Bridge To Terabithia | Book Review

It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.
― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

About the Author:

Image Source: Katherine Paterson

Katherine Womeldorf Paterson (born October 31, 1932) is a Chinese-born American writer best known for children’s novels, including Bridge to Terabithia. For four different books published 1975-1980, she won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. She is one of four people to win the two major international awards; for “lasting contribution to children’s literature” she won the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing in 1998 and for her career contribution to “children’s and young adult literature in the broadest sense” she won the Astrid LindgrenMemorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council in 2006, the biggest monetary prize in children’s literature. {Wikipedia}


Novel, Children’s literature, Young adult fiction {Courtesy of Google}

My Thoughts:

“You’re the proverbial diamond in the rough.”
― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

Originally published on 21 October 1977, Bridge to Terabithia is a wonderfully penned novel putting forward themes like friendship and family dynamics in the most poignant and beautiful of manners. It follows the story of two ten year olds, a country boy, Jesse and a young girl from the city, Leslie. The story proceeds to describe their lives, with a more prominent emphasis on Jesse and his family, the adventures the two have together and their experiences at school.

I love how the author has written the book from Jesse’s perspective, it certainly adds a more vivid dimension as the story unfolds and the reader gets to see deeper into his personal life and friendship with Leslie. Soon, the reader is introduced to the fictional land of Terabithia that provides an escape to both the friends and soon, to the reader themselves. Terabithia’s atmosphere and the magical charm it exudes has been so magnificently portrayed that the book itself feels different in those parts.

“We need a place,” she said, “just for us. It would be so secret that we would never tell anyone in the whole world about it.” … She lowered her voice almost to a whisper. “It might be a whole secret country,” she continued, “and you and I would be the rulers of it.”
― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

I also enjoyed the stark differences between Jesse’s and Leslie’s characters and the way they get along well in spite of them. As much as I enjoyed reading along their journey and school drama, I also wish Jesse’s sisters and parents were also given distinct characters. The school kids are all given vague descriptions that are convincing and fun to read through. Jesse’s younger sister too, adds an element of cute and tender drama to the whole story.

“Ain’t ‘cha gonna run?” she asked.
“No,” he said, shoving the sheet away. “I’m gonna fly.”
― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

Like most readers, I too was left heartbroken and maybe a tad disappointed at the sudden and devastating end. While the title made sense in an incredibly hard-hitting manner, I would have preferred it to end in a more gradual way. Jesse’s handling of the incident is so poignant and heart breaking, I think it was such an authentic depiction of how grief can affect a boy as young as 10.

The author’s writing style and use of language is gorgeous and that, coupled with an uncluttered, novel and realistic storyline, this book is an absolute beauty. It’s the kind that makes sorrow appear magical and beautiful in a sad way.

“Shh,” he said. “Look.”
“Can’t you see’um?” he whispered. “All the Terabithians standing on tiptoe to see you.”
“Shh, yes. There’s a rumor going around that the beautiful girl arrving today might be the queen they’ve been waiting for.”
― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia


18 thoughts on “Bridge To Terabithia | Book Review

  1. Ah, I didn’t even know Bridge To Terabithia was a book! I’ve seen the movie (I’m pretty sure I’m thinking of the same story) and it was tragic. I’ll have to look into the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never read this book, but I really want to after my best friend recommended it to me. This review was really well-written, and I think its made me want to read it even more. It sounds so sad though, so I’d better remember to have my tissues handy whilst I read…lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, so this kind of scares me, because I finished the book last week, and was planning a review for it on Saturday 0.0
    But anyway, I loved the book, and your review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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