Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Katherine Paterson - Bridge to Terabithia

It is the story of Jess and Leslie in a small town in Virginia, USA. They are both ten years old, Jess likes to draw, but except his art teacher nobody takes an interest in his talent, money is short and the family struggles. Leslie's family is completely different, they have just moved to the country to get a different perspective on life. Leslie is clever and imaginative and dresses like a boy. The two become friends against all odds and create themselves there own fantasy world called Terabithia. Desaster strikes when Leslie dies in a terrible accident and Jess has to go through a terrible time of grief until he can see the good that Leslie brought into his life and takes the first steps into a life without her. 

In the author's note Katherine Paterson informs us about the background of the story, namely her son loosing his best friend which put the whole family through a hard time. She also writes about many young readers who are despaired or angry for letting Leslie die. Anyway, the book is world-shattering emotional and again, I cried through the last third of the book when reading it again after a long time. It had a deep impact on me when I read it as a teenager. It was a chance find in the local library and it stayed with me all these years. It conveys so many seemingly small wisdoms about life, friendship and death. I am very happy to have read it again and that it still touched me... 

Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia. Harper Collins 2009.

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