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
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.
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