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Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia

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Bridge to Terabithia

4/5 (5 663 оценки)
177 страниц
2 часа
6 окт. 2009 г.

Примечание редактора

Powers of imagination...

This Newbury Award-winning classic is worth revisiting, if for its healing powers of imagination in the face of unfathomable tragedy alone.


The 40th anniversary edition of the classic Newbery Medal-winning title by beloved author Katherine Paterson, with brand-new bonus materials including an author's note by Katherine herself and a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Kate DiCamillo. 

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

Bridge to Terabithia was also named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and has become a touchstone of children’s literature, as have many of Katherine Paterson’s other novels, including The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.

6 окт. 2009 г.

Об авторе

Katherine Paterson is one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors. Among her many awards are two Newberys and two National Book Awards, and she was recently named a "Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She has been published in more than 22 languages in a variety of formats, from picture books to historical novels.

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Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson


I wrote this book

for my son

David Lord Paterson,

but after he read it

he asked me to put Lisa’s name

on this page as well,

and so I do.

For David Paterson and Lisa Hill,




Foreword by Kate DiCamillo


Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.


Leslie Burke


The Fastest Kid in the Fifth Grade


Rulers of Terabithia


The Giant Killers


The Coming of Prince Terrien


The Golden Room




The Evil Spell


The Perfect Day






Building the Bridge

Author’s Note

Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech

About the Author

Books by Katherine Paterson



About the Publisher


I read Bridge to Terabithia for the first time when I was thirty years old.

I was working at a book distributor in Minneapolis called the Bookmen. The Bookmen was housed in a huge old warehouse. I worked on the third floor of the warehouse, filling the orders for children’s books.

The Bookmen’s floors were concrete; the shelves were metal, and there were windows everywhere. In the afternoons, the warehouse floor would fill up with great slabs of light, and it was very much like being in a dusty, book-filled cathedral.

I read Bridge to Terabithia standing in one of those great squares of light; and the story, for me, is forever associated with light.

There is a point in the book when Jess (the main character) helps his friend, Leslie, and her father paint a room in Leslie’s house.

They painted the living room gold. Leslie and Jess had wanted blue, but Bill held out for gold, which turned out to be so beautiful that they were glad they had given in. The sun would slant in from the west in the late afternoon until the room was brimful of light.

Bridge to Terabithia is like that room—golden, brimful of light.

Something terrible happens in these pages, something that we almost can’t bear.

But we bear it.

And we bear it because Katherine Paterson loves these characters so much, sees them so clearly, that it makes us—her readers—feel loved and seen, too. We feel as if we are in a golden room, a square of light. We feel held.

We feel as if someone is telling us the truth.

I recommended Bridge to Terabithia to my best friend’s son, Luke Bailey, when he was nine years old. This was sixteen years ago. Luke finished the book and came out of his room and went into the kitchen and stood in front of his mother. He was sobbing. The front of his shirt was wet. He said, I will never, ever forgive Aunt Kate.

Luke is grown up now. He is a reader, a history teacher, a writer.

"Do you remember reading Bridge to Terabithia?" I asked him recently in a text.

He said that to think of the book now, all these years later, is emotionally rending.

He said that he has this vague memory of blaming me.

And then he told me about a devastating loss one of his students was enduring, and that he was able to imagine his way into that student’s loss by remembering the feelings he had reading Bridge to Terabithia.

That is what literature does for us, I suppose, said Luke.

It is what literature does for us.

Bridge to Terabithia takes us by the hand and leads us into a room that we have never entered before.

After we read this story, we cannot unknow what we now know.

We are devastated, emotionally rent.

But still: we feel held, loved, seen. Someone trusted us enough to tell us the truth; and because of that, the room is golden, brimful of light.

—Kate DiCamillo


Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.

Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity—Good. His dad had the pickup going. He could get up now. Jess slid out of bed and into his overalls. He didn’t worry about a shirt because once he began running he would be hot as popping grease even if the morning air was chill, or shoes because the bottoms of his feet were by now as tough as his worn-out sneakers.

