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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Revisiting an Old Favorite

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson: Book CoverBRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson


This is one of my favorite books.  I read it again since I am using it in school with one of my kids.  It still touched me as I reread it.  I was riding my bike in the garage huffing and puffing with tears running down my face as I read it.  I remember exactly where I was the first time I got to the end of that book.  I was sitting in the backseat of our small car on driver's side.  I cried.  It was the first time I had read a book that didn't have a happily ever after ending.  I remember asking my parents, "Why did she have to die?  I don't understand.  Why did they make her die?"  It was a good realization for me, though. 

From the prereading activities, my child knew that the girl character was going to die.  At first, I was disappointed because he wouldn't have the shock that I had gotten to experience; however, after I thought about it, I thought that it was probably better that he was prepared for that.  My child doesn't handle surprises well and has a sensitive heart.

From using this for school, I learned Ms. Paterson wrote this book because one of her sons had a girl who was a close friend who was killed when she was struck by lightning.  She asked the child's parents to read the book first to make sure they approved.  She wanted it to be a fitting tribute to the children's friendship to paraphrase. 

I am so glad I was able to read this book in my youth.  It is definitely worthy of the Newbery Award.  I'm looking forward to watching my son enjoy this book and hopefully grow from this book, too. 

I usually let my child choose the books we read in literature from a list I've approved of.  This was a book recommended in the book What Stories Does My Son Need: A guide to books and movies that build character in boys by Michael Gurian.  I admire and respect Michael Gurian very much.  He is probably best known for his book The Wonder of Boys.  I think he gives excellent advice and he has a fantastic understanding of boys and how they learn.  Boys and girls are different so their learning styles are different, their needs are different, and their responses are different.  He does a great job of explaining/proving this and how we can best respond.  Another book of his that I really like is The Good Son: Shaping the moral development of our boys and young men.  This book does not rely heavily on any particular religion.  Even one who is not inclined towards God can still enjoy this book and learn how to help moral development.
What Stories Does My Son Need? by Michael Gurian: Book CoverThe Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian: Book CoverThe Good Son by Michael Gurian: Book Cover


  1. I am going to read this cause you keep telling me about it!

  2. I agree. This is an excellent book. Glad to hear it is one of your favorites.