Bridge to Terabithia is a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Paterson and was published in 1977 by Thomas Crowell. In 1978, it won the Newbery Medal. Paterson drew inspiration for the novel from a real event that occurred in August 1974 when a friend of her son was struck by lightning.
It's the story of fifth grader Jesse Aarons, who becomes friends with his new neighbor Leslie Burke after he loses a footrace to her at school. She is a smart, talented, outgoing tomboy, and he thinks highly of her. He is an artistic boy who, in the beginning, is fearful, angry, and depressed. After meeting Leslie, his life is transformed. He becomes courageous and learns to let go of his frustration.
Its content has been the frequent target of censors and appears at number eight on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books for the decade 1990–2000. It is studied in English studies classes in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
It has been adapted for the screen twice: a 1985 PBS TV movie and a 2007 Disney/Walden Media feature film.