I love middle grade books. Not to be confused with “middle school,” in the literary world, middle grade book means pre-teen or tween, generally about the 8-12 year age range.
Since the characters in this book are 10 years old, this book fits in the middle grade category. Though the theme may be considered more in the teen age. Most teenagers don’t want to read about younger age kids.
Really though, this books is fine for all ages, with some considerations.
The book deals with death. The book also has several swear words, mostly “Lord” every few pages, as in “Lord, what in the world…” I found it to be more a nuisance of too many times used than of disrespect since I know a lot of people do talk that way. So keep those things in mind if you decide to pick up this book.
It’s about Jesse, who is the only boy in a family of annoying girls. His parents are continually stressed due to their financial situation. They live out in the country. As far as I can tell, they live an hour or two From Washington, DC., sometime after the Vietnam War. It was published in 1977.
He feels like a bit of an outsider, someone who doesn’t fit in, though he does try. Then a family moves into the country house near him with one kid — a girl named Leslie. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met.
They become friends and are able to escape what’s bothering them by going across the creek into their made up world Terabithia.
It’s a sweet, well-written story. Reminds me a lot of Where the Red Fern Grows. I didn’t like parts of the story, mostly the sad parts. But overall I liked the characters and their relationships with each other. It felt real and raw. Also the author is very good at imagery.
I’m not sure my 11 year old is quite ready for the themes in the book. Maybe when he’s 12 or 13. Maybe if we listened to it on audio, we could talk about it. Also I think I’ll try the Disney movie that was made in 2007. Have any of you watched it?
If you’re like me, you’ll also want to check out the reviews on Amazon before buying or borrowing from the library. Check them out!
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