Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bridge To Terabithia

I wanted to start my first "real" blog post with a discussion of one of the most wonderful MG books of all time, Bridge to Terabithia.  This book should be on every child's personal bookshelf.  It should be on every adult's personal bookshelf.  It is about fear and strength.  It is about difference and sameness.  It is about love and loss.  The story is timeless.

I love the characters in Bridge to Terabithia.  Jess and Leslie are best friends who act like real kids with real problems and real lives.  I love how they escape their sadness by creating Terabithia and ruling an imaginary kingdom when their own true world holds them down.  You can't help but admire Leslie for her guts and her loyalty and you can't help but want Jess to win.

I am always amazed, like I am in so many other books with a sad plot crisis, that I still wish for a different outcome.  I know that Leslie is going to drown in a tragic accident, but I hold onto hope that Jess will come home from Washington D.C. and find her alive and well in Terabithia.  I still want her to be in that one place where nothing bad can happen.  But something bad does happen there, and this book is about Jess, not Leslie.  Jess has to accept Leslie's death in order to move on and find his own braveness, and that can't happen in Terabithia.

I have some questions for lovers of this book:
* Why do you think Jess plans to build the bridge to Terabithia?  Why not let it die with Leslie?
* Why do you think the author, Kathleen Paterson, chose gender-neutral names for her characters?
* What role did "class" play in the relationship between Jess and Leslie?

Thanks for being here.  ~ Ali

No comments: