Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Jesse Aarons Timeline and Summary
- Jess is training to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade, but he's also pretty lonely and doesn't have friends.
- His new neighbor, Leslie, wants to be friends, but he's not interested because she's a girl.
- At school, though, he stands up for her when she wants to run in the big race, too. But then she surprises him by whipping them all.
- Even though he gives up his dream of being the fastest runner, he's excited to start becoming friends with Leslie.
- Together, they envision the magical world of Terabithia, which you get to by swinging on a rope over a creek.
- Leslie helps Jess think of a creative way to get back at Janice who's bullying his little sister.
- He's worried about what to get Leslie for Christmas, but then is able to give her a puppy.
- He and Leslie have a fight when he feels left out when she's off helping her dad fix up their house, but it's all resolved when he gets to help too.
- The tables are turned when Jess gives Leslie advice on comforting Janice, when the former bully needs their help.
- Bad rainstorms keep Jess and Leslie from going to Terabithia.
- At Easter, Leslie goes to church with Jess's family and pushes Jess to question his faith for the first time.
- Jess thinks the rain's too dangerous for going to Terabithia after that, but forgets when the music teacher invites him to go to a museum in DC for the day.
- He goes and has a fabulous time, but when he gets home he learns that Leslie went to Terabithia without him and died.
- Jess is grief-stricken and can't believe it. He mourns.
- When he tries to go back to Terabithia, May Belle follows him and almost dies in the creek too. He saves her and realizes what Leslie taught him.
- He builds a bridge to Terabithia, so he and May Belle can access it safely and keep its magic alive.