Bridge to Terabithia Chapter 13 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

'Bridge to Terabithia' wraps up in chapter thirteen, and readers get to see what life will be like for Jesse once the dust settles after Leslie's death. Will you like the ending?

Chapter Thirteen: Building the Bridge

What do you want to happen to Jesse? To Terabithia? To Prince Terrien?

All these questions will be answered in chapter thirteen, and you can decide for yourself if you like how the author, Katherine Paterson, chose to wrap up this story of friendship.

Craving Normalcy

After Leslie's death, Jesse just wants to get back to some sense of normal as best he can. This doesn't mean that he's going to forget Leslie, but getting back to routine feels good.

Jesse resumes milking Miss Bessie, a chore his father has been doing since Leslie's death. Later, Jesse goes Terabithia with Prince Terrien - it is his favorite place after all. In the castle stronghold, Jesse doesn't see any change in the magical land.

Jess goes to Terabithia to connect with Leslie.

Jesse is overcome with emotions and starts asking questions to Leslie.

  • 'What am I supposed to do?'
  • 'Were you scared?'
  • 'Were you scared like me?'

Jesse tells Prince Terrien that they need to make a ceremonial wreath to honor the queen (Leslie). While they're crafting it, a cardinal swoops down and stares at their creation. Jesse is moved by this and says, 'It's a sign from the Spirits (…) we made a worthy offering.'

A cardinal is a sign from the Spirits.

In the distance, Jesse hears May Belle's cry for help. She's stepped partway across the tree bridge and is too scared to move forward. Even though his heart is beating out of his chest, he calmly guides his sister across the stream.

Change at School

While Jesse knows Leslie is gone, he is bothered that her school desk has been removed. Jesse is reminded that he was somewhat looking forward to the kids treating him with respect now, and the fact that he believed this now disgusts him.

Mrs. Myers calls him into the hallway. She tells Jesse how special Leslie was and that she wants to help Jesse get through it.

Jesse thinks about how Leslie opened his eyes to so many things, and how she 'had taken him from the cow pasture into Terabithia and turned him into a king.'

The Burkes

Bill and Judy return from Leslie's services in Pennsylvania, and they show up driving a moving truck. They moved to the Perkins place for Leslie, and now that she's gone, they have no reason to be there.

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