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Bridge to Terabithia Paperback – May 2, 2017
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The story starts out simply enough: Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade--he wants it so bad he can taste it. He's been practicing all summer, running in the fields around his farmhouse until he collapses in a sweat. Then a tomboy named Leslie Burke moves into the farmhouse next door and changes his life forever. Not only does Leslie not look or act like any girls Jess knows, but she also turns out to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. After getting over the shock and humiliation of being beaten by a girl, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay.
Despite their superficial differences, it's clear that Jess and Leslie are soul mates. The two create a secret kingdom in the woods named Terabithia, where the only way to get into the castle is by swinging out over a gully on an enchanted rope. Here they reign as king and queen, fighting off imaginary giants and the walking dead, sharing stories and dreams, and plotting against the schoolmates who tease them. Jess and Leslie find solace in the sanctuary of Terabithia until a tragedy strikes and the two are separated forever. In a style that is both plain and powerful, Katherine Paterson's characters will stir your heart and put a lump in your throat. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Paterson's Newbery-winning novel becomes an entertaining and dramatic audiobook via Leonard's accomplished reading. Jess Aarons is eager to start fifth grade. He's been practicing his sprints all summer, determined to become the fastest runner at school. All seems to be on track, until the new girl in class (who also happens to be Jess's new next-door neighbor), Leslie Burke, leaves all the boys in the dust, including Jess. After this rather frustrating introduction, Jess and Leslie soon become inseparable. Together, they create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever. Leonard deftly interprets the strands of humor, realism and heart-wrenching emotion woven into Paterson's fine tale. His careful and authentic handling of Jess's anger and grief in the aftermath of the accident is sure to touch listeners. Contemporary instrumental interludes featuring guitar, piano and drums signal the beginning and end of each tape side. Ages 9-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've read Martin. I'm used to not getting attached to vibrant, likable characters. But this still hits harder than the Red Wedding. Especially the aftermath. Because you're an adult now and your adult fears are different than your fears as a kid. This only heightens the contrast between Jesse's juvenile fear of falling into the creek and the reader's more mature fear of losing a loved one and makes the characters' pain stand out in that much more stark a contrast.
And that's not even getting into the theme of "If I had only..." that Jesse struggles with when he wakes in the night. If I had only asked her. If I had only thought of someone else. If I had only seen what was right in front of me instead of yearning for that which I cannot have. We've all had those moments, and we've all thought of what we could have done differently. The stakes are not always as high, but we are terrifyingly aware that we don't know when they might be.
The prose is exceedingly well-written. It's clear, almost matter-of-fact. Echoes of Narnia can be felt in Terebithia, especially in the Pine Grove. But the narrator never talks down to the reader. We see the world, and Leslie, through Jesse's eyes, but the story is far from childish. It doesn't pull its punches, but it takes care to show us beauty, too.
It should still come with a warning label and a box of kleenex, though. Not gonna lie; at almost 40 this one broke me, and I ain't even ashamed.
Bridge to Terabithia is all about friendship, understanding and coming of age. Jess starts out as a boy with the simple hope of wanting to be the fastest runner in his school, but through his friendship with Leslie, he begins to expand his world, taken in by the wild fantasies of Leslie's imagination.
The only son in a family of five children, Jess is quite alone; old enough to understand that he has chores to be done, but young enough to dream big. When he makes a companion out of Leslie, it’s like a tribute to one’s own inner child. Didn’t we all have that friend that we would meet on the corner and play with at the park?
The uncanny duo fit together like peas in a pod. It gives us hope that even a misunderstood boy in rural America can find the thing that they’ve been missing; the thing that will pull them out of the norm and into something more.
This book has sense of adventure and a bit of sweet nostalgia (for the grown-ups). As a children’s book, it achieves a lot in terms of loss of innocence and coming of age, which I feel is quite appropriate (even required) for children growing up.
It’s easy to forget some characters when you read many books, but then you get a book like Bridge to Terabithia; you have the wind knocked out of you, and you’ll likely never forget Jess and Leslie.