Where you going, Jess? May Belle lifted herself up sleepily from the double bed where she and Joyce Ann slept.

"Sh." He warned. The walls were thin. Momma would be mad as flies in a fruit jar if they woke her up this time of day.

He patted May Belle’s hair and yanked the twisted sheet up to her small chin. Just over the cow field, he whispered. May Belle smiled and snuggled down under the sheet.

Gonna run?


Of course he was going to run. He had gotten up early every day all summer to run. He figured if he worked at it—and Lord, had he worked—he could be the fastest runner in the fifth grade when school opened up. He had to be the fastest—not one of the fastest or next to the fastest, but the fastest. The very best.

He tiptoed out of the house. The place was so rattly that it screeched whenever you put your foot down, but Jess had found that if you tiptoed, it gave only a low moan, and he could usually get outdoors without waking Momma or Ellie or Brenda or Joyce Ann. May Belle was another matter. She was going on seven, and she worshiped him, which was OK sometimes. When you were the only boy smashed between four sisters, and the older two had despised you ever since you stopped letting them dress you up and wheel you around in their rusty old doll carriage, and the littlest one cried if you looked at her cross-eyed, it was nice to have somebody who worshiped you. Even if it got unhandy sometimes.

He began to trot across the yard. His breath was coming out in little puffs—cold for August. But it was early yet. By noontime when his mom would have him out working, it would be hot enough.

Miss Bessie stared at him sleepily as he climbed across the scrap heap, over the fence, and into the cow field. Moo—oo, she said, looking for all the world like another May Belle with her big, brown droopy eyes.

Hey, Miss Bessie, Jess said soothingly. Just go on back to sleep.

Miss Bessie strolled over to a greenish patch—most of the field was brown and dry—and yanked up a mouthful.

That’a girl. Just eat your breakfast. Don’t pay me no mind.

He always started at the northwest corner of the field, crouched over like the runners he had seen on Wide World of Sports.

Bang, he said, and took off flying around the cow field. Miss Bessie strolled toward the center, still following him with her droopy eyes, chewing slowly. She didn’t look very smart, even for a cow, but she was plenty bright enough to get out of Jess’s way.

His straw-colored hair flapped hard against his forehead, and his arms and legs flew out every which way. He had never learned to run properly, but he was long-legged for a ten-year-old, and no one had more grit than he.

Lark Creek Elementary was short on everything, especially athletic equipment, so all the balls went to the upper grades at recess time after lunch. Even if a fifth grader started out the period with a ball, it was sure to be in the hands of a sixth or seventh grader before the hour was half over. The older boys always took the dry center of the upper field for their ball games, while the girls claimed the small top section for hopscotch and jump rope and hanging around talking. So the lower-grade boys had started this running thing. They would all line up on the far side of the lower field, where it was either muddy or deep crusty ruts. Earle Watson who was no good at running, but had a big mouth, would yell Bang! and they’d race to a line they’d toed across at the other end.

One time last year Jesse had won. Not just the first heat but the whole shebang. Only once. But it had put into his mouth a taste for winning. Ever since he’d been in first grade he’d been that crazy little kid that draws all the time. But one day—April the twenty-second, a drizzly Monday, it had been—he ran ahead of them all, the red mud slooching up through the holes in the bottom of his sneakers.

For the rest of that day, and until after lunch on the next, he had been "the fastest kid in the third, fourth, and fifth grades," and he only a fourth grader. On Tuesday, Wayne Pettis had won again as usual. But this year Wayne Pettis would be in the sixth grade. He’d play football until Christmas and baseball until June with the rest of the big guys. Anybody had a chance to be the fastest runner, and by Miss Bessie, this year it was going to be Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.

Jess pumped his arms harder and bent his head for the distant fence. He could hear the third-grade boys screaming him on. They would follow him around like a country-music star. And May Belle would pop her buttons. Her brother was the fastest, the best. That ought to give the rest of the first grade something to chew their cuds on.

