Bridge to Terabithia


Katharine Paterson

Number of Pages: 


Minimum grade level: 


Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Why is running so important to Jess?
  2. Jess's mother appears to treat him differently than she treats his four sisters. How does that make Jess feel about himself?
  3. How does Miss Edmunds respond to Jess's art? Why is that important to him?
  4. Why is Leslie unhappy? Does she feel comfortable with the other kids at school, besides Jess? Why or why not?
  5. Why do Jess and Leslie create Terabithia? What does Terabithia represent for them?
  6. Jess feels that, "Leslie was more than his friend. She was his other, more exciting self- his way to Terabithia and all the worlds beyond." What does this mean?
  7. At first, Jess's sister Brenda thinks he doesn't care that Leslie has died. Why does she think that?
  8. What did Leslie's friendship teach Jess?
  9. Why does Jess throw Leslie's present into the gully? How does he feel about her dying?
  10. How do you think Jess will live his life differently because of his friendship with Leslie? What do you think Jess will do with his life?


Try snacks like the ones Jess and Leslie shared at their secret spot: dried fruit, crackers, and peanut butter.

Portions of this discussion guide are credited to Shireen Dodson's 100 Books for Girls to Grow On (HarperCollins, 1998).

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.