Author: Katherine Paterson
Illustrator: Donna Diamond
Publication date: January 1, 1977
Number of pages: 176
Jesse Aarons is a eleven-year boy who lives in England, he loves running. his dream is to be the fasted boy from year five out of his class. When school starts in the fall, feeling that this is his change to be in the spotlights amomg his five sisters, he might aswell will get more attention of his preocupied dad. Jess is realy insecure about his identety. He likes painting and drawing, but he dosn’t realise that other people bully him for likeing those things. including his dad. In addition, his family is stretched so tight by poverty that he has little chance to really explore his own identity during this crucial period of adolescence. He has therefore built up the importance of winning in his mind, feeling that here, at least, is something that he is good at which won’t win him an undesired label of “sissy” in the eyes of his father or schoolmates, and which will allow him to shine in his own right. He practices each morning, always dreaming of his upcoming victory. However, when the races come around at recess, a new girl, Leslie Burke, who just moved next door to Jess, boldly crosses to the boys’ side of the playground and beats everyone.
A rather unpromising start, but Jess en Leslie became friends realy quikly. They builded a secrect fantasy place accros the creek in the woods, named Terabithia, where they play everytime. This place makes them forget that the rest of the world exist. Like the kids at school or Jess’s family. The time they spend in Terabithia, in fact, seems to strengthen them for these trials of everyday life: it is there that they map out a plan of revenge on the school bully when she steals May Belle’s Twinkies, and it is there that they discuss Jess’s feelings of insecurity when Leslie begins to draw closer to her father. Leslie also introduces Jess to the world of imagenation and creativity. Telling him the stories of such classics of literature as Moby Dick and Hamlet. All of this made Jess’s artestic talent stronger, Leslie Supports his ambition and, through the stories she tells, provides him with great subject matter. But much of the time they play wonderful games of their own invention-defeating intruders on Terabithian territory, praying to the Spirits of the Grove to end a long spell of rain, and numerous other fantasies.
However, Jess and Leslie’s friendship, although centered in Terabithia, is not limited to Terabithia.They see each other at school, where they have a ribbing of fun for their diffrents in gender, but now Leslie dosn’t have the feeling to tease Jess now, and Leslie is never particularly bothered by what others think. At home, they celebrated together on holiday, such as Christmas, when Jess gives Leslie a puppy and she gives him an expensive art set to his artistic talent to develop. At Easter, when Jess goes to the Church he takes Leslie with her. Leslie is impressed by the beauty of the story of Christ.
One day there music teacher at school, Miss Edmunds, who Jess realy likes, invites him to go with her to the art galleries in washington. This trip does a lot for his spirit to expand and make him feel as if he is special, a feeling that he only had when he was whit Leslie. Jess has a perfect day, but when he comes home, he’s told that Leslie drowned in the Creek that morning trying to sway in Terabithia on the rope that they used to get to Terabithia. Jess is completely devastated and goes through the stages of denial, anger, fear and tears incredibly painful to suffer and, indeed, to read about. Initially he does not see how he is in the first place. Leslie has him raised to new heights as the King of Terabithia, and now he feels that without her, he has no choice but to return to the old Jess, plagued by fear and uncertainty. But in the end he realizes that he just Leslie’s memory, and his own newly discovered sense of self, live by the continuation of the fantasy of Terabithia. He brings his little sister May Belle there and makes her the new Queen, make sure that a part of Leslie will live as well.
Jesse Oliver: The main character. Jess is a guy from year five at his school. He is lonely because he likes art, people at his school call him sassy. Then a girl arrives at his school named Leslie Burke. She became the fasted runner at their school, something that Jesse always dreamed of. Jess en Leslie become best friends. Jess is very talented in art.
Leslie Burke: Jesse’s new neighbour and best friend she is a realy intelligent girl. She came with the idea to create there own fantasyland named Terabithia. Leslie’s family is well educated in diffrent then the rest of the neighbours, esecially Jess’s neigbours.
For me the theme of the book is friendship, because its all about the friendly relationship between Jess and Leslie. They both have the same hobbies, for example they both like running.
My opinion of this book is that its a good book, i realy enjoyed reading it. Especially the bond between Jess and Leslie, They proof that a boy and a girl can be friends.