Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterchild is a novel that has actually resonated through more than one generation of children. It has actually been check out and also taught for years, and also also newly made into a movement photo. Much of the power of the book, the reason it has been loved by both students and teachers, lies in the themes woven throughout the narrative. These themes are vital and main to our very own lives, poignant on global fears and experiences prefer fatality and friendship, and also are determined by teachers that wish to teach lessons about bullying and also various other concerns. This write-up explores the book’s significant themes, identifying and describing just how each is revealed over the course of the story.

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Note: This conversation draws from every part of the book, and also so has spoilers for those that haven’t read it yet.

Friendship and Giving

Most of the story revolves around the thriving friendship between Jess and Leslie, and also the affect it has actually on their lives. Their friendship is a healthy one, in which they encourage each various other to thrive and try new points and also face their fears. At the exact same time, their friendship is a refuge from real-human being troubles, such as Jess’s disputes through his father and Leslie’s aliecountry at school. With Each Other they are more powerful than as soon as they are apart, able to work via their troubles utilizing their combined imagination.

In this novel, friendship is greatly established by the act of offering. Leslie portrays this in the method she uses a stick of gum to those she wishes to befriend, such as Jess and later Janice Aextremely. Giving is additionally a crucial component of Jess and Leslie’s friendship—their thoughtful Christmas gifts to each other assist cement their growing bond. Friendship in this book is not gained through selfish acts, however via caring and compassion and selflessness.


The act of creativity plays a main role in Bridge to Terabithia. Whenever before Jess and Leslie enrespond to obstacles in their real resides, they escape to the fantasy civilization of Terabithia. But quite than utilizing this fantasy as merely a means out, they usage it to job-related through their troubles. A schoolyard bully becomes a menacing troll, for instance, and also only after facing dvery own that troll are Jess and Leslie able to challenge down the bully herself.

Terabithia enables the protagonists to be themselves, to imagine new possibilities for their real-people resides. After Leslie’s death, it is the imaginary land of Terabithia that helps Jess heal and accept the loss. In this novel, imagination is not simply an escape, yet a way to address and also learn to understand reality (much as the novel itself is an imaginary story intended to help civilization much better understand also real themes choose this one).

Accepting Differences

Both the major protagonists in this novel are various, set apart from their peers and also families. Jess’s family members is bad, and he is its only boy and also enjoys tasks they think about feminine. Leslie is the brand-new girl, which sets her apart appropriate ameans, and also her habits and the ideas of her household (not allowing television, for example) proceed to alienate her. It is no surprise that they befrifinish each other, each able to accept the other’s distinctions. Leslie and her family are some of the initially to truly accept Jess’s gift for illustration, and also Jess is the only kid in the school able to look beyond Leslie’s often odd appearance and also actions to the perchild underneath.

Miss Edmunds, the music teacher, also plays a central role in both the novel and this theme. She is very various from the other teachers in the institution, in the method she dresses, teaches, and also acts. She tries to teach her students they are totally free to be themselves, specifically in the songs she chooses to sing, and also likewise accepts Jess’s gift for drawing and also Leslie’s distinctions. Both Jess and Leslie are attracted to Miss Edmunds, maybe bereason they watch her as the sort of adult they want to be, who isn’t afrassist to display the civilization that she really is.


In Bridge to Terabithia the characters are afrassist of many kind of points. They are afrassist of being outcasts, of not being able to attach with their peers and households. Jess fears his family’s poverty and also his father’s disdain. In reality, a lot of the are afraid throughout the novel originates from Jess, and also it is generally Leslie that helps him work via it. More than once he thinks of himself as a coward, and also is initially afraid to swing throughout the river into the woods wbelow they create their imaginary kingdom. But with Leslie’s aid Jess gains courage, and is able to connect with the various other characters (Miss Edmunds, Janice Aexceptionally, his father) in methods he couldn’t before. In the end he should likewise get rid of his fear of fatality, as he faces the loss of Leslie herself.


For a children’s book this novel is unusual, dealing as it does via the death of among the primary personalities. Jess goes via many emovements after Leslie’s fatality, consisting of shock, denial, selfishness, anger, despair, and also grief. At initially he refoffers to also believe she is gone, however he is forced again and aobtain to confront this fact and also resolve it. One method he encounters the loss is by building the bridge over the creek, dealing with his are afraid of it head-on and ensuring that no one else will need to go via the very same ordeal he did. He also provides new bonds, with both his father and also his sister May Belle, to replace the friendship he had actually in Leslie. By the end of the novel he is able to look forward, not concentrating on his grief but on his future possibilities.

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This short article is part of the series: Study Guides for Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia is a novel frequently taught in elementary and also junior high institutions, provided to illustrate a variety of literary themes. These guides help to define the prestige of the novel and also cover its significant personalities and concepts, and offering a chapter by chapter synopsis.