Thom's Reviews > Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
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Mar 22, 2011

it was amazing

Bridge to Terabithia -

I'm a grown man and I cried the duration of the last fifty pages. I gave this book five stars, here's why:

It is absolutely incredible that a writer can invent a character, and bring him to life so convincingly that we find some of our deepest emotions aroused when we read black words on a white page. I was amazed at how deeply I felt towards some the characters in this book...fictional characters!

Character development is absolutely masterful in Bridge to Terabithia. It is easy to identify with both Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke. They not only forge a friendship with each other that is profound, uplifting, and edifying - but they also forge that same friendship with you. I particularly enjoyed Jess's character - full of childlike reason, error, and love. I sometimes felt like he was my own child. It feels good to read him - especially within the last fifty pages.

The majority of the plot is gentle and accents the beauty of childhood, often embellishing it with innocent humor. While nothing is unimportant or uninteresting, the author very skillfully tells the story in such a way that it feels like "everyday life". Any suspense is usually trivial and very scarce, but the story remains very compelling and thoroughly enjoyable to read. (I have to say that a good writer should be able to tell a gripping story without the sometimes garish and seemingly mandatory thrill of suspense found so much in fiction.)

It seems heartless and depraved to say that I'm glad Kathrine Paterson and her son David were able to experience what they did (I can't think of a better way to say that without giving anything away.) - but I think Paterson gained some beautiful insight through that experience that she has used to help others, especially children - rather artfully I might add.

I need to mention one thing I wasn't particularly fond of. Janice Avery (a minor character) reveals to her friends that her father beats her - "the kind of beating they send you to jail for" says Leslie. And at the advice of Leslie, Janice decides to pretend that her father is innocent, and that her friends are just spreading "rumors" all over school. The author says something like "kids shouldn't ever betray their parents, and that's just what Janice Avery had done." See the contradiction? "Honour thy father and thy mother" - "Domestic abuse is wrong, no matter what". I don't think this kind of conflict belongs in a children's novel, even as a very minor vehicle for plot development. I wish the author had omitted that, or at least found an acceptable solution.

Notwithstanding its faults, I love this book. Read it, it's good for you.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sariah the Authoress That's just very well-said. You're right- it's incredible how Katherine Paterson "invents a character and brings him to life so convincingly"-as it was so well put.I couldn't imagine crafting a story, so lovely and sweet and sad and wonderful, that makes you feel so deeply for a character, so deeply you cry and weep for her when she's just... gone. I want to craft that kind of story-the one you will love forever, one that would make people feel so hopeless if you even tried to delete one well-loved, realistic character that you just-love. I can't imagine creating a story like that. Thank you, for your insights.


message 2: by Eli (new) - added it

Eli can i use you comment in a book review for school?


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