Bridge to Terabithia
How we cite our quotes:
"I hope they have a girl, six or seven," said May Belle. "I need somebody to play with."
"You got Joyce Ann."
"I hate Joyce Ann. She's nothing but a baby." (2.4-6)
Here, the characters' expectations about friends are revealed: that they should be the same gender and the same age. While this is a typical attitude toward friendship that a lot of us might share, it's also a reminder that, by narrowing categories for friendship like this, we might miss out. If Jess stuck to these criteria, he wouldn't be able to become great friends with Leslie.
The person slid off the fence and came toward him. "I thought we might as well be friends," it said. "There's no one else close by." (2.49)
Moving from the previous idea, the idea that Leslie doesn't appear overly-girly right away – Jess can't even tell if she's a girl or a boy – might contribute in the long run to Jess's willingness to be friends with her. She doesn't read as "girl" or "boy," but as a "person" and potential friend. The other thing to notice here is that she makes the first move – she's the one who reaches out to Jess, not the other way around. She seems kind of diffident, or shy, here, through her use of "might" and her explanation that "there's no one else" around.
He nodded and smiled again. She smiled back. He felt there in the teachers' room that it was the beginning of a new season in his life, and he chose deliberately to make it so. (4.15)
This is a really cool description of the moment when you first become friends with someone and you realize that it's happening. Here, Jess also has the power of agency. He "cho[o]se[s] deliberately" to have this thing happen, to create this "new season." For someone like him, without resources or much encouragement, it must feel awesome to take control and introduce such a positive thing into his life.