Even his dad would be proud. Jess rounded the corner. He couldn’t keep going quite so fast, but he continued running for a while—it would build him up. May Belle would tell Daddy, so it wouldn’t look as though he, Jess, was a bragger. Maybe Dad would be so proud he’d forget all about how tired he was from the long drive back and forth to Washington and the digging and hauling all day. He would get right down on the floor and wrestle, the way they used to. Old Dad would be surprised at how strong he’d gotten in the last couple of years.

His body was begging him to quit, but Jess pushed it on. He had to let that puny chest of his know who was boss.

Jess. It was May Belle yelling from the other side of the scrap heap. Momma says you gotta come in and eat now. Leave the milking til later.

Oh, crud. He’d run too long. Now everyone would know he’d been out and start in on him.

Yeah, OK. He turned, still running, and headed for the scrap heap. Without breaking his rhythm, he climbed over the fence, scrambled across the scrap heap, thumped May Belle on the head (Owww!), and trotted on to the house.

We-ell, look at the big O-lympic star, said Ellie, banging two cups onto the table, so that the strong, black coffee sloshed out. "Sweating like a

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  • (4/5)
    A sweet read for young and old alike.
  • (3/5)
    This is a book about friendship, imagination and heartache. It's a great children's book.
  • (5/5)
    I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

    Jess and Leslie are making their own secret world, where no one else can find them. It's perfect for them, where they can escape from their problems. It is marred though as the outside world demands more of their attention. I feel like this doesn't capture the book's essence at all - if you're curious (and feel up to being immersed in a childish consciousness) read it yourself!

    Paterson captures the childish pleasure in playing with your friends beautfiully. She paints Jess sympathetically, and I feel like she really remembers what it was like to be a child. Jess's drawing is something that makes him unique, and you find yourself longing for him to be successful, and be able to break out of the rut of his life.

    The language used by Paterson paints a beautiful picture and it is possible to imagine everything in your head. The words used by Jess typify a poorer country setting, and give the reader instant insight into what he thinks in his head. Jess realizes his insufficient grasp of English, but is unable to improve it. It's something that you hope he will be able to improve in the future. He knows so little about everything, he isn't well read.

    I felt like the school was perhaps a little large for the area, but the very crowded classes typical of a school that brings a huge area together rang true. Also, it is distinctly American, and Australian children are unlikely to understand the importance of visiting Washington. It's not a perfect book, but younger readers aren't going to be able to analyse it in the same way I do either.

    When I read this book for the first time in primary school I cried at the ending, and was disturbed for days. I couldn't believe it had happened. I think it touched me so much because I come from a rural background, and so I could empathize with everything that was going on and relate it to my own childhood. Instead of being ripped away from the city, I was removed for the country, but reading this books brings back so many memories!

    I believe that this has now been made into a film, but I haven't seen it. I probably don't want to either, as I usually find I hate the movies of books. I would be so sad if they wreaked the perfect storyline and didn't keep the secret country as I expected it to be.

    I'd recommend this book for children, and advise parental supervision and comforting if required. The ending is so sad!
  • (4/5)
    Owned this for nine years before finally reading it. My daughter warned me about it so I'll warn you, it'll hurt.
  • (5/5)
    A charming, quick read that does not sell short the emotional and intellectual depth that children are more than capable of.
  • (3/5)
    I'm sure had I read this as a kid I would've found it much more magical than as an adult - I completely acknowledge that. I remember a lot of my friends reading this when we were in elementary school and I also remember hearing little rumbles of it being incredible controversial (moms talking to other moms and so forth). Reading it as an adult, I don't get what all the fuss was about! I asked my mom after reading it if she remembered what the big deal was and she just kind of rolled her eyes and said it was because one of the characters had drowned in the end and many adults thought that younger kids shouldn't be reading about that sort of thing.Imagine my shock! That was it!? I'd had The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe read TO ME when I was younger, and the characters sacrifice the most hopeful main character in the book (and in enough detail to a little kid that I was so devastated over Aslan - my heart was shattered). If the Chronicles of Narnia books are completely acceptable to be read to a much younger child, shouldn't it be okay for a kid to read, on their own, a book with a bit of tragedy but so many wonderful lessons to be learned?But I digress.This book, reading it as an adult, was just fine - a quick read with a main character that I think many kids could relate to. I would recommend this to younger readers for sure - it would be a great book to do a 'read along' with and to have conversations as they work through the book. While it didn't alter the way I view my life in any way, and it wasn't so amazing that I'll ever pick it up to reread it, it was still a good book.
  • (5/5)
    A young boy's life changes forever when he befriends the new girl at school and they create a place of their own called Terabithia. This book would be a good read for older children, because this story deals with lots of issues about friendship, death, and finding the courage to be yourself.
  • (4/5)
    This fantasy/adventure story, is about two friends with great imagination. The two preteen's create a whole new fantasy world to escape reality. Just when things are good, Jess' life turns upside down. This adventure book is fun and very imaginative, it will have you in tears as well. Students can make predictions about the book and its main characters, they can also complete character studies as part of an in-depth look at Jess and Leslie's friendship.
  • (4/5)
    Not a very bright book.
  • (5/5)
    I have never read Bridge to Terabithia before now and I can honestly say that I LOVED this book. The book has many aspects that I loved. For starters, the book takes you on a journey of friendship as well as loss. The plot takes an unexpected turn when one of the main characters dies. From a reader's perspective this was not what I thought would happen nor did I expect it. The characters play a huge part in the book. Although, there are many characters it is clear that Jess and Leslie's characters are focused on the most. The author does a great job of tying other characters into the book to demonstrate the strength of their relationship. For example, when Janice Avery is crying in the bathroom it involves another character but also shows how Leslie and Jess work together to come up with a solution as to how to help her. Another example, is the devastation shown in Jess' character when leslie dies. He shows denial and doesn't think it has actually happened. The author portrays such a strong connection between the 2 that the sad ending to the book almost makes the reader feel as thought they were in the situation. The book takes the reader on a journey that allows them to use their imagination just as Jess and Leslie do in Terabithia.
  • (5/5)
    i have loved this book since i was two years old! my mom used to read it to me wen i was little. i wont give it away but lets just say i cried ALOT during this book. it was so good ive read it countless times! join jessie as he discovers himself! join maybelle as she becomes queen and join leslie as she bes who she wants to be.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed reading this book. One reason I really liked this book is because the main character, Jesse Aarons, meets someone (Leslie) who didn't think he would be friends with. As the story goes on you can see that he is starting to like her and they end up being really good friends. You can see him start to like her when they are racing and he stands up for her and argues so that she can be in the race. Another reason I liked this book is because of Leslie's character. She is a no non-sense stand up for herself kind of girl. She has a strong voice throughout the story. For example when they go to church for Easter and she is discussing the Bible with Jesse and May Belle, she stands by what she thinks and doesn't back down.The overall message in this book is to give people a chance, you never know who could become your best friend.
  • (4/5)
