Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

Bridge to Terabithia

TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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Someone suggested that I read this book in my Recommendations thread, so I decided to bump it up in my list. I suppose it should receive some distinction for being the first recommended book I’ve read through this blog (though not the first attempt; I had to abort reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicle because I ran out of time, and there was a long holds list behind me).

Bridge to Terabithia is a heart-breaking book. It’s about a young boy who makes friends with a new girl at the school, and how they grow together during a single school year. The boy likes to draw, and the girl has a tremendous imagination, so the two of them make a great pair when it comes to Terabithia, an imaginary kingdom for which they are the king and queen. The real story, though, is about the two children and their friendship.

The author captures all of the intricacies of childhood, from the difficulties of school bullies and the importance of image at school, to the jealousies and pettiness that can sometimes arise from a close friendship. She captures it so well that it will take anyone back to when they were nine, and in that respect, I think the book succeeds. It also discusses some heavy issues, and even then, the author manages to make the characters’ reactions honest (sometimes painfully so) and realistic.

I had some trouble with the structure, though. There’s a key element of the book where the main character isn’t there for his friend, and the setup for his absence was a little contrived. And when I say that this is a key element, I mean his absence is the pivotal point of the book, where the plot really develops the conflict. I wish that the device had been a little less intrusive, story-wise, but other than that one aspect, I think that the book is powerful, and deserving of the Newbery award.

I would almost want to classify this as a YA novel, since its theme is so heavy, and might require a more mature mind to process it, but I think that Bridge to Terabithia should be required reading for school-age kids.

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July 12, 2006 - Posted by | Juvenile Fiction, Reviews

2 Comments »

  1. Ooh. I read this book when I was in 6th grade. A few years flew by and I’ve read hundreds of books. This book got me reading. Thanks.

    Comment by Karla ugalino | November 29, 2006 | Reply

  2. This is really a great book I would keep reading but my teacher Mrs.Roman said no beacuse we are reading the book “Bridge to Terabithia” as a class and we are suppose to read the following pages requiered. AMAZING BOOK! THANKS!

    Comment by Sara Sarfraz | January 28, 2007 | Reply


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