Bridge to Terabithia | Study Guide

Katherine Paterson

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Bridge to Terabithia | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Late August mid-1970s

    Jess gets up early to train for the footraces at school, which he desperately wants to win.

    Chapter 1
  • The next morning

    In the cow pasture where Jess runs he meets Leslie Burke, his new neighbor.

    Chapter 2
  • The following Tuesday

    On the first day of school, Leslie beats the boys in the races, disappointing Jess, who shuns her.

    Chapter 3
  • That Friday

    After a shared moment of delight in Miss Edmunds's music class, Jess decides to befriend Leslie.

    Chapter 4
  • Another day soon after

    Jess rescues Leslie from being teased on the bus.

    Chapter 4
  • After school that day

    Jess and Leslie explore the woods and create a magical kingdom called Terabithia.

    Chapter 4
  • November

    Jess and Leslie humiliate Janice Avery as revenge for stealing May Belle's Twinkies.

    Chapter 5
  • Christmas Eve

    Leslie gifts Jess with paints, brushes, and art paper; Jess gives Leslie a puppy.

    Chapter 6
  • After Christmas

    Bill and Leslie start repairing their house, leaving Leslie with no time for Terabithia.

    Chapter 7
  • February

    Jess helps Bill and Leslie repair and paint, and the children can return to Terabithia.

    Chapter 7
  • A few days later

    Jess encourages Leslie to help Janice Avery, whose friends have betrayed her.

    Chapter 7
  • March

    After much rain that month Jess is afraid to cross the swollen creek to get to Terabithia.

    Chapter 8
  • Easter

    Leslie attends church with the Aaronses, leading May Belle to question the fate of nonbelievers.

    Chapter 8
  • The next Thursday

    Miss Edmunds invites Jess to go to Washington museums, where he has a perfect day.

    Chapter 10
  • The same day

    Jess returns home to hear that Leslie fell crossing the creek to Terabithia and drowned.

    Chapter 10
  • That night

    Jess is in denial as his father comforts him and does his chores for him.

    Chapter 11
  • Friday

    AfterJess and his parents pay respects to the Burkes, Jess throws his paints into the creek.

    Chapter 12
  • Satuday

    Jess makes a memorial wreath for Leslie in Terabithia and leaves it as an offering.

    Chapter 13
  • Shortly after

    Jess rescues May Belle who has followed him and gotten stuck crossing the creek to Terabithia.

    Chapter 13
  • A few days later

    Jess builds a sturdy bridge to Terabithia and invites May Belle to be its new queen.

    Chapter 13

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 It is August, just before the school year begins, and Jess wakes up early to go for a run. He waits until his father lea... Read More
Chapter 2 Jess spends the day canning beans with his mother, who "had screamed at Jess all afternoon and was now too tired to fix ... Read More
Chapter 3 Leslie joins Jess's fifth-grade class at school, arriving dressed in "faded cutoffs and the blue undershirt." All the ot... Read More
Chapter 4 The races at school come to a halt when Leslie continues to beat the boys. Jess takes consolation that if he can't be th... Read More
Chapter 5 May Belle brings a package of Twinkies to school for lunch, a rare treat from her father. She brags about it on the bus ... Read More
Chapter 6 It is November, and Christmas preparations are underway at the Aarons house. Brenda and Ellie plan to buy presents for t... Read More
Chapter 7 After Christmas Bill is finished with his writing and starts repairs on their house, asking Leslie to help. She loves th... Read More
Chapter 8 March is unusually rainy, causing the dry creek bed to swell with water. The Aarons family prepares for Easter, the only... Read More
Chapter 9 Despite the constant rain Jess and Leslie go to Terabithia. As they look for coats and boots, Judy makes an appearance f... Read More
Chapter 10 Jess awakens early, as does May Belle. He shows affection for his scrawny little sister, holding out the promise of watc... Read More
Chapter 11 Jess, in shock, denies Leslie could have drowned. When his father explains that the rope broke and Leslie fell and likel... Read More
Chapter 12 Jess and his parents go to the Burkes' house to pay their respects. As they arrive, Prince Terrien joyfully jumps on Jes... Read More
Chapter 13 Jess goes to the stream to look for his paints, regretting his rash action the day before, and uses a large branch to ma... Read More
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