    This book is a wonderful story about a country boy named Jesse who meets a city girl named Leslie. Jesse and Leslie become the best of friends and form an imaginative getaway called Terabithia where they rule. In Terabithia they can do as they please, be adventurous and let their imagination run wild. Tragedy does strike in the book when Leslie dies which cause great despair in Jesse but he takes his sister and returns to Terabithia keeping the spirit alive. This book is detailed, descriptive full of imagination and creativity and grasps the readers attention. WONDERFUL!Classroom Extension: Have children draw what they think Terabithia would look like. Have them write about their own imaginative area.
  • (4/5)
    Wonderful story of a close friendship between a poor boy and a precocious girl who build an imaginary world to help ease the stresses of their lives.
  • (5/5)
    Whether children relate to losing a close friend or not, most children have friends they consider close enough to be hurtful if they ever lost that friend, especially the older children get. This would be a good book for a 4th or 5th grade class. The content of the book is not as meaningful at grade levels much younger than 4th grade. The content of the book requires the reader to consider the value of real friendship, as well as taking into account the fact that life should be lived like there is no tomorrow. Human beings are not invincible!
  • (2/5)
    It was a well written book - but I was forced to read it in class, where my teacher read at the pace of a snail - ruined it. After which, we watched the movie (the OLD ONE) which stunk even more...
  • (5/5)
    Jess Aarons, who wants to be the fastest boy in the 5th grade and doesn't get along very well with his family, befriends the new girl at school, Leslie Burke. Among his schoolmates, only Leslie appreciates Jess's artistic temperament, and the two soul mates become inseperable, spending long hours together and creating their own imaginary kingdom--until tragedy strikes unexpectedly. Katherine Paterson's novel, simply but effectively written, provides an opportunity to consider and discuss issues such as the nature of friendship, the meaning of death, and the importance of acceptance. I thought Paterson stumbled at one point by having a teacher act in an unprofessional, implausible manner, but the resulting development was so powerful that my objection was soon forgotten.
  • (5/5)
    Jess and Leslie friendship is developed through their race to be the best racer in fifth grade. They are from two differnet backgrounds. Jess is ordinary while Leslie family is wealthy. This tale of puppy love, competition,their imaginary world, Terabithia, and tragedy is unforgettable. It made tears come to my eyes. He cared so much for Leslie he eventually bawls, and said, he hate her [...] wish he never met her. That was some deep pain. I hope to never feel in life( 116p).Classroom Usage1. With the parents permission, The teacher can open a discussion about death and acceptance of it. 2.The students can name and illustrate a imaginary land they created.
  • (3/5)
    I don't exactly what to say about this book. There are nearly 200 reviews already on LibraryThing so I will forgo the story review and just go with my impressions.The two main characters in this book are a 5th grade boy and girl who are thrown together because of the area they live in, their ability to run fast and their isolation. Jesse, the young boy, is alone on the family farm with 4 sisters and mother while his father works out of town. Leslie, the young girl, has moved to the rural area with her parents (both writers) who are trying to get back to basics (they don't even have a TV). Because of their mutual isolation from children of their age (Jesse because of working the farm) and Leslie (because she's the new kid on the block) they bond and together they create the imaginary world of Terabithia where they are the King and Queen. The relationship that develops between of them is that of young love and when the tragedy hits, the reactions and how t is handled are touching. A lovely little book.
  • (5/5)
    Personal Response: I loved this book as a child and was horrified by previews of the movie. However, I chose to reread it and watch the movie for the assignment. The books is still infinitely more profound than the film. This is the first book that ever made me cry.Curricular Connection: In a fifth grade classroom, students could read Bridge to Terabithia and keep an accompanying journal. After finishing the text, students could complete an artistic response to the story. Possible responses include a painting, a poem, a collage, a song, or a sculpture.
  • (3/5)
    A timeless coming of age classic regarding the bonds of friendship, love, and family with a sad reminder that the things that bring joy can in equal measure bring pain.Jess and Leslie are two fifth graders who navigate through the cruel quagmire of unkind peers.Together, they form a wonderful friendship as Jess possesses the gift of drawing and Leslie weaves magic with words and imagination. Escaping to a make believe world of Terabithia, they create a safe space where pain is left behind and nature heals. To obtain entrance to Terabithia, the two must swing out over a gully/ravine on a rope.Tragically, Leslie's life ends as one day, alone, she attempts to cross to the other side and the rope breaks.Building a bridge to Terabithia is Jess' way of coping with the loneliness and grief.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent young adult book. I heard about this in September when a speaker at our library conference said this book saved his sanity while in the Middle East, fighting a war he didn't want, didn't understand and just wanted to escape from.Jess and Leslie make an unusual pair. Jess a child of poor parents who loves to draw and Leslie a child of well-to-do parents that is smart and new to school. The track of their year in the 4th grade is marked with fear, laughter and an imagination that lights up both of them. Highly recommended, for anyone, not just the YA's that its label implies.I did have to get this book twice, the first copy from a public library was defaced with black magic markers, to censor the book. It made me so mad I didn't even try to finish it at the time. I requested it via Interlibrary Loan, got another copy that was marked but this time with light pencil underlining moving passages. As a librarian I don't condone either helpful person. You may mark up your own books, leave the library books alone.
