What Parents Should 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.
Families can talk about so much in this book, from friendship to imagination to loss.
Common Sense Media Review
Here's a book that says what kids already know -- it's not always easy to grow up -- but says it well. 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.
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."
From The Book
We need a place, she said, "just for us. It would be so secret that we would never tell anyone in the whole world about it. ... It might be a whole secret country," she continued, "and you and I would be the rulers of it."
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.
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