesse is a sad, depressed and shy kid until he became friends with Leslie. They both created a world only they know and where they both are rulers. One day, in an excursion, something happened that changed the lives of both friends.


I’ve only heard of this book from a book tuber and because it’s a Newbery awardee, it got me curious enough to buy the book.

At the first chapter of the book, I can immediately imagine the family dynamics of the Aarons. Being the only boy, I understand why the Father is stricter and more of making Jesse into a man with manly interest. Jesse was into art and drawing. In my family, that’s really nothing to be concern about. I remember my older brother who’s into drawing but was easily supported by my parents. Being the only boy, Jesse was also being bullied by his older sisters. I think sibling drama is normal but I find both of his older sisters to be airheads. Jesse is much closer to his younger sister, May Belle. A sister who idolises him and one who really understood him. I think it wasn’t that sad of a childhood with May Belle around.

The book reminded me of the movie "My Girl". It's a friendship between a young girl and boy of the ages 9-10. The imaginary world of Terabithia reminded me of “My Girl” story line where both set of friends have their own secret place.

There were instances where I had to question the last part of the book. I had to remember that the protagonist are 9-10 years old. I was confused about the surprise excursion and how passive the parent were at letting the kid go to an excursion without the school’s prior notice. I had to ask myself if Leslie saw Jesse leave, if she felt left out and that she had to go to Terabithia alone. The accident reminded me of my usual reaction whenever I hear news of the same kind on TV. “Where are the parents?” I would always ask.

It’s a sad ending. I would have hated this book if I didn’t get any satisfaction of hope, love, happiness or anything like it. This is a Children’s Fiction book after all. I had to rely on that tiny hope at the end of the book.


Katherine Paterson is an American children’s book novelist. This book was published in 1977 and won John Newbery Award. 

Katherine Paterson is an American children’s book novelist. This book was published in 1977 and won John Newbery Award. 

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