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Bridge to Terabithia Paperback – May 2, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Jesse's colorless rural world expands when he becomes fast friends with Leslie, the new girl in school. But when Leslie drowns trying to reach their special hideaway, Terabithia, Jesse struggles to accept the loss of his friend. A Newbery Medal winner.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Set in contemporary rural America, the story is one of remarkable richness and depth, beautifully written.” (The Horn Book)
“Eloquent and assured.” (Kirkus Reviews)
15 Banned Books Every Tween and Teen Should Read (Brightly)
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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.
I’m sixty years old and list only five movies on my Facebook page as my great favorites, and this is one of them. I can’t think of any other movies that took me to all the extremes of emotion: anger, sadness, joy, love and to the point of tears with all of them. I suggest having a box of tissues as you watch. The story includes fantasy, but Real fantasy—the imaginations of kids, the kind you had, if you were normal. The story is of a pre-adolescent boy and girl from very different cultures, but next-door neighbors. The point-of-view is from the boy as he lives his semi-typical life. Not a great life, but like that of millions of kids here in the USA. Then he meets his new neighbor who teaches him to have a different way of thinking.