Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Genre: Preteen Fiction
Published in 1977
Recommended Age Group: 10 and Up
Summary: This Newbery Medal book is a story about Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke and their wonderful friendship. They didn’t start out as friends and it wasn’t an immediate attraction either. Jess was about to begin his fifth grade year and had practiced the whole summer to be the fastest runner in the school. Leslie Burke and her family moved in next door. Leslie decided that they should be friends. At first Jess wasn’t interested. He became even less interested when Leslie beat him and every other boy in the school in a race. After Leslie has a particularly hard day at school Jess befriends her and they become fast friends. Together with the help of Leslie’s vivid imagination they create Terabithia a magical place in the woods where they go to play. Near the end of the book there is a tragic accident and Jess must decide what to do about his future and the future of Terabithia. He comes to grips with what happened and moves on to be a better boy and friend to those around him.
Personal Notes: A great book for boys or girls. Interesting and believable this story captures the imagination and the heart. I especially liked the part about the fort in the woods. All kids love forts and building fun places to play in and I think this element helps hold the reader’s interest. The ending although sad is also uplifting and enjoyable. This book is definitely worthy of the Newbery Medal.