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Bridge to Terabithia

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · Bridge to Terabithia

author ·  Katherine Paterson

type of work ·  Novel

genre ·  Children's literature

time and place written ·  1977, Virginia

date of first publication ·  1978

publisher ·  HarperCollins

narrator ·  The narration is told in the author's voice, but the point of view is clearly Jess's.

climax ·  The moment when Jess returns from his trip to Washington with Miss Edmunds to find that Leslie has drowned.

protagonist ·  Jess, and secondarily, Leslie

antagonist ·  There is no clearly defined antagonist in Bridge to Terabithia; the closest thing would be society and its pressures to conform.

setting (time) ·  The late 1970s

setting (place) ·  Lark Creek, a rural area in the South; specifics are never given

point of view ·  The point of view throughout the story is Jess's.

falling action ·  The last chapter, when the Burkes move away and Jess builds the bridge to Terabithia.

tense ·  Past

foreshadowing ·  There is not too much foreshadowing in Bridge to Terabithia, but there is one moment when May Belle, agitated because she believes Leslie's lack of faith in the Bible means she is going to hell, repeats over and over, "But Leslie, what if you die? What if you die?"

tone ·  The tone of the writing is, in general, colloquial and understated.

themes ·  Friendship; childhood; conformity and individuality; fear

motifs ·  Religion; gender roles; education

symbols ·  The creek; the rope over the creek; Terabithia; the bridge to Terabithia