Episode 50: Bridge to Terabithia

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Bridge to Terabithia

Katherine Paterson’s beