Bridge to Terabithia Chapter 10 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

In Chapter 10 of 'Bridge to Terabithia', Jesse has a nearly perfect day with one of his favorite people. However, this day takes a dramatic turn when he comes home to hear some devastating news.

Chapter Ten: The Perfect Day

What's your idea of a perfect day? What would you do? Who would you be with? Let's find out about a day that starts out perfectly for Jesse in Bridge to Terabithia.

May Belle

Still on Easter break, Jesse wakes up early to his dad's truck starting. Even though his father is out of work, he still leaves the house in the morning to look for work. Sometimes he is able to find temporary work cleaning or unloading furniture.

Jesse's sister May Belle wakes up, too, and she questions Jesse as he gets up to milk Miss Bessie. They bicker with one another, and Jesse tells her that if she's quiet they will watch cartoons together when he's done with his chores.

Miss Bessie

Jesse milks Miss Bessie and wonders if cows ever feel fear the way he does. He knows that Miss Bessie doesn't like when Prince Terrien gets too close to her, but that's discomfort, he believes, not true fear. His mind wanders to how he wants to tell Leslie that he doesn't want to go to Terabithia. He practices aloud exactly how he's going to say it, but never gets it quite right.

May Belle interrupts his monologue to tell him that he has a phone call, and she thinks that it might be Miss Edmunds, his music teacher. It turns out it is Miss Edmunds, and she invites Jesse to join her on a tour of Washington museums - maybe the Smithsonian, maybe the National Gallery. She asks if Jesse needs to get permission to go with her, and of course, he does. He scrambles to find his sleepy mother, blurts out something about going to Washington with a teacher, and runs out to meet Miss Edmunds in his driveway.


National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Jesse loves every moment driving in the car with Miss Edmunds. He's getting alone time with her, and he's all excited about his first-ever trip to Washington. His mind, however, wanders back to Leslie and feels momentary guilt when he thinks about how he didn't ask her to join him. It didn't cross his mind, he tells himself, and she's probably been to all the museums there before anyway.

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