Bridge to Terabithia is a simple and beautiful story about a cherished and authentic friendship between a boy and a girl. The fact that the relationship was wholesome, lacking any underlying suggestive measure, made it all the more emotive and tender.
Katherine Paterson shares with us the importance of artistic expression, standing up to ones fears and the certainty that knowledge is to be shared. Loneliness is a running theme that we watch diminish through two outcasts who forge a bond, first, through competition, then, imagination.
Sadly, there is no happy ending to this tale, but it does approach mortality and the stages of grieving in a very honest and delicate way. I am of the belief that even though we try to shelter our children from heartache wherever possible, they should be aware of some of the harsh realities in life, as well as how they should deal with the feelings that arise from such tragedies. The ability to inform them of these truths only better prepares them for the sometimes cruel world ahead.