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Jess is determined to be the fastest kid in his fifth-grade class, and to that end, he's been diligently practicing the entire summer. His plans are upset, however, when Leslie, his new next-door neighbor, turns out to be faster than he is. Initially upset at this turn of events, Jess soon comes to value Leslie as a friend, and the two create an imaginary secret kingdom called Terabithia, and install themselves as king and queen. Terabithia, which can only be reached by swinging on a rope across a creek bed, is a haven for the two friends, a place where they can be safe from the problems that confront them in the real world, and where they can let their imaginations run wild. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes one morning as Leslie attempts to travel to Terabithia alone, and then Jess is forced to come to terms with the results of that tragedy.
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