While browsing the web, I got a link from NPR to the website of Catherine Paterson, www.terabithia.com., and her book “Bridge to Terabithia. HarperCollins Children’s Books published it. This is the small excerpt found on her website about the story:
“Jess Aarons had to be the Fastest runner at Lark Creek Elementary School, the best, but when he was challenged by Leslie Burke, a girl, that was just the beginning of a new season in Jess’s life. Leslie and her parents were new comers to the rural community where Jess Lived, and were thought to be a bit odd, for they didn’t even own a TV, though their house was filled with books. Some-what to Jess’s surprise, he and Leslie became friends, and the worlds of imagination and learning that she opened to him changed him for ever. It was Leslie’s idea to create Terabithia, their secret Kingdom in the woods where they reigned supreme. There no enemy – not their teacher Monster Mouth Meyers, their schoolmates Gary Fulcher and Janice Avery, Jess’s Four sisters, or even Jess’s own fears and Leslie’s imaginary foes – could defeat them. The Legacy that Leslie finally brought to Jess enabled him to cope with the unexpected tragedy that touched them all.” You can see this on the following webpage:
If you find Bridge to Terabithia good as a movie, you must know about its author too, logically. I am going to possess her books one by one, starting with Bridge. Her synopsis of her biography in her own words is as gripping and she comes out as a model woman. In her own words she has four children, two of them ‘home made’ and the other two children adopted, and she has produced books one after the other which are also her children of labour and imagination. When you read her words, her love for all humanity is evident. Her life reminds you of many women, many situations. If and when she retires from active life and takes life easy in the distant future of her September years, she will not lack for memories and reminiscences and all of them will be pleasant for her. She is one woman I admire in a platonic way.
If you want to know in her own words how she came up with the name Terabithia, go to the following link: http://content.scholastic.com/browse/collateral.jsp?id=1328_type=Contributor_typeId=3555. This is where you find her responses to an interview. Asked what was her favourite part in the book is where Jesse’s father comes to him at the creek and they talk about Leslie’s deather together. This part was left out in the movie. She says she reads her own books several years after they are published and finds it pleasurable because she feels they appear as if they are written by someone else. She adores her parents who were missionaries. Her own scool music teacher was very kind and thoughtful. You compare the teacher to the one in the movie and come to your own judgement. Her advise to a young author is to read and write. Her books have been published in 28 languages. She started writing from the time when she was very young., and she has written about 30 books. Bridge to Terabithia was inspired by the tragedy of the death of her son’s friend, who was struck and killed by lightning.
You can watch a video interview of Mrs. Paterson in this weblink: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/paterson