Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Best Book I Read In September: Aaron

This month I read Bridge to Terabithia for a Language Arts class I am taking. Bridge to Terabithia is the story of Jess and Leslie, two 5th graders who don’t quite fit. Jess lives his life trying to hide the things that make him different, but then he meets Leslie who is new to town and who doesn’t try to blend in. At first Jess is suspicious of Leslie, but they gradually start to become friends. This leads to the eventual creation of the magical land of Terabithia which Jess and Leslie rule over as king and queen.

Bridge to Terabithia was a very powerful and moving book, but frankly I have mixed feeling about it. It touches on gender stereotypes, class differences, family relationships, and death among other things, and it was a very rich book in terms of topics covered. The author wasn’t afraid to deal with the issues that kids have to deal with as opposed to the issues that we wish they had to deal with. This is a woman who doesn’t pull any punches, but at the same time she didn’t sacrifice the characters for the sake of the issues. All of the characters seemed so real, and that only added to the emotional impact of the book. I’m not afraid to admit that I actually cried while reading the book, but I wasn’t crying for Jess and Leslie. I was crying because the chapter reminded me of how absolutely helpless I felt when my brothers’ parents died and how lost they looked.

However, that said this just wasn’t my type of book, and it really wasn’t what I was expecting from the title and the description on the back of the book. I was ready for a action packed fantasy about a magical land called Terabithia, but what I got was an emotional tale about love and loss. Despite the fact that Terabithia was mentioned in the title, which would suggest that it would play a big role in the story, the story had next to nothing to do with Terabithia. Honestly, in my opinion the idea of Terabithia was really just a device that was used to bring Leslie and Jess together and to soften the content of the book.

Overall a good and controversial book that I would recommend to anyone who is ready for a serious read.


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