Fellow Friend

March 10, 2011
By Alec Rumps BRONZE, Oceanside, California
Alec Rumps BRONZE, Oceanside, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As a child, we have had books that have made a significant impact on our lives. Book’s that have taken us to a new worlds and shown us a new existence. Bridge to Terabithia is a story about an eleven-year-old boy (Jess), an elementary student living in the rural south, who has big dreams of being the fastest boy in school. Despite his admirations for a new girl (Leslie) who comes to town and daringly walks over to the boys’ side of the playground and demolishes all the boys in a race. Jess is astonished and starts to get to know Leslie a little bit better. Soon Jess and Leslie couldn’t be separated. Like most of us, we have subjects that we can relate to and our close to our hearts. Jess the main character in the story, is a lot like me, and I find we share many of the same interests, as a child I felt a lot more connected to this character. In more ways than one, our lives have been shaken up with traumatic events, but being able to express these emotions with art has drawn Jess and I together.

The relationship between Jess and Leslie is an interesting one, with all the various struggles an eleven-year-old has to deal with in life. Their companionship holds them together. As Leslie introduces Jess to a whole new world of literature and imagination, their heads run wild with ideas, and their fantasy world is born. “Terabithia.” Set in the deep forest admist their neighborhood, where they run and play all day and fight off monsters that intrude on Terabithian territory, a sense of clarity and understanding of the society around them helps them grasp humanity.

The struggle to keep art a secret for Jess, has exhibited in my life especially as a child always having a secret, afraid someone would find out and make fun of me for it. This is a novel that hits home for me. Striving for acceptance, letting any one of my secrets out would have been a massacre to my “self image.” Such like in the book, Jess finally finds someone he can relate too completely. Expanding his mind to new horizons, Leslie also furthers Jess’s imagination by giving him an expensive new art set for Christmas. In disbelief and with such graciousness, Jess is completely secure with their relationship and wants nothing more than to be friends forever.

A tragic end becomes quick, when Jess is told Leslie has drowned in a creek that morning trying to reach Terabithia. Jess is shattered with the idea that he’s lost his best friend, the one that got him through his toughest times. Just when everything felt perfect, sudden devastation sent Jess in to a downward spiral. He then begins the stages of grief. This powerful passage in the book made an impression on me and began to resinate feelings of my past and bring back the strong emotions I had once bottled up inside me.

With expression and support from his family, Jess moves forward, but the memories of Leslie live on in this heart. Jess’s new found sense of self helps him to rediscover the strength that Leslie once gave him. Although the road is not easy for Jess, his art gets him through the heartache. So much like Jess, I’m compelled to this story of friendship, loyalty, compassion, and love. In need of salvation, this book struck a chord in me as a child facing similar problems. Short of this book, I don’t believe my childhood would have been the same.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!