Bridge to Terabithia
At its core, this is a story about a beautiful friendship between two fifth grade kids who seemed so real that my ten-year-old self could hardly believe Jess and Leslie existed only on the page. I found myself wishing I had my own magical kingdom in the woods I could escape to, and I bawled my eyes out at the end. A moving, multi-layered story about the beauty of childhood and the searing pain of loss.
This Newbery Medal-winning novel by bestselling author Katherine Paterson is a modern classic of friendship and loss.
Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
In addition to being a Newbery Medal winner, Bridge to Terabithia was also named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and has become a touchstone of children’s literature, as have many of Katherine Paterson’s other novels, including The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.