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Jesse lives on a farm with his family. In the beginning of the novel he is angry and depressed due to his duties on the farm and the constant annoyance of his four sisters. His ambition was to be the fastest kid in his grade and he trained all summer only to be beat by the newcomer Leslie Burke. He has a crush on Miss Edmunds the music teacher. He discovers how strange Leslie is during a music class and becomes friends with her. Becoming closer friends with Leslie and then losing her changes him as a person, he becomes more courageous and less angry and depressed.
Leslie is the only child in a happy family that recently moved to the countryside. The way she has been brought up makes her a very outgoing and imaginative game. She is prepared to live in the new area and makes new friends but after starting school she is socially ostracized for her tomboyishness, nonconformism to certain standards, and eccentricities. Later she becomes friends with Jesse Aarons and together they create an imaginary sanctuary from the burdens and pains of normal life which they name Terabithia. Leslie is later killed after a rope swing snaps and she drowns in the creek.
May Belle Aarons
One of Jesse's younger sisters and the only one he feels comfortable with but because she is only six while he is ten he feels that she is not a good confidante for him. She worships him from the beginning of the novel, and feels that she does not have a place in the family. She is the first sister to learn about Terabithia, and becomes queen after Leslie dies.
Joyce Ann Aarons
The youngest sister who is referred to as "nothing but a baby".
Ellie and Brenda Aarons
Jesse's two older sisters who are never mentioned separately and are never mentioned in a good way. They continually ask for pocket money from their money even though their mother cannot afford to give them much money. They whine whenever they want something from their parents and twist their words so that they get their way.
The school bully who was mean to May Belle Aarons which results in Leslie and Jesse getting back at her using a fake love note that they pretend she wrote. Afterwards she becomes friends with Leslie and Jesse after they find out she is a bully because he father beats her.
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Jess was having a hard time giving credibility to believing that Leslie was dead, so he chooses to avoid the reality of the news. He begins to plan future discussions with Leslie as a way of discounting the truth. He is finally forced to face the...
While Jess has been with Miss Edmunds at the National Gallery during the day, a disaster has happened to the family. When Jess gets home, the family is silent and staring at him; finally, his mother, Brenda, breaks down in tears and tells him that...