Study Guide

Bridge to Terabithia Chapter 10

By Katherine Paterson

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Chapter 10

The Perfect Day

  • Jess is woken up by the sound of his dad's truck. His dad's gone looking for work.
  • He decides to get up and milk Miss Bessie, and he and May Belle banter.
  • While he's milking Miss Bessie, he thinks about fear and courage. He thinks that in the summer he'll face his fear and see if Leslie will help him learn to swim.
  • He's just gathering his courage to find the words to tell Leslie he doesn't want to go to Terabithia today when he's interrupted by May Belle – a phone call for him.
  • Miss Edmunds is calling, and she invites him to go to an art museum in Washington with her. He sneaks permission from his sleepy mom and accepts. It's not until they're on the road that he realizes he could've invited Leslie too.
  • Jess is excited to hang out with just Miss Edmunds, though, and to be going to an art gallery for the first time. He sees all the fancy Capitol buildings and thinks of how they would be familiar to Leslie.
  • Going into the museum reminds him of the specialness of being in Terabithia.
  • Being around the pictures is amazing. Jess is worried about not having any money for lunch, but Miss Edmunds treats him. He thinks he'll ask Leslie if he did the right thing later.
  • They go to the Smithsonian and look at an Indian exhibit. Jess is conflicted about whether he likes it.
  • When they're leaving, the sun has finally come out. Jess thinks he had a "perfect day […] worth anything he had to pay" (10.65). Miss Edmunds drops him off and he can't even find the words to thank her, but runs home full of joy.
  • But back at home, something's not quite right: his family is silent and worried. His mom cries, and Brenda finally tells him that Leslie is dead.

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