Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

82%

17 Critic Reviews

Paterson, who has already earned regard with her historical fiction set in Japan, proves to be just as eloquent and assured when dealing with contemporary American children--and Americans of very different backgrounds at that.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

This Newbery Medal-winning novel by bestselling author Katherine Paterson is a modern classic of friendship and loss.

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

In addition to being a Newbery Medal winner, Bridge to Terabithia was also named an ALA Notable Children's Book and has become a touchstone of children's literature, as have many of Katherine Paterson's other novels, including The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

 

About Katherine Paterson

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Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.
 
Published March 3, 2009 by HarperCollins. 180 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Bridge to Terabithia
All: 17 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 26 2011

Paterson, who has already earned regard with her historical fiction set in Japan, proves to be just as eloquent and assured when dealing with contemporary American children--and Americans of very different backgrounds at that.

Read Full Review of Bridge to Terabithia | See more reviews from Kirkus

Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Mari Ness on Sep 25 2013

It’s a real book. It’s a painful book. It’s a book where the kids don’t really get to go to their fantasy land. And so, it’s been banned. Even as some of us hope that in some reality, Leslie did get to go to Terabithia.

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Kidz World

Excellent
Reviewed by KidzWorld on Feb 15 2007

Bridge to Terabithia is a tear-jerking story about friendship, courage, imagination and loss. It covers some pretty adult topics while still remaining a great kids' read. This book was first released way back in 1977 but it's a timeless story that's sure to become one of your faves...

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Thommy Ford Kids

Good
Reviewed by Dana on Mar 14 2012

Bridge to Terabithia is a great friendship story, but it also deals with the struggles many children face: bullies, family dynamics, and fears. If you’re looking for a story that might make you cry, this one’s for you.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bonus_Weetee67 on May 15 2015

To further that point, fiction should go along with truth. In her book, Bridge to Terabithia, she does an excellent job of bringing the two together....The fact that her novels are real and fiction and she does a great job blending them together makes her novels good reads.

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Brothers Judd

Above average
Reviewed by Brothers Judd on Aug 12 2001

Ms Paterson handles the situation quite beautifully and affords a real opportunity for parents to discuss the matter of death with their kids...Reading the book is a difficult emotional experience, but better to first confront these emotions in a controlled fictional setting and begin to learn how to deal with them...

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Story Snoops

Above average
Reviewed by Shannon on May 17 2015

This beautifully written classic is a poignant story about the power and beauty of friendship...Imagination and creativity are celebrated. Language is mild (d-mn, h-ll). Leslie dies in an accident, and the shock and sadness of the death is wrenching. Jess works through his grief and comes out a stronger person in the end.

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Reading Lark

Above average
Reviewed by Julie on Mar 06 2014

Bridge to Terabithia is equal parts fantasy (before fantasy was cool! ;) ) and reality, with it's imagined land of Terabithia that Jess and Leslie escape to each day after school and the very real problems they deal with in their everyday lives. It's a Newbery winner for a reason and Paterson's writing is both plain and powerful.

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Fantasy Faction

Good
Reviewed by Maria L Hughes on Jun 15 2013

No matter how you might feel about this book, it definitely manages to show some literary beauty, and tells a sad story in such a unique and interesting spin, and all with a focus around children! It is definitely a book worth the time, and you can even make it a project of reading the book with your child (if you have one)...

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Everyday eBook

Good
Reviewed by Kristin Fritz on Sep 09 2012

As a young reader, one is introduced to grief -- and yet learns to reconcile grief with gratitude, as Jess finds warmth in his heart for the short time Leslie was part of his life...If you've not read it, read it now. If you have read it, revisit it. Read it and revisit it and then share one of the most beautiful heartbreaks you'll ever experience.

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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Good
Reviewed by Literary Feline on Nov 13 2007

The story, while sad, still remains hopeful. It is a simple story, uncomplicated, and very much one for children. I can see why so many, young and old, love this book. It is a story of friendship and love, of imagination and stepping outside of oneself and taking risks. The magic of this book can be found in the hearts of the characters.

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Kidsmomo

Excellent
Reviewed by Caroline on Jun 15 2014

Jess Aarons is the fastest kid at school.One day he comes upon a new girl at school named Leslie Burke from there it just formed an inseparable friendship.Together they create a kingdom in the woods where the two make up stories and imaginations when in the morning a terrible tragedy occurs.

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Shelf Awareness

Excellent
on Dec 14 2015

This bittersweet story shows how joy and pain are inextricably linked, and that no matter how difficult it may seem to go on without a loved one, there is always a way to honor their memory and the gifts they’ve left behind.

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Book Coasters

Good
Reviewed by Shirley Williams on Oct 28 2011

Bridge to Terabithia is not a soppy novel about a boy and girl friendship; it is a gripping and memorable story that evokes emotions and provides insights into death and grieving.

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Of Books and Boys

Good
Reviewed by Wendy on Aug 25 2015

This was a tour-de-force. It was a magnificent book. I can't wait to finish the book with Sean and see whether it moves him as much as it moved me. I can't wait to attempt to weave such emotional gold in my own novels.

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Nerdy Book Club

Above average
Reviewed by Tara Smith on Jun 05 2014

As the funny lady in the long ago sitcom said: I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. Since I read it along with my daughter who was in fifth grade at the time, I could see that she had the very same response.

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Ephemeral Pursuits

Excellent
Reviewed by Nick on Mar 16 2012

Weighing in at a scant 128 pages, the reader will be astonished by how powerful the story is in its compactness...I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, but suffice it to say that I recommend every reader, no matter how old, to read Bridge to Terabithia at least once.

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Reader Rating for Bridge to Terabithia
85%

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