Study Guide

Bridge to Terabithia Chapter 8

By Katherine Paterson

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Chapter 8


  • By Easter, it's been raining for months. The creek Jess and Leslie cross to get to Terabithia is full of fast water and is actually pretty dangerous. Jess is a little worried about carrying Prince Terrien across just in case he slips into the water and dies.
  • Jess's sisters fight about what they're going to buy to wear to church on Easter, which is the one time they go all year. The fighting stops when they learn their dad's been fired and they can't afford new clothes anymore.
  • Brenda suggests they could buy new clothes and return them, and their dad gets really mad.
  • Jess escapes to milk Miss Bessie and meets up with Leslie. He doesn't even want to get into what's going on, but briefly explains. Leslie says she wants to go with them to church.
  • He squirts fresh milk into her mouth and P.T.'s, and they all laugh. They're interrupted by Jess's dad, and Leslie goes home. Jess's dad doesn't say anything.
  • Because Jess doesn't get any new church clothes, he's able to bring Leslie to Easter service. His mom is worried that Leslie won't look nice enough, but Jess thinks Leslie looks better than his attention-grabbing big sisters do.
  • They drive into town singing and then get to church. Jess is displeased with his sisters' behavior in comparison to Leslie's and tries to tune the whole thing out. He doesn't pay any attention at all during the service, and is glad when it's done.
  • Jess, Leslie, and the little girls wait outside. He's surprised when Leslie says how "interesting" it was. May Belle says it's scary and Jess agrees.
  • Leslie says she doesn't have to believe in it, even though it's in the Bible, and May Belle insists she has to, or "God'll damn you to hell when you die" (8.72). Leslie is shocked.
  • May Belle and Leslie both turn to Jess to back them up, and he reluctantly says May Belle is right. But he and Leslie sort of agree to disagree, although May Belle keeps bothering them and asking what would happen if Leslie died.

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