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25 February 2008 @ 07:01 am
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson (4.5 stars)  
I almost cried, and I'm not the crying type. I'm the kind of man who breaks things with sledge hammers and swordfights in the backyard. And despite my best effort, my eyes started sweating.

Ten-year-old Jesse Oliver Aarons Jr. wants to be the fastest boy at Lark Creek Elementary. The biggest event on the school playground is the races, and Jesse only won once all last year. So all summer long, he wakes up early each morning to go running, before coming home and milking the cow. It's going to be his be secret, his glorious claim to fame. Summer's ending, school's starting back up, and Jesse's going to win.

Then Leslie Burke moves into the old Perkins place down the street (her parents are "reassessing their value structure"). And even though she obliterates the boys in the races and ruins the fun for the whole year, she and Jesse find a way to become friends. The best of friends.

"Do you know what we need?" Leslie asks him. "We need a place, just for us. It would be so secret that we would never tell anyone in the whole world about it."

And Terabithia is born. A place of imagination and friendship, secrets and love. A place where an ordinary boy and girl can rule as king and queen, inventing adventures that they can enjoy together. A place to escape from family and friends who won't let you be who you want to be. A place that can only be entered by swinging across an enchanted rope.

The resulting story is a moving look into the grief one experiences after a tragic accident. With careful and elegant brushstrokes, Peterson paints a canvas rich with the vibrancy of youth, the depth of friendship, and the dark hues of religion and life that sometimes color our journey through life.

If you haven't read this one, treat yourself to a quality novel. 1978 Newbery Award Winner, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is worth the time.

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deenamldeenaml on February 26th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
This is the first book I remember reading that had me trying so hard not to cry. It didn't work.