When Jess finds out that his best friend in the entire world has died, he shuts down. His reaction is the complete opposite of what anyone would have expected that no one really knows how to respond to him. At first he thinks that it is all a terrible dream, but reality soon sets in and he knows that he will never find another friend like Leslie again.
As he moves through the days that follows, he blames himself for not telling Leslie about his adventure with Ms. Edmond’s, and for not being honest with her about why he was afraid to go to Terabithia. Jess goes through the motions of what is expected of him, and surprising to him, his father pitches in to help with the chores that Jess normally carries out. He knows that he should do something for Leslie, and so in their secret place, he builds a small shrine for her. The first queen of Terabithia has gone, leaving its king to mourn her loss.
When Leslie’s parents decide to move and leave the house behind, Jess asks her father if he can have some of the wood that was left over from the renovations that they were doing on the house. With his permission, Jess helps himself to several good pieces of wood and begins to construct a bridge across the river. His younger sister knows the secret of the place that they shared, and he feels it is only proper to bring her over. After all, every kingdoms need a queen, right?
This week we are reading Chapters 11-13
1. Jess places a lot of blame on himself for Leslie’s accident. Do you think it was fair of him to do so?
2. Do you think the magic of Terabithia remains after Leslie’s death? With the memories of Leslie, do you think Jess will be able to keep the imagination and stories that Leslie shared with him alive in his mind?
3. True friendships that last through time are hard to find. What do you and your friends do together? Do you have one friend that you spend more time with than any others?
4. Do you think Jess begins to appreciate his sister more toward the ending of the book? Is this why he has chosen to share his secret with her?