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Bridge to Terabithia

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Marissa Wong

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia
by Marissa Wong

Controversial Content
1. Bridge to Terabithia was banned for using magic and occult. (pg. 91) "Leslie lifted her arms toward the dark green canopy. 'O Spirits of the grove....We come on behalf of our beloved kingdom which lies even now under the spell of some evil, unknown force.'" This is a scene where Leslie is pretending to use her powers to speak to evil spirits which may have offended the religious.
2. For a children's chapter book, this was banned for having offensive language such as this: (pg.12) "'What are they teaching in that d*** school?' he had asked. 'Bunch of old ladies turning my only son into some kind of a-.'" Through this quote, we perceive that the book contains words a young student should not learn.
3. This book was also objected for the violence it contains. (pg. 115) "He hit her. In the face. As hard as he ever hit anything in his life. She stumbled backward from him with a little yelp." Here, Jess is hitting his sister which can be violent for a student to read.
Who Is Against the Book?
Book Summary
Literary and Cultural Value
Bridge to Terabithia was the 8th most frequently banned book in 1990-1999, and 28th in 2000-2009, for Satanism, offensive language and violence
Jess Aarons lived on a cow pasture with a family who gave him no freedom, except for his younger sister, May Belle. This corresponds with his situation of being locked up in his mob of fears. Then came along the new girl, adventurous Leslie Burke, who brought excitement to Jess's life. Together, they were free to imagine anything in their own secret territory, "Bridge to Terabithia." Not only pretending together, but the two friends understood one another in times of greatest sorrow and joy. Suddenly, Jess lost his best friend, and throughout his greatest hardship, his family healed and Jess learned to let go of his misery and fears.

Cultural Merit
: Throughout Bridge to Terabithia, society can learn effectual morals as it conveys that the worth of friendship overcomes hardship.

In the book, you will find that it is okay to fear something, but not okay to be ashamed of it. (pg. 123) "'Everybody gets scared sometimes, May Belle. You don't have to be ashamed." Jess had many fears he wished he did not have, but eventually was okay with it.
. After Leslie passed away, Jess needed to get over his misery. The quote,(pg.128)"'It's a secret, May Belle.'...he led her across the great bridge to Terabithia...'the beautiful girl arriving today might be the queen they've been awaiting for," demonstrates the idea that we must carry on with our lives, for Jess had replaced Queen Leslie with Queen May Belle.
Another worthwhile lesson we can take from this book is that sometimes hardship can heal broken relationships. (pg.116) "Everyone, even Brenda, was gentle to him." The Aarons family was finally being gentle with Jess after Leslie's death. Everyone has to confront their own uphills, but from this book, we gain hope for good out of them. Therefore, the banning committee is wasting this resplendent language for a couple of negative words.
People that are
would most likely ban this book, for they might disagree with the main characters using spells and pretend magic.
may object this book because they may not want their children to learn swear words.
could ban this book for using words that they do not want their students to be exposed to, especially in elementary school.
Should this book be in the Bowditch Library?
This book should be included in the Bowditch Middle School library if it is not yet. Sure, it does contain about 5 offensive words, magic spells, and one violent scene, but it should not be banned for a couple of reasons over inspirational story. Despite the slightly lower reading level, this literature still remains at the correct level of complexity for one in Bowditch to deeply analyze. The objectors are preventing readers to learn how to deal with fear and battles in life from this book, and to read the rich text of Bridge to Terabithia.

Literary Merit
: In this book, the author hides timeless meanings in metaphors.
The author shows how Jess feels emotionally in this: (pg.115), "He flung the papers and paints into the dirty brown water...He watched them all disappear." This descriptive comparison demonstrates that Jess is watching the colors in his life drain too quickly because of Leslie's death.

"Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was as delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits."(pg77) Jess made a big deal out of his fears, which made him helpless, as it will always tell the reader, over 500 years, that they must be careful to not make unimportant situations into a big deal.
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