Let me start off by saying that my review will not do this book justice, I will never be able to sing its praises highly enough. Bridge to Terabithia has become one of those stories that has impacted my life. I don’t quite know how to explain the feeling to someone who hasn’t experienced it; it’s one of those books that captures your thoughts for an awfully long time. Bridge to Terabithia stole me away to a far away land in my back-garden, this book made me laugh, made me cry, and made me believe in magic. The kind of magic that creates beautiful connections and friendships, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story that feels bigger than itself. 

We follow fifth grader Jesse as he starts his school year wanting to be the fastest boy in his class. This book isn’t so much about how he meets Leslie and the adventures that he goes on, for me it was more about the relationship and lessons that he learns and develops along the way. Jesse grows up an awful lot in this small book, despite being a ten year old. He’s mature for his age and in his way of thinking. Leslie is the character that becomes Jesse’s fast friend, she’s adventurous and exciting, smart and fast, everything that Jesse looks up to. Paterson has a way of capturing how a kid thinks, acts, and speaks; she is especially good at recognising how different home circumstances might change the way a child acts and reacts. The characters within this book are realistic, in that they act how you would expect them to act and the why’s all line up. I feel like Paterson understands people and because of this I was able to step into Jesse’s shoes and experience the world through his eyes, with his insecurities and passions.

I don’t think this story would’ve worked through anyone elses eyes, this book is truly special and unique to Paterson and Jesse. I don’t think another author or character would’ve done it justice! This book was so beautifully complex that the message is easier to digest because of how simply it is written. This book deals with themes of growing up, focusing on the challenges and the victories. It shows the bridge between boys and girls and that age, and how easy it is to cross. Paterson also describes the process of losing someone very close to you, I think she tackles this and the emotions surrounding the situation very well. I can’t say much more than this because I don’t want to spoil the story.


I loved this book from the very first line.

“Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity – Good.”

Paterson utilises excellent descriptors using sounds and touch to help immerse the reader in the world. She focuses on what a boy would focus on and uses what is important to Jesse to build up fully fleshed out, interesting characters. 

The way this author writes about family dynamics and relationships is superb, the focus on the family and the everyday chaos within Jesse’s world is perfectly described and helps to shape our character further. Jesse’s way of life and thought processes are interesting and delightful! Everything about this book enchanted me. For the sake of honestly I do have to say that I watched the movie first and was spoiled for the book because of this but it didn’t detract anything from the story in my opinion. I perhaps didn’t get attached to certain characters as much because of this, but it is safe to say that both the movie and the book made me sob! That’s just the kind of person that I am though, even Disney Shorts make me cry.

Contribute to the conversation! If you’ve read or would like to read Bridge to Terabithia please comment below and share the reviews, disagree with my evaluation of the book? Please let me know! Any book recommendations for future posts post them in the comment section!