Bridge to Terabithia

Characters

  • Jesse Aarons — In the beginning of the novel, is habitually fearful, angry and depressed. He also has a crush on his music teacher, Miss Edmunds, which plays an integral role in the final events of the story. After meeting and then ultimately losing Leslie, he is transformed, in that he becomes courageous and lets go of his anger and frustration.
  • Leslie Burke — An intelligent, talented, imaginative, outgoing girl, it is she who creates the imaginary kingdom of Terabithia. Her talents include gymnastics, creative writing, swimming and running. Jesse thinks highly of her, and they are loyal friends. She is a newcomer to Jesse's school, and not socially accepted by the other students. She dies when she falls into a creek and sustains a fatal head injury.
  • Joyce Ann Aarons — Jesse's bratty baby sister. May Belle thinks she is "nothing but a baby."
  • May Belle Aarons — One of Jesse's younger sisters. She is described as the only one of his siblings with whom he feels comfortable. However, because she is six years to his 10, she does not fit the mold of the ideal confidante to him, leaving him still desperate for companionship. She clearly worships him from the beginning, and like him, feels that she does not have a place in the family. She is the first of his sisters to learn about Terabithia, and becomes queen after Leslie dies.[6] She is the only one he allows to enter his world and the only one who has any sort of empathy for, or acceptance of, him in his family.
  • Ellie and Brenda Aarons — Jesse's two older sisters. They primarily exist as secondary static characters, or ones who do not grow or change as a result of the events of a story. They are never mentioned separately within the novel and are never portrayed in a positive light. From the beginning of the story, they continually ask for favors from their mother, and pocket money which she cannot afford to give them. With sufficient whining, they know how to get their way with their parents, such as asking for five dollars to pay for school supplies from their mother by saying that their father promised that they could have the money. Being the elder of the two and the eldest child in the family, Ellie develops their ideas. Both have an incredible desire not to have anything to do with Jesse specifically, but with all of their younger siblings more broadly. At the climax of the story, when Jesse learns of Leslie's death, Brenda is the one who tells him of it. The fact that she is the one who breaks the news to him in the novel only serves to increase the shock.
  • Janice Avery — The school bully at Lark Creek. She is very overweight and tends to become very offended when people tease her for being so. She has a crush on Willard Hughes, which Jesse uses to trick her. Her father beats her and she secretly smokes.
  • Miss Edmunds — The somewhat unconventional and controversial music teacher, whom Jesse greatly admires. She invites him to go to the Smithsonian Museum, which leads Leslie to go to Terabithia by herself. As a result, she is alone when she falls from the rope.
  • Prince Terrien — A puppy that Jesse gave Leslie as a Christmas present. He is the guardian and court jester of Terabithia. In the book, he is referred to as P.T.
  • Gary Fulcher — He and Jesse both hope to be the fastest kid in the fifth grade; he serves as another bully in the story, but he is not quite as mean as Janice Avery.
  • Mrs. Myers — Jesse and Leslie's teacher, given the nickname "Monster Mouth Myers." She favors Leslie, and tells Jesse after Leslie's death that she was the best student she had ever had. Her husband had also died.
  • Leslie's Parents — Novelists who come to the story's location for their work. Mom — book writer, Dad — political writer. Unlike most of the locals, they do not watch television.

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