Bridge to Terabithia

Overview

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and ...

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Overview

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed.

In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This paperback isn't just a movie tie-in; it's a reprint of a superb Newbery Medal-winning novel. Bridge to Terabithia records the blossoming of the unlikely friendship between Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke and its tragic aftermath. Katherine Patterson's graceful intertwining of fantasy and realistic psychology has touched readers ever since the book's 1977 release.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paterson's Newbery-winning novel becomes an entertaining and dramatic audiobook via Leonard's accomplished reading. Jess Aarons is eager to start fifth grade. He's been practicing his sprints all summer, determined to become the fastest runner at school. All seems to be on track, until the new girl in class (who also happens to be Jess's new next-door neighbor), Leslie Burke, leaves all the boys in the dust, including Jess. After this rather frustrating introduction, Jess and Leslie soon become inseparable. Together, they create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever. Leonard deftly interprets the strands of humor, realism and heart-wrenching emotion woven into Paterson's fine tale. His careful and authentic handling of Jess's anger and grief in the aftermath of the accident is sure to touch listeners. Contemporary instrumental interludes featuring guitar, piano and drums signal the beginning and end of each tape side. Ages 9-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Just like their print partners, audiobook publishers have movie tie-in fever. Moviegoers/listeners can catch unabridged recordings of the popular tales that inspired current (or soon-to-be-released) family flicks Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, read by the author; Eragon by Christopher Paolini, read by Gerard Doyle; Beatrix Potter Favorite Tales: The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemimah Puddle-Duck Read Along Book & CD read by Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor; and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, read by Robert Sean Leonard (film scheduled for February 16, 2007, release). All recordings but Peter Rabbit have been previously released, and all four of these selections feature packaging that showcases artwork from their respective films. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr. practices all summer so that he can be the fastest runner in his rural Virginia fifth-grade class. Despite his practice, however, he loses the race on the first day of school to Leslie Burke, the new girl in school whose hippy parents have moved from Washington, DC. Despite Jesse's lost running dream, he becomes fast friends with Leslie. Together they build the imaginary kingdom of Terabitia in the woods. To Jesse, Leslie is "more than his friend. She was his other more exciting self—his way to Terabithia and all the worlds beyond." When Jesse's favorite teacher takes him to see the art museums in Washington one rainy day, he returns home to find his world permanently changed by tragedy—Leslie's death. Despite his heartache, Jesse moves forward, a stronger and more whole individual for his friendship with Leslie. Written by the author for her then young son whose best friend was killed by lightning, this Newbery Medal winner moves the heart and spirit with its beautiful writing, wrenching honesty, and hopeful ending. 2005 (orig. 1977), HarperCollins, Ages 9 to 12.
—Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
Jesse's colorless rural world expands when he becomes fast friends with Leslie, the new girl in school. But when Leslie drowns trying to reach their special hideaway, Terabithia, Jesse struggles to accept the loss of his friend. A Newbery Medal winner. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439044776
  • Publisher: Scholastic Teaching Resources
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Read an Excerpt

Bridge to Terabithia

Chapter One

Jesse Oliver Aarons, Yr.

Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity—Good. His dad had the pickup going. He could get up now. Jess slid out of bed and into his overalls. He didn't worry about a shirt because once he began running he would be hot as popping grease even if the morning air was chill, or shoes because the, bottoms of his feet were by now as tough as his worn-out sneakers.

ere you going, Jess?" May Belle lifted herself up sleepily from the double bed where she and Joyce Ann slept.

"Sh." He warned. The walls were thin. Momma would be mad as flies in a fruit jar if they woke her up this time of day.

He patted May Belle's hair and yanked the twisted sheet up to her small chin. "Just over the cow field," he whispered. May Belle smiled and snuggled down under the- sheet.

"Gonna run?"

"Maybe."

Of course he was going to run. He had. gotten up early every day all summer to run. He figured if he worked at itand Lord, had he worked-he could be- the fastest runner in the fifth grade when school opened up. He had to be the fastest-not one of the fastest or next to the fastest, but the fastest. The very best.

He tiptoed out of the house. The place was so rattly that it screeched whenever you put your foot down, but Jess had found that if you tiptoed, it gave only a low moan, and he could usually get outdoors without waking Momma or Ellie or Brenda or Joyce Ann. May Belle was another matter. She was going on seven, and she worshiped him, which was OK sometimes. When you were the only boy smashed between four sisters, and the oldertwo had despised you ever since you stopped letting them dress you up and wheel you around in their rusty old doll carriage, and the littlest one.cried if you looked at ther cross-eyed, it was nice to have somebody who worshiped you. Even if it got unhandy sometimes.

He began to trot across the yard. His breath, was coming out in little puffs—cold for August. But it was early yet. By noontime when his mom would have him out working, it would be hot enough.

Miss Bessie stared at him sleepily as he climbed across the scrap heap, over the fence, and into the cow field. "Moo—oo," she said, looking for all the world like another May Belle with her big, brown droopy eyes.

"Hey, Miss Bessie," Jess said soothingly. "Just go on back to sleep."

Miss Bessie strolled over to a greenish patch-most of the field was brown and dry-and yanked up a mouthful.

"That'a girl. Just eat your breakfast. Don't pay me no mind."

He always started at the northwest comer of the field, crouched over like the runners he had seen on Wide World of Sports.

"Bang," he said, and took off flying around the cow field. Miss Bessie strolled toward the center, still following him with her droopy eyes, chewing slowly. She didn't look very smart, even for a cow, but she was plenty bright enough to get out of Jess's way.

His straw-colored hair flapped hard against his forehead, and his arms and legs flew out every which way. He had never learned to run properly, but he was long-legged for a tenyear-old, and no one had more grit than he.

Lark Creek Elementary was short on everything, especially athletic equipment, so all the balls went to the upper grades at recess time after lunch. Even if a fifth grader started out the period with a ball, it was sure to be in the hands of a sixth or seventh grader before the hour was half over. The older boys always took the dry center of the upper field for

their ball games, while the girls claimed the small top section for hopscotch and jump rope and hanging around talking. So the lower-grade boys had started this running thing. They would all line up on the far side of the lower field, where it was either muddy or deep crusty ruts. Earle Watson who was no good at running, but had, a big mouth, would yell "Bang!" and they'd race to a line they'd- toed across at the other end.

One time last year Jesse had won. Not just I the first heat but the whole shebang. Only once. But it had put into his mouth a. taste for winning. Ever since he'd been in first grade he'd been that "crazy little kid that draws all the time." But one day—April the twenty-second, a drizzly Monday, it had been-he ran ahead of them all, the red mud slooching up through the holes in the bottom of his sneakers..

For the rest of that day, and until after lunch on the next, he had been "the fastest kid in- the third, fourth, and fifth grades," and he only a fourth grader. On Tuesday, Wayne Pettis had won again as usual.. But this year Wayne Pettis would be in the sixth grade. He'd play football until Christmas and baseball until June with the rest of the big guys. Anybody had a chance to be the fastest runner and by, Miss Bessie, this year it was going to be Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.

Jess pumped his arms harder and bent his head for thedistant fence. He could hear the third-grade boys screaminghim on. They would follow him around like a country-musicstar. And May Belle would pop her buttons. Her brother wasthe fastest, the best. That ought to give the rest of the firstgrade de something to chew their cuds on.

Even his dad would be proud. Jess rounded the corner. He couldn't keep going quite so fast, but he continued running for a while—it would, build him up.

Bridge to Terabithia. Copyright © by Katherine Paterson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

1 Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr. 1
2 Leslie Burke 9
3 The Fastest Kid in the Fifth Grade 19
4 Rulers of Terabithia 29
5 The Giant Killers 48
6 The Coming of Prince Terrien 57
7 The Golden Room 65
8 Easter 78
9 The Evil Spell 86
10 The Perfect Day 94
11 No! 103
12 Stranded 111
13 Building the Bridge 118
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First Chapter

Bridge to Terabithia (rack)
Chapter One


Jesse Oliver Aarons, Yr.


Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity--Good. His dad had the pickup going. He could get up now. Jess slid out of bed and into his overalls. He didn't worry about a shirt because once he began running he would be hot as popping grease even if the morning air was chill, or shoes because the, bottoms of his feet were by now as tough as his worn-out sneakers.

ere you going, Jess?" May Belle lifted herself up sleepily from the double bed where she and Joyce Ann slept.

