Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia
Overview
Themes
Main Characters
Jess Aarons befriends free-spirited Leslie Burke when she moves to his small, rural town. The two invent a magical land, Terabithia, where they have adventures and learn from each other. But when tragedy strikes, Jess must pick up the pieces and stand confidently on his own.
Friendship
Loyal and adventurous friends Jess and Leslie grow and learn together.
Conformity
Leslie inspires Jess to become true to himself rather than conforming to norms.
Courage
With Leslie's help, Jess learns courage means confronting and overcoming fear.
Jess
Artistic, lonely, responsible 10-year-old farm boy inspired by Leslie; loves to run and draw
May Belle
Jess's curious, earnest, loyal 6-year-old sister; longs for her brother's attention
Leslie
Brave, smart, lively, imaginative 10-year-old girl; befriends Jess and creates Terabithia with him
Miss Edmunds
Young, free-spirited, "hippie" music teacher; recognizes and encourages Jess's talent
Symbols
Bridge
Represents Jess's growth by allowing others to enter his world
Rope
Represents the journey from reality to a world of imagination
Terabithia
Symbolizes the innocence and magic of an ideal childhood world
Author
KATHERINE PATERSON BORN 1932
Bridge to Terabithia was inspired by events from Paterson's life, including her itinerant childhood as a daughter of missionaries and the death of her son's childhood friend. Paterson has written more than 30 novels and is known for tackling tough subjects, such as jealousy, death, religion, and persecution.
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