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Write a reading response journal.
The Bridge to Terabithia is an innocent tale of a young country boy, Jesse Aarons, aged ten. Jesse's world changes when a tomboyish type of girl enters his neighbourhood and also his school. This girl, Leslie, leads him to an entirely new world where they reign as King and Queen. Jesse finds that Leslie is very unlike the other girls in his life who are arrogant, silly and always rude to him. Leslie inculcates in Jesse the love for books and tells him strange stories. They are completely at ease with each other, avenging other students, calling their teacher names and doing other silly things together.
The readers are completely absorbed by the pragmatism of the author. Indeed we start feeling the way Jesse does, whether or not we are ten and whether or not we live in a country. His thoughts, “Anybody had a chance to be the fastest runner, and by Miss Bessie, this year it was going to be Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.” (p 5), are too realistic.
Jesse's feelings for his father are ambiguous. He craves for his father's attention, trying to please him with every bit of effort he can muster. 'It made Jess ache inside to watch his dad grab the little ones to his shoulder, or lean down and hug them. It seemed to him that he had been thought too big for that since the day he was born' (p 19-20).
He is also frustrated that she caters to every whim of his stupid, conceited sisters, believing that he alone does the least work 'Momma’d even forget she was tired and mad. He was the only one who had to take that stuff' (p 18).
The phrase “hardly more than hippies' (p 59) says everything we need to know about Leslie's parents.
Question and Prediction
The seventh chapter ends on a tentative note. Jesse feels that 'his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits' (p 99). We are not sure what will happen next.
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