Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson

Originally published in 1977. 128 pages.
1978 Newbery Medal Winner.

I loved this one on my recent re-read just as much as I remember loving it when I read it in the 1970s. Now I want to watch the movie version.

Sadly, Bridge to Terabithia has been the subject of a number of book challenges. The American Library Association lists it as tenth of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2003 and eighth of 2002. The reasons for the challenges are occult/satanism, offensive language, and violence.

I liked this discussion question at the back of my copy of the book:

In the past, some people have suggested that this book is inappropriate for children because it describes death, a topic that some children might not be able to handle. In your opinion, is Bridge to Terabithia an appropriate book for kids your age? How might reading about Jess's loss help students who have to face their own loss someday?



  1. I wish I remembered this better, but I do remember liking it, but falling asleep during the movie. It had a very different feel than reading it. Sad that it would be challenged. Death is as much a part of children's lives as adults, so thank goodness there are books that talk about it.

  2. I loved the movie of this book but have yet to read it.

    It seems ridiculous to challenge a book because it deals with death. Many, many children have to deal with losing parents, siblings and friends. They need books that speak to their experiences of the world.

  3. I remember reading this book as a young child. It was the first book to ever make me SOB. I haven't read it since, and I haven't been able to make myself see the movie. It could never be anywhere as wonderful as the book!