"Sh." He warned. The walls were thin. Momma would be mad as flies in a fruit jar if they woke her up this time of day.

He patted May Belle's hair and yanked the twisted sheet up to her small chin. "Just over the cow field," he whispered. May Belle smiled and snuggled down under the- sheet.

"Gonna run?"

"Maybe."

Of course he was going to run. He had. gotten up early every day all summer to run. He figured if he worked at itand Lord, had he worked-he could be- the fastest runner in the fifth grade when school opened up. He had to be the fastest-not one of the fastest or next to the fastest, but the fastest. The very best.

He tiptoed out of the house. The place was so rattly that it screeched whenever you put your foot down, but Jess had found that if you tiptoed, it gave only a low moan, and he could usually get outdoors without waking Momma or Ellie or Brenda or Joyce Ann. May Belle was another matter. She was going on seven, and she worshiped him, which was OK sometimes. When you were the only boy smashed between four sisters, and the older two had despised you ever since you stopped letting them dress you up and wheel you around in their rusty old doll carriage, and the littlest one.cried if you looked at ther cross-eyed, it was nice to have somebody who worshiped you. Even if it got unhandy sometimes.

He began to trot across the yard. His breath, was coming out in little puffs--cold for August. But it was early yet. By noontime when his mom would have him out working, it would be hot enough.

Miss Bessie stared at him sleepily as he climbed across the scrap heap, over the fence, and into the cow field. "Moo--oo," she said, looking for all the world like another May Belle with her big, brown droopy eyes.

"Hey, Miss Bessie," Jess said soothingly. "Just go on back to sleep."

Miss Bessie strolled over to a greenish patch-most of the field was brown and dry-and yanked up a mouthful.

"That'a girl. Just eat your breakfast. Don't pay me no mind."

He always started at the northwest comer of the field, crouched over like the runners he had seen on Wide World of Sports.

"Bang," he said, and took off flying around the cow field. Miss Bessie strolled toward the center, still following him with her droopy eyes, chewing slowly. She didn't look very smart, even for a cow, but she was plenty bright enough to get out of Jess's way.

His straw-colored hair flapped hard against his forehead, and his arms and legs flew out every which way. He had never learned to run properly, but he was long-legged for a tenyear-old, and no one had more grit than he.

Lark Creek Elementary was short on everything, especially athletic equipment, so all the balls went to the upper grades at recess time after lunch. Even if a fifth grader started out the period with a ball, it was sure to be in the hands of a sixth or seventh grader before the hour was half over. The older boys always took the dry center of the upper field for

their ball games, while the girls claimed the small top section for hopscotch and jump rope and hanging around talking. So the lower-grade boys had started this running thing. They would all line up on the far side of the lower field, where it was either muddy or deep crusty ruts. Earle Watson who was no good at running, but had, a big mouth, would yell "Bang!" and they'd race to a line they'd- toed across at the other end.

One time last year Jesse had won. Not just I the first heat but the whole shebang. Only once. But it had put into his mouth a. taste for winning. Ever since he'd been in first grade he'd been that "crazy little kid that draws all the time." But one day--April the twenty-second, a drizzly Monday, it had been-he ran ahead of them all, the red mud slooching up through the holes in the bottom of his sneakers..

For the rest of that day, and until after lunch on the next, he had been "the fastest kid in- the third, fourth, and fifth grades," and he only a fourth grader. On Tuesday, Wayne Pettis had won again as usual.. But this year Wayne Pettis would be in the sixth grade. He'd play football until Christmas and baseball until June with the rest of the big guys. Anybody had a chance to be the fastest runner and by, Miss Bessie, this year it was going to be Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.

Jess pumped his arms harder and bent his head for thedistant fence. He could hear the third-grade boys screaminghim on. They would follow him around like a country-musicstar. And May Belle would pop her buttons. Her brother wasthe fastest, the best. That ought to give the rest of the firstgrade de something to chew their cuds on.

Even his dad would be proud. Jess rounded the corner. He couldn't keep going quite so fast, but he continued running for a while--it would, build him up.

Bridge to Terabithia (rack). Copyright © by Katherine Paterson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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