Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win. But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground.
When Jess finds himself sticking up for the girl, Leslie, they unexpectedly become friends. Jess helps her adjust to life in their small rural town and Leslie helps Jess to discover his imagaination. Together they create a magical place in the woods near their homes where they they can escape from their world. They call the place Terabithia and they rule as its king and queen.
But the safety of their kingdom is shattered when a tradgedy happens and Jess's world is changed forever.
This is not a long story, but it is so beautifully written that it is not surprising that it won a Newbery Medal. I read it because it has just come out as a movie...and I like to read the book first. Now, I can't wait to see the movie, too!
Have you seen the movie? Read the book? Which did you like better?