This is another book that I somehow missed when I was a kid. In a way, I am glad that I did. I wonder how much I would have like the book had I read it when I was ten. This is no reflection on the book. I'm just not sure how I would have reacted to this book as a child. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Bridge to Terabithia, it filled me with deep sense of nostalgia and at times melancholy, something that I would no doubt not have felt had I read the book at a younger age.
Quite simply, the book is about a friendship between a boy and a girl who live in the countryside of Virginia. Jess and Leslie (Jess is the boy, and Leslie is the girl) develop a close relationship that helps them both to grow as individuals. In other words, it's a coming-of-age story. Katherine Paterson creates beautiful scenes with her simple, delicate prose, rendering the handful of illustrations by Donna Diamond nearly superfluous.
I can't imagine that the recently-released, Disney adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia will be anything but a disservice to the book. From the trailers alone, it looks like they have taken some fairly extreme liberties with the plot. But who knows, I could be wrong.