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Bridge to Terabithia
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Book Club Discussions > June 2012- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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message 1: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
Welcome to June's group discussion for Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Use this thread to discuss the book.

Please mark spoilers!!

Enjoy!


message 2: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I can't wait to discuss it with people.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann | 88 comments This post is filled with spoilers.

(view spoiler)


message 4: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
I started rereading it this weekend. I had to stop myself before I read the whole thing. I like how Jesse feels that Leslie is clueless to social norms and is annoyed by this. It's such an astute thing to put in a book.


Anna Kay (annakaybooks) | 2 comments I have re-read this book every year since the third grade. I love it's bittersweet loveliness. Can't wait to re-read for this discussion! :)


message 6: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
So as this is a MG/J book, when did you first read it? Do you remember who introduced you to it?


message 7: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
I first read it in 4th grade, but I was actually first exposed to it younger than that. When I was little there was a show on PBS (public TV) on Saturday afternoons in which an artist would illustrate a story as it was read. This was one of those stories. I don't think they got to the ending, though. It was neat to listen to the story and watch an image be created on paper. I don't remember the name of the show.


Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) I didn't read it until I was in my education degree and I was missing out! I was SHOCKED by the end- I did not see it coming.


Randie D. Camp, M.S. (randie87) | 23 comments I had a similar experience. I read “Bridge to Terabithia” for a Children's Literature course while seeking my Elementary Education degree and I could not understand how this book did not meet me sooner. The ending floored me. Like Ann, I think usually you see something like that coming but Paterson did not prepare me for that.

Here is my review/thoughts:
(view spoiler)


Maree | 233 comments I've actually never read it before, but I've heard about it for a long time, of course. I definitely wouldn't have picked it up if it weren't for this group. Someone mentioned something that made me realize what was going to happen, but Jess's reaction was still spot on and amazing.

I think Ann's post puts it perfectly - the lack of reason just brings across the message so strongly you can't help but appreciate it for what it says, even if you hate it.


message 11: by Esther (last edited Jun 08, 2012 10:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Esther (eshchory) I read Bridge to Terabithia as an adult. I had never heard of it before encountering the book while volunteering at the local library. But suddenly once I'd read it there was a film and everyone seemed to be discussing it.
I wasn't so surprised by the ending because as a child I'd read a lot of my grandmother's books from her Edwardian childhood and they (view spoiler)
I still found the ending quite shocking and emotionally effective and recommended the book to my children.


message 12: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
I've gotten to the point where they've decided to have Terabithia. Jess says to Leslie that he used to be afraid that the woods were haunted. Leslie says that they are, but with good things.

Did you have a secret or special place you used to run to when you were younger? Was it magical or just a plce to be by yourself?


Randie D. Camp, M.S. (randie87) | 23 comments Jennifer W wrote: "Did you have a secret or special place you used to run to when you were younger? Was it magical or just a plce to be by yourself? "

Great question! I moved around a lot as a kid, so I didn't necessarily have one special spot but I would always hide somewhere in the house (closets, the laundry room, under my desk, etc) to escape into a book.


Theresa (tweezle) I just started this tonight and am just getting ready to begin chapter 3. I've seen the movie, but never read the book.


message 15: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
When I was little, there was a hill behind my house. Halfway up was a concrete block about the size of a small hay bale. I have no idea why or how it was put there, but I used to go up there and sit. When I got older, I'd go even farther up the hill into the woods. I never pretended that it was a magical place, it was just a place to get away and think.


message 16: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
I read some more this weekend. Two parts stood out to me:

We find out that the bully, Janice Avery, is beaten by her father. She tells her friends, who spread the rumor and she's sure to be a laughingstock. The part about this that most surprised me is that everyone seems horrified that she would tell; you don't spill family secrets. It seems everyone may already know this (or suspect it) and it's a no-no to talk about. It also appears that no one is going to help this girl get out of an abusive situation. Is this a product of the times? Of the place?

The other section I read was Leslie going to church on Easter with Jess' family. Leslie had never been to church and found it impressive. May Belle is horrified to find out that Leslie doesn't believe in the Bible and is afraid she's going to hell. When did you first encounter people with other religious/spiritual beliefs than your own, and how did you react?

I have to say, rereading this story, I find there's so much stuff in such a small story. I think some of these other issues may get forgotten because the ending is such a show stopper, but I'm really impressed to be reading a book about social norms, friendship, bullies, child abuse, religion, etc.


message 17: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
I finished rereading it last night. It's so heartbreaking. (view spoiler)

Other than the fact that this is a terrific story, I am especially attached to this book because this story changed my views on reading when I was a child. Prior to this book, I hadn't really read any sad stories, certainly not to the extent that this story is sad. This book made me realize that books can be more than happy little fairy tales. The world can be cruel and stories don't always have a happy ending. Books are a lense to see that and to try to understand that. This book was the first for me to do that.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) A very good but sad book. I think the character development is great in this little novel, and it's written in a way that appeals to an array of ages.


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Bridge to Terabithia (other topics)

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Katherine Paterson (other topics)