© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia


by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia Theme of Friendship

Friendship is the most important kind of relationship in Bridge to Terabithia: friends are the family that you get to choose for yourself. The most evolved characters – Jess, Leslie, May Belle – are the ones who are concerned with finding and making friends. And not just any friends. We're talking good friends – the kind who understand and support you, but also help you grow and continue to evolve. In the best friendships, like Jess and Leslie's, the bond they share strengthens as both people involve. They each have things to teach the other, they encourage each other, and they believe in each other. Friendship means helping people access and become open to a greater world than the one they knew before.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Why do you think so many characters in this book desire friendship so badly?
  2. Who do you think gained more from their friendship, Jess or Leslie?
  3. What kinds of lessons did Jess and Leslie's friendship teach them, and us?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Bridge to Terabithia demonstrates that friendship is the most important part of children's lives, and is key to developing imagination.

In Bridge to Terabithia, we learn that participating in the kind of friendship that Jess and Leslie share is worth even the most devastating loss.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...