Bridge to Terabithia is a children’s literature piece by the author Katherine Paterson. It was published in 1977. The book is about two children who struggle to fit in, and hence, they create an imaginary magical kingdom in the forest. The book was later adapted into film twice, latest by Disney in 2007.
A Brief Synopsis of the Book
Jess Aarons lives in the town Lark Creek and leads a tough life. He loves drawing and also running. However, he feels alone with no friends. He does not belong to his home, and he can only relate to his younger sibling, May Belle. He is joining fifth grade and intends to win a race against the other members of his class. However, on his first day, a newcomer by the name Leslie joins the race and outruns everyone. Jess is disappointed, but later becomes friends with her.
They are both outsiders, and hence, they start spending large amounts of time with each other. They visit a section of a forest that was nearby and make it theirs even calling it Terabithia. It could only be accessed by swinging across a stream using an old rope dangling from a tree. They become Terabithia’s royalty. Janice, May Belle’s bully, steals the latter’s twinkies. Leslie and Jess exact vengeance for Belle by use of a forged love letter to publicly embarrass Janice.
Some months pass by, and Christmas arrives. Jess acquires a dog, and he makes him a member of the kingdom. He also goes over to Leslie’s house to help her father with fixing their new house. The two realize that Janice was still unhappy from their prank and they devise a plan which meant comforting her.
During Easter, it rains hard, and crossing to Terabithia becomes difficult. Leslie joins Jess’s family for the religious service, and the children discuss whether not believing in Bible teachings will result in hell.
By the end of that month, Jess realizes that crossing to Terabithia is dangerous due to downpour. He then forgets about it while in a music session. Miss Edmund, their music teacher, asks Jess to accompany her for a museum tour. They explore for some time, and Jess Aarons is having a great day. After returning, Jess discovers that Leslie tried crossing the creek for Terabithia while Jess was absent and she had died while trying to swing across.
Jess cannot believe it. He visits Leslie’s home and bonds with her dog. Jess comes to terms with what he had lost but also appreciates the time he had with her. He returns to Terabithia, but Mae Belle goes after him, almost falling in the creek too. Jess rescues her. He returns a second time and constructs a wooden passage above the creek. Mae Belle follows again, and Jess welcomingly makes her part of their kingdom.