Study Guide

Bridge to Terabithia Chapter 13

By Katherine Paterson

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Chapter 13

Building the Bridge

  • That Saturday, Jess decides he wants to act like nothing happened, and milks Miss Bessie. He takes P.T. back to the creek to see if he can find his paints.
  • The weather has calmed down and the creek is a lot less scary. At the edge of Terabithia he wonders if it's still Terabithia any more. He uses a tree branch to get across and P.T. swims over.
  • Jess thinks that he needs to do something in Terabithia to honor Leslie and wishes she was there to tell him what it was. He wonders about death and whether it is frightening.
  • He and P.T. make Leslie a funereal wreath, and he takes it to the "sacred grove."
  • Jess feels peaceful but then hears May Belle screaming. He runs to Terabithia's edge and finds her stuck on the branch bridge.
  • Even though the situation is really dangerous, he keeps calming her down and reassuring her, and eventually helps bring her back across.
  • Once they're safe, she apologizes and says she wanted to help him not be lonely.
  • He tells her that everyone feels afraid, and thinks of Leslie.
  • They go home.
  • Back at school, Jess is saddened to see Leslie's desk is already gone. He's kept hoping he'll see her, or that she'll suddenly arrive, but the missing desk reminds him that really won't happen.
  • He feels bad that he even thought for one minute that he'd now be the fastest runner.
  • During the Pledge of Allegiance, Mrs. Myers tells Jess to go outside. She comes to talk to him in the hallway and says she's sorry. She tells him how special Leslie was and that he shouldn't forget her; Mrs. Myers will help him.
  • Jess feels bad for all the times he and Leslie made fun of Mrs. Myers, and thinks that he's grateful for the reminder and for how Leslie showed him a bigger world.
  • He thinks that he has to keep living, for Leslie, and for himself.
  • Later, Leslie's parents come back to town, only to move away again. They give Jess Leslie's art supplies and say he can have anything left at their house. Jess takes some lumber. Leslie's dad says he had wanted Jess to take P.T., but he needs to keep him.
  • The following day, Jess uses the lumber to build a bridge across the creek to Terabithia. He tells May Belle about being queen, takes her across the bridge, and introduces her to Terabithia.

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