Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

I hesitate to even write this post about "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson because the tears aren't completely dried and I know I'll be thinking more clearly later! I was so excited to read this book again. The movie comes out Friday and it looks a little different, but the author's son wrote the screenplay so I'm hoping that any additions will only make it better, if that's possible!

My 4th grade teacher read this book to my class but I clearly remember her crying when she read it and all of the class joining right in! I am not sure what I shouldn't say about the book because I assume that most of us have read it and know what happens, but just in case:

*Spoiler Alert*
This book deals with a lot of themes that I continue to deal with and work out in my adult life. The main character, Jess Aarons, deals with handling fear, peer pressure, family strife, social awkwardness and death of a loved one. We see his stages of grieving and how he ultimately learns to use the gift that was his time with Leslie to become more of a man and face life's challenges head on. It is a truly touching story.

There are also some themes that I didn't remember from when my teacher read the book to us. There was definitely some language in the book that you'd want to know about before reading it out loud. It was minor, but still something I know some parents don't want their kids exposed to. Also, there are some spiritual aspects that would deserve a separate discussion with kids.

I'd just finished reading "The View from Saturday" and both Terabithia and it used other classic authors in their books. Konigsburg uses some elements from Lewis Carroll and Paterson uses C.S. Lewis' Narnia as an inspiration for Leslie creating the world of Terebithia. I wonder if more of the authors we'll be reading do this. It's definitely made me want to keep reading beyond the Newbery list and I appreciate that and hope the younger readers are inspired to do the same!

10 comments:

Betsy said...

I forgot to mention that I have the the version with the Reader's Guide in the back. There are good discussion questions and also an interesting interview with the author. They were both good additions!

FarmerAl said...

I remember loving this book, and being somewhat surprised by the tragic turn. Interesting that you comment on the movie, because everytime I see a trailer, I can't believe it's for the book I remember so fondly - it looks more fantastical like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe than the complex story about real people I remember from my childhood. I hope it stands up.

Alicia said...

I'd be curious to hear more about the C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll borrowing. I tend to be pretty oblivious to these things. Since I haven't read The View from Saturday yet and only read Terebithia as a kid, I'd appreciate your observations when I read/re-read them.

Betsy said...

i'm a little worried about being disappointed in the movie too, I'm really looking forward to it though just to see what all those creatures and talking trees are about...since there are none in the book! they have wild imaginations though.

Melissa said...

You really ought to read Jacob Have I Loved next (by Katherine Paterson, too). Just to compare.

I'm hopeful for the movie. It's done by her son, and reports have it that she's okay with the final version.

I need to re-read this one before going, though.

Corinne said...

I agree with Farmeral - the trailer to the movie seems like a completely different story. I need to reread it as well.

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Yes...Jacob Have I Loved is GREAT! I read it last year and loved it.

I'm thinking I need to start saving my pennies...I read so many of these books from the library and wish I had my own copies to refer back to. Anyone know of a great used bookstore in Denver?

Betsy said...

There's one on 16th street...but it's been 2 1/2 years since i've been there so i don't remember exactly.

Bekah said...

Yep, I've been having the same reactions to the trailer. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I was beginning to question the accuracy of my memory. ;)

Sandy D. said...

I've been getting a lot of Newbery winners for my ds on www.paperbackswap.com (of course, you have to have books you're willing to send out, too).