Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celebrate the Freedom to Read: BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA

Beth celebrates
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson

This book is on the top 100 banned books listed by ALA. I remember reading it around the 4th grade and loving it! When Leslie and her family move to rural Virginia, she meets Jesse. Although from different backgrounds, they become friends and together they build an imaginary kingdom, Terabithia, in the woods. The trouble is that they must use a rope swing to get to Terabithia. When Jesse is gone, Leslie tries to go by herself and that is where the sadness for Jesse and the reader begins.

For a youngster like myself in the 4th grade, it was hard to imagine losing such a great friend. I cried for Leslie and for the pain Jesse went through. Amazingly this is NOT why the book is banned--but for using profanity, vulgar language, offensive language, or swear words. People also believe the book “promote[s] witchcraft and violence.” Others “have said that the book would ‘give students negative views of life,’ ‘make reference to witchcraft,’ show ‘disrespect of adults,’ and promote an ‘elaborate fantasy world that they felt might lead to confusion.’” Really? I remember none of that--just the friendship of two kids and the special world they created. As an adult this book has lessons that stuck with me and I encourage others to read it and let their imagination grow.

--Beth, Cordova Branch Library


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