Bridge to Terabithia

After picking up Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia from a book sale a few months ago, I finally took it along on the way to Ikea last Sunday. And it affected me so much that I had to distract myself–I was in danger of crying right on the bus on the way home while reading.

I’m glad I finally picked up this book. Initially I was rather unsure about it–the start wasn’t entirely too good for me, although the writing style itself was interesting and kept me going. Sure enough, soon Jess, Leslie, and even May Belle gripped me and made me feel for them, and appreciate their simple adventures. You could feel the simple joys they had, mixed in with all those little “life and death” issues we always have as kids ;)

As a child who was (is!) interested in fantasy, and stories, and creating make-believe worlds and scenarios with various versions of myself, I could relate a lot to Leslie–or at least the Leslie that we are given a treat to see from Jess’s eyes. I could certainly relate to the two children, being a kind of wallflower when I was in grade school–a bit of a geek, but not even geeky enough to be notorious. How they interacted with the worlds mentioned in the book–Lewis’s Narnia, and Alexander’s Prydain–was similar in many ways to how the books affected me. Jess’s hunger for these worlds and Leslie’s transformation of her fantasy-enriched imagination to Terabithia struck familiar chords in me.

The next afternoon they called P.T. and headed for Terabithia. It had been more than a month since they had been there together, and as they neared the creek bed, they slowed down. Jass wasn’t sure he still remembered how to be a king.

“We’ve been away for many years,” Leslie was whispering. “How to you suppose the kingdom has fared in our absence?”

“Where’ve we been?”

“Conquering the hostile savages on our northern borders,” she answered. “But the lines of communication have been broken, and thus we do not have tidings of our beloved homeland for many a full moon.” How was that for regular queen talk? Jess wished he could match it. “You think anything bad has happened?”

“We must have courage, my king. It may indeed be so.”

I will have to find the movie to borrow somewhere and finally check it out–I’ve been wanting to watch for a while now, but have been holding off as I wanted to read the book first. :)