Day 1256: Bridge to Terabithia

Cover for Bridge to TerabithiaI read Bridge to Terabithia for the 1977 club (but forgot about it when I was posting for the club). It has become a classic book for preteens since its publication, but it was written after my time as a child, so I never read it before.

Jess is a ten-year-old boy from a poor rural family in, perhaps, Virginia or Maryland. He comes from a family of sisters, and his father works all the time, so he often feels isolated. It is almost time for school to start, and he has been practicing running all summer so he can win the races at recess.

A family moves in nearby, and he hopes they have a boy his age, but all they have is a girl, Leslie. She seems to be disposed to be friendly, but he has no use for a girl.

Then, at the races, when is ready to show everyone how fast he is, someone beats him. It’s Leslie.

Leslie and Jess become friends and create an imaginary world for themselves in a shack across the creek. The world is called Terabithia, and you can only get to it by swinging on a rope across the creek.

This is the kind of children’s book that has more to offer children than adults. I couldn’t help comparing it to The Secret Garden, which does a wonderful job of describing the garden, making it seem like a wonderland. There is no such magical description in this novel, which is more matter-of-fact, so it’s hard to understand the fascination of the kids’ made-up world. However, the novel did get me to cry without being manipulative. It deals with death and handles the subject very well.

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6 thoughts on “Day 1256: Bridge to Terabithia

  1. Carmen August 28, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I haven’t read this one, but saw the movie adaptation. It was disappointing because all the made up world. After I saw Where the Wild Things Are, I thought it resembled that one somewhat. Maybe it’s one of those books that you have to read in childhood to really “get” it.

    BTW, I see you are reading Minds of Winter. I hope you enjoy it. I did. Looking forward to your review of it as I didn’t see any blogger I follow read that one last year.

    • whatmeread August 28, 2018 / 4:04 pm

      I actually loved Minds of Winter. Just finished. My review won’t probably show up for about six months because I’m that far behind.

  2. Naomi August 28, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    The first time I read this was with my daughter. I remember the magical world, and I remember it being really sad, but I can’t remember what happens. However, we did like it. And then they read it in school, as well. They also saw the movie, which I think disappointed them.

    • whatmeread August 29, 2018 / 10:48 am

      They didn’t tell much about the magical world, so that was part of my problem. I think they filled that out in the movie, but I didn’t see it.

  3. Audra (@unabridgedchick) August 29, 2018 / 8:13 am

    I never read this as a kid/teen but am not sure I can stand it now — a sad ending might kill me! I’m glad to see you loved Minds of Winter — I’m hoping to get to it this fall!

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