Katerine Paterson’s classic and heart-wrenching novel, Bridge to Terabithia, explores the lure of fantasy and the trauma of death. When outsider Jess Aarons befriends newcomer Leslie, the two children invent a kingdom they name Terabithia. To arrive at Terabithia, they must first swing on a rope over the creek, and it is there they find happiness, forgetting the boredom and misery of fifth grade. It is a wonderful school year, as the children make peace with the bully Janice, help Leslie’s father fix up his new home, and find a puppy for Leslie. Then one spring day, Jess accompanies his music teacher to a museum, figuring the rains have made the journey to Terabithia too dangerous. But Leslie decides to brave the trip, and a tragic accident claims her life. Stunned by the loss, yet grateful to have had Leslie as a friend, Jess lives up to the memory of this special girl, rescuing his little sister from a fall into the creek. Jess eventually builds a bridge across the creek, and leads his sister to the imaginary kingdom. With an intriguing array of fantasy elements, Paterson’s Newbery Medal winner is a powerful and emotional read, and gives students the opportunity to understand the finality of death. Appropriate for readers grades 5 and up.