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Publisher's Summary

Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone.That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together, they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.

Then one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him.

©1974 Katherine Paterson (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

  • Newbery Medal, 1978

"Paterson's Newbery-winning novel becomes an entertaining and dramatic audiobook via Leonard's accomplished reading." ( Publishers Weekly)
"This children's classic has been recorded several times, but Robert Sean Leonard has crafted a recording that earns its place among the best." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I read this book because my grandson is reading it in school (he is a junior). I thought it was a beautiful story of a growing friendship, cut off by tragedy, and the mourning process. It was well told, the voice was very nice, and, even as an old lady, I really enjoyed reading it.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Don't wait to discover this classic

I was a sensitive kid (I hated watching Road Runner and Trix commercials because of the unfairness of it all). I played with a pack of little boys, and I knew the worst thing that could happen to a person was for someone to see you cry. When friends were reading Bridge to Terabithia and reporting it as a sad, sad story, but very, very good, I ran away from it as hard as I could. We even played Terabithia in the woods together and I pretended not to mind not knowing the back story. Now I wish I hadn't waited 30 years to read this book. There's pain here, true, but also beauty and the hidden memory of what it was like to be 10 years old. I would recommend this book to anyone, even those who always wanted to give a cartoon rabbit a long-in-coming bowl of breakfast cereal.

54 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Not sure why they banned this book all the same...

When I was about six years old, we toured a chapel of the bones and remains of St. Peter on display in Odense, Denmark. About 20 mins after we exited, I became quite upset over what I'd seen and couldn't comprehend why our bodies turned like this. That was my first exposure to death. Once my mother realized that she probably shouldn't have taken me to this part of the tour, she did her best to console me.

I think this nice little book should be allowed in schools. For too many of us, exposure to death is not 'nearly enough' at such a young age. For those of us that have been sheltered and do not have these experiences till we are older, does not really help us. It only worsens pain later on by not having this experience or by not having the opportunity to talk about it. Even though some of us are blessed to not be exposed, this is an area that should be talked about from a younger age. Death is unfortunately a part of life and to try to 'save some of us' from that is not in our best interest. I wish I had read this at 9 or 10 years of age. Maybe earlier.

At the end of this story there is a little narrative discussion with the author. They talked about the fact that death is not appropriate for children and thus the reasons why they banned the book. Right, so well stated. Death is not appropriate for anyone, let alone children. However, given that it is in all our lives at some point, avoiding it by not reading a story that gently brings it up, is not justifiable means to a 'false-safe-harbour'.

This is well written book. The events that transpire are written in such a way that allows for a gentle exposure to the concept. I would encourage anyone who has children, to consider reading this with them as a way to bring up the topic. I wish my mum had done this with me or at least considered it instead of trying to completely shelter me from it.

57 of 64 people found this review helpful

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Touching wonderful story for children of all ages,

The narration was very good and the story is wonderful. This story is for you if you have ever lost a friend regardless of you age. the interview with the author at the end of the book is very enlightening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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How it made me feel ....

It made me feel better about myself and who I am. It shows that just one person can change your life for better, or for worse . You choose.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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That Ending, Though

The ending always catches me off guard, no matter how many times I read this book.

It's definitely an MG classic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A great performance

This performance is a wonderful way to experience this story. In about twice the time it would take to watch the movie, this audiobook provides the story with all the richness of the text.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tish
  • Mpls MN
  • 06-11-18

Friendship story

This was a great book because there were some sad parts balanced by an uplifting storyline. It’s a story of friendship that shows the power of trust.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thank you for a beautiful book

My 7 year old son and I listened to this together and it inspired such wonderful conversation between us. Although tragic and hard, it is something we all face. I believe we should prepare our children and through reading we can help them learn and cope for the ups and downs of life. I look forward to watching the movie with him now as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Telling of a Great Story

What did you love best about Bridge to Terabithia?

This story is so incredible. It was my favorite book as a child, maybe because it was the first book that I felt the author was treating children like real people, but it is still so fantastic. This story has not eroded with time, it has gotten stronger. I love that this story talks about imagination and childhood as well as life and grief.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bridge to Terabithia?

I have always continually been drawn to the parts in which Jess is trying to make sense of what has happened. I don't want to spoil, but seeing how a child copes with the death of a loved one is so memorable for me.

Which character – as performed by Robert Sean Leonard – was your favorite?

I liked Robert Sean Leonard's performance of May Belle, interestingly enough. She is a 6-year-old girl, but somehow he was able to capture all the nuances in May Belle's speech.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

How far can your imagination take you?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful