Banned Book: Bridge to Terabithia

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Harper Collins Publishers published Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson in 1977. The book contains illustrations by Donna Diamond. Bridge to Terabithia is the story of Jess Aarons, the only boy in a house full of sisters living in rural Virginia. Jess has dreams of becoming the fastest kid in the fifth grade until his new next-door neighbor, Leslie Burke changes all that by winning the races herself. Despite this, the two become fast friends, creating their own little land of Terabithia where they imagine that as king and queen, they fight off giants and invaders in their land. Leslie helps Jess to find strength and self-confidence while nurturing his imagination. When Leslie dies in an accident while visiting their land alone, Jess must deal with losing the only real friend he has ever had. Patterson writes Bridge to Terabithia from a third person with a limited point of view. The reader has access to Jess's personal thoughts and feelings and the entire story is told from his point of view. The reader must infer the thoughts and feelings of other characters, including Leslie, by their dialogue and Jess's own inferences. For example, while he is on a trip to Washington with a favorite teacher, the reader has no idea what is happening in the river by his house. The shock of Leslie's death is as real to the reader as it is to Jess. The main characters in Bridge to Terabithia are very well developed and dynamic. As Jess faces all the differences Leslie brings to his life, he grows as a character and he discovers he is far braver than he thought he ever could be. Leslie brings new experiences and strength to Jess without knowing she is the reason for his new bravery. She finds her own compassion after the pair play a mean trick on another girl who they both initially felt deserved the embarrassment they caused. Leslie surprises Jess by the amount of remorse

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