The One Where I Read • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

In Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson takes us on a journey through the life of a boy in rural Virginia and how it is expanded when he befriends the new girl, Leslie. The lives of both Jess and Leslie change dramatically due to their relationship and after an untimely death of Leslie, the lives of many others in relationship to Jess who succumbs to the loss of his best friend change as well. 

Two main settings for this book are; the rural Virginia and Terabithia. The setting is a rural area in the state of Virginia where the children live, work on the farm, and attend school. The issues of bullying, friendship, sibling, family are all of realistic value. It is not until Jess and Leslie build Terabithia out of their imaginations that the story becomes unrealistic, yet remains realistic as children often use their imaginations in this way.

This book rates five out of five. The story of friendship family, love and loss or major components of a book that can win the hearts of many young and old. Only forty years old, but I deem it a classic as it is timeless within its relatability in the past, present, and future.

For this book I would use a QAR reading strategy to build comprehension among the students. There are a lot of ideas, literary elements, vocabulary packaged within this book it would be beneficial to assist the students in unpacking it all or some of it based upon the maturity level. Providing questions for students to use pre- reading and then ignite discussion once the entire book or each chapter has been read.

In a classroom setting I believe a think aloud while reading the book to students to assist them with the overall comprehension of the story as the pictures in the book are black and white and difficult to see across a classroom. 

Until next time…

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

Winner of the Caldecott Medal, Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully is a realistic fiction, picture book inspired by real life daredevil, Blondin. In the story, a mysterious man comes into the life of a small girl who is attracted to his ability to walk upon the high-wire. She too would like to walk on the rope, however the man tries to lead her away from the life of walking above the ground. Against his will, she secretly tries, tries, and tries again to walk on the rope tied up off the ground. When she shows him her abilities to walk across the rope, he becomes her teacher in mastering the skill. Through the lessons the student learns to improve her ability and the teacher also learns a lesson.

An inspirational story; about trying new things, perseverance, living out your dreams, and overcoming your fears. I recommend reading this book to students of all ages to motivate them to do whatever it takes in order to fulfill their hearts desire.

After reading this in my future classroom, I would give students the opportunity to write about a time they wanted to try something new and what happened when they achieved their ability to do this task. Or give them an opportunity to reignite a passion through writing about something that they were afraid to try or gave up on because they had no belief in themself to try and try again.

Until next time….