A Story About Yourself: A Review of Bridge to Terabithia

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I confess that I am always excited when we receive a package from amazon. My first thought is, “Can it be a book?”, and many times, it is. The last time we received an amazon package, I found a book called Bridge to Terabithia. I eventually picked it up and started reading.

Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson, is a story about two children, Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke, who create an imaginary kingdom called “Terabithia”. They crown themselves king and queen and become inseparable. But one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jesse is able to accept this tragedy does he understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him.

This book is what you can call “beautiful”. One of the reasons it qualifies as beautiful is because it mixes magic and reality. For example, Janice Avery, the school bully, picks on May Belle, Jesse’s little sister. Janice is then qualified as a giant in Terabithia. To avenge May Belle, they go into the magical “Sacred Grove” and call upon the supernatural “Spirits.” The result of mixing magic and reality gave the book a happy yet melancholy aura. I was very impressed, because doing this in a way that doesn’t seem phony can be difficult.

Bridge to Terabithia is also classified “beautiful” because it has a certain feeling of depth. The situation and the people feel very real, though what the people are doing or what they are thinking may not seem so every-day. Leslie’s parents walk away from a life of money to live on a farm. Though this may seem bizarre, it seems perfectly natural for Leslie’s parents to do so, because they have certain particularities that become more evident as the book goes on. The situation also seems life-like, but mainly because the character’s personalities are suited to it. Jesse’s school is hostile to him, and the school is pictured as ugly. But if everybody in Jesse’s ugly school were friendly, the book would feel insincere. Paterson does a great job making this book feel real.

This book also has a concept that I took personally. In the book, Jesse doesn’t think he has much courage or strength. He basically has very low self-esteem. He probably doesn’t do his best, because he doesn’t realize that he can do better. And sometimes, we can be in the same situation. It can be extremely depressing. But after the tragedy occurs, Jesse realizes all the strength and courage that Leslie has given him. Sadly enough, sometimes we don’t realize the potential we have until something horrible happens. To prevent this happening, we must realize that we have the potential to do anything—we just have to work hard. This concept might help us a lot. So I will say, “Thank you, Katherine Paterson!”

I truly enjoyed this book. I sincerely hope you will find the time to read the honest tale of Bridge to Terabithia. It is not difficult to read, so any nine-year-old will have no problem. At the end of the book, Katherine Paterson writes, “Terabithia is more inside than outside you.” I totally agree: this book was like the story of my own self.

You can buy the book here.

Ages: 10+

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