Thursday, October 04, 2007

Katherine Paterson, Bridge To Terabithia

Just finished this book, having read a chapter a night with my ten-year-old son. This is also our November selection for the Biblioholics Anonymous. Either way, it's a great book, but it's not at all what I expected.

For some inexplicable reason, I expected a fantasy novel along the lines of C.S.Lewis's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I have absolutely no justification for expecting that ... maybe it was something about the title. Nevertheless, I was surprise to find that it was essentially the story of a ten-year-old boy named Jess Aarons, a loner who aspires to be the "fastest runner in the fifth grade" until he befriends Leslie Burke, a free-spirit who introduces him to confidence, compassion, and the value of occasionally visiting a "secret place" that only they can go to in the nearby forest -- a place without adults and rules, a place of pure escape: Terabithia. While their visits are initially punctuated by brief episodes of individual growth, it's not until tragedy strikes that Jess is able to see the true value of Terabithia.

This is a powerful book! Check it out!

1 comment:

James said...

Another literary response to Great Expectations can be found in Peter Carey's novel, Jack Maggs. Carey does no lifting of prose from Dickens (as far as I remember) but rather he presents the Dickensian milieu and with it a story all his own. All inspired by the character of Magwitch in Great Expectations. Carey is one of my favorite authors and he certainly honors Dickens in this wonderful novel.