- School & Library Binding: 176 pages
- Publisher: Turtleback Books; Bound for Schools & Libraries ed. edition (May 6, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0881039217
- ISBN-13: 978-0881039214
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,164 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,110,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bridge To Terabithia (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) School & Library Binding – May 6, 2003
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1,164 customer reviews
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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.
Bridge tells the story of Jess Aarons, who has spent his summer practicing running so he can be the fastest boy in fifth grade when school resumes and the recess-time races in which the boys participate pick back up.
Then newly arrived neighbor, Leslie Burke, wanders away from the play area where the girls usually segregate themselves from the boys, and wants to race.
While Jess has practiced and practiced, Leslie is a natural, and dominates the races.
His juvenile masculine pride thusly wounded, Jess manages to swallow his hurt feelings and befriend Leslie.
While Jess’ family is not well-to-do, Leslie’s is, and Jess feels a little overwhelmed in their world. Together, the two of them explore the woods behind Leslie’s house, and create the imaginary kingdom of Terabithia where they spend their days repelling invaders and building forts.
The book has a very sweet, innocent, retro vibe to it, yet manages to feel timeless. As I was reading it, I was reminded of the movie My Girl starring Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin.
I got even more of that vibe toward the end of the novel, and I think had I read this when I was in the targeted age group, I would have been shattered.
Even now, I enjoyed the book and can definitely understand how it won the Newbery Medal. Outstanding example of young friendship, and a gateway for parents to talk to their kids about loss and grief.
4 out of 5 stars
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.