Dear Mrs. Katherine Paterson,
Your book, Bridge to Terabithia, changed the way I look at myself and my school mates. Even though 3rd graders could read it, the issues are very real for people in middle and high school. Jess and Leslie, the main characters, were imperfect, but they proved to be role models that anyone would want to look up to.
Leslie was new and very unique. She had experiences that seemed foreign to the people around her. Her classmates assumed she was strange, so they avoided and made fun of her. She didn't really care though, because she wanted to live her life to the fullest and didn't want to be attached to the strings of the "puppeteers" of the school. I can't imagine being the new kid in school? Would I try to fit in or would I be like Leslie? It seems nowadays, we are all trying hard to fit in. We don't want to be different or to be seen as weird. It is hard to be different. You may get nasty comments and people laughing at you. Leslie didn't let that get to her.
Another thing I that admire is that Leslie followed her dreams and helped Jess follow his. Jess was very artistic but he kept his artistic abilities hidden because he didn't want people to call him a sissy Leslie encouraged him to show his true self instead of sticking with the status quo. When Jess started to change his ways, it opened my eyes. I wasn't ashamed to admit that I like to play football and wrestle even though I am a girl. I didn't feel like a robot anymore. Leslie had told Jess to live his life to the fullest. I think we should all try to do the same thing. This book inspired me to do things that I wanted to do but was afraid of looking odd.
Leslie also showed me that I should befriend not only the popular and "normal" people, but also the people that were thought to be uncool, weird, weak or unfashionable. I started looking past some of those stereotypes and found that some of "out of the ordinary" people weren't as weird as everyone said and now some are my really good friends. Then I started hanging out with kids with disabilities. They were all super nice and funny. One day, one of my "normal'’ friends asked me why I was hanging out with the special needs kids. I got mad because they weren't wild beasts or anything, they were just like the rest of us, unique. I have realized that without this book, my life wouldn't have all of the great companions that I have now.
I think that every middle schooler should read this book, if they haven't done so already. It is an easy read so even people who don't like to read will still have an enjoyable experience. I am sure that if it impacted my life this much, It will also affect others. I will never have the same outlook on life as I did before I read the book.