Bridge to Terabithia

Banned Books


Jess Aarons is about to go into 5th grade and is trying to get the attention of his busy dad, but has to compete with his 5 sister. May Belle is the only person in his family he really gets along with. He dreams of being the fastest runner at school but soon comes to an end when a girl, Leslie, outruns everyone. At first he is crushed but they soon end up becoming friends. Jess and Leslie are outcast and get bullied by Janice Avery. They find a nearby forest and is only accessible by swinging on a rope over a creek, called Terabithia. They imagine this land where they are royalty and get away from bullies and school. When Janice Avery steals May Belle’s food, Leslie and Jess get back at her by writing a fake love letter and embarrassing her. A few months pass and they find out that Janice is unhappy, they find ways comfort her. By Easter, it is raining hard and it becomes difficult to cross the creek to go to Terabithia. When Jess goes to a museum with his music teacher and has one of the best days of his life, Leslie goes without him. When Jess returns home he finds out that Leslie died when she tried to cross the creek to Terabithia. His first reaction is it isn’t true and he doesn’t want to believe it, but he slowly begins to realize what he gained by having Leslie in his life all along. He then goes to Terabithia for the first time without Leslie and has a follower, May Belle. May Belle attempts to cross the creek and almost falls in but Jess is there to rescue her. After Jess builds a bridge across the creek to Terabithia and welcomes May Belle to the imaginary land and makes her its new queen.

Reason It Was Challenged

This book was banned for multiple reasons, it had death as a part of the plot, offensive language, and satanism. "Language and subject matter that set bad examples and gave students negative views of life" (Connecticut). Others wanted it banned because one of the main characters, Leslie, isn't a good role model because she didn't attend church.

Date of Attempted Ban

Burlington, Connecticut 1990

My Opinion

This book should not have been banned from the schools because it shows the power of friendship. It shows that with each other they can become stronger and overcome their weaknesses. It also tells a wonderful story that multiple kids in America can relate to. Many kids daydream and imagine a place like this one as an escape from bullying and the boredom of 5th grade. Another is some might be the only boy in a household of girls or they might be an only child. It also received numerous awards and shows that it is worthy to read.