Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)

Goodreads summary:

Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone.

That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.


I re-read this book because my grade fours are doing it for their Battle of the Books. It isn't often I re-read books. This one seemed to bring out more emotions reading it for the second time (or is it the third?)

I love how this book introduces kids to big issues: death, gender stereotyping, abuse, etc. It is interesting to me, however, that when we met to discuss it my grade four students didn't really touch on those big issues. They aren't really what the book is about though. They are just part of the story. Perhaps they didn't bring those things up in our discussion because they haven't the experience of loss in their life, yet. Not sure. 

For me, I really identified with Jess. The world falls out from under his feet when Leslie is gone. I was sad that he never got to see her body. I loved how his parents were gentle with him when Leslie was gone. I loved how it ends with him sharing the magic of Terabithia with his little sister. 

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