  • (5/5)
    I thought I was going to hate this book when I first started reading it, but it was a GREAT book. I'm not surprised it has won several awards.
  • (5/5)
    I selected this book because it is a very emotional book and it is very special because it is the first English book I read and it made me cry. It is about a boy named Jesse who meets a girl named Leslie and they create an imaginery kingdom called Terabithia. I think kids who like adventure books or emotional books will like this book.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book. I have loved it every time that I have read it. I can remember being so affected by this book when I was younger.
  • (3/5)
    I'm probably underrating it, but this is exactly the kind of book I can't bear...I had a goal as a kid of reading every single one of the Newbery winners - a task much easier then, I might say - but after coming across a few like Johnny Tremaine I gave it up. Books with a hard realistic edge and lots of painful or embarassing situations are just not for me - give me a rocket ship or elves any day!
  • (5/5)
    Loved it, takes you back to childhood dreams, imaginary play and the innocence of boy - girl play. Really sad when Jess' (boy) friend Leslie (girl) dies ans Jess goes to visit the house to say goodbye to his friend. The book was great and the movie just sealed it. A must read! It was this book that led me to read other books by Katherine Patterson - read Jip.
  • (4/5)
    Newbery Medal winner in 1978. An unlikely friendship leads two pre-teens to create their own imaginary kingdom. Themes: family problems, bullying, death.
  • (4/5)
    The Bridge to Terabithia is about a little boy named Jess who enjoys painting and drawing and loves running. Due to the fact that he likes art his peers label him as a sissy which is why he wants to be the fastest runner in his class so that he can win at something. He practiced and practiced to be the fastest at recess. It was then that Leslie, a girl, moved in next to Jess. Leslie ended upbeing faster than him. This was the beginning of a rocky friendship but they soon grew to be close friends. They made their secretland across the creek called Terabithia and could only be reached by swinging ona rope over the creek. In this land they were able to talk and play as they wished. This was their fantasy land that they were the King and Queen over. Here they plotted how they could get back at the kids at school who teased them and made fun of them. One day Jess was gone with his teacher to an art museum and Leslie went to Terabithia by herself. When Jess returned he was told about his best friends death. He went through the grieving stage but realized that the only way to keep Leslie's memory alive was to keep the fantasy of Terabithia alive. He then started taking his sister to Terabithia where they act as King and Queen to keep that piece of Leslie's memory alive.I heard about this book for a long time before I actually read it. It didn't sound interesting to me but my friends and family finally got me to read it. Now I'm glad that I did read it. It was a great story of two children overcoming differences and becoming the best of friends who go through alot together. It was definately a tear jerker at the end when the young boys best friend dies. I went through losing a friend when I was in second grade so I could imagine what Jess was going through and the way he was feeling. I would definately recommend this book to young reader and adults alike. Classroom Extension #1: I think this would be a good book to read aloud to the students in the fifth or sixth grade. Some people would be opposed to the idea of reading a book that deals with the subject of death but it's something that is very real. I dont think that students should be sheltered from the subject. The classroom would be a good place to be able to open up a little discussion about how the children would feel and see what they know about the subject.Classroom Extension #2: For a fun activity, I would put the children in groups and have them come up with a fantasy land of their own. They could draw up a picture of what it would look like and draw a map of their land. This could incorporate an art, geography, and language arts lesson. The geography could be drawing the map. Have them incorporate real life map qualities and a legend/key in their map. Once they have drawn their map and a picture of what their fantasy land would be like, they could write one to three paragraphs about what they would do at their made up lands. Let them be creative throughout the assignment.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this book. I was very emotional when Leslie died in the story, but I really liked how it showed the other characters coping with the death. I had a friend die when I was in 5th grade, so I was able to relate to the story, and I am sure other kids could relate to the story like I did.