Story about a made-up kingdom paralleling a boy's emotional journey and growth.
Jesse Aarons unexpectedly makes a friend in the odd Leslie Burke. Through their fifth grade year Leslie helps Jesse see the world in a way that his tough father has made it hard for him to see. When an accident shakes Jesse's world, he, his family, and the community must view Leslie in a new light.
Jess and Leslie care for one another as best friends do, and stand up for not only each other but other kids at their school who keep getting bullied.
Jess's father is very tough on him and favors his little sister, which hurts him a lot. Leslie shows kindness even to the school's biggest bully.
Jess and his sister agree that the story of Jesus' death and resurrection is scary because if they don't believe in it God will "damn them to hell." Leslie doesn't believe in the Bible like they do and thinks Jesus' story is beautiful like Socrates'.
It turns out one of the bullies is beaten by his dad, and bullies others to cope. Someone suffers a concussion and drowns.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Crude or Profane Language or Content
None in a swearing context.
"Bridge to Terabithia" is a Newberry winner for a reason - a story about a sad boy whose new friend shows him that life has hope and beauty. It is short yet captures happiness, sorrow, hope, fear, and love strongly. There's not much mention of God other than in a to-be-feared way though, sadly, and the lovely girl main character might not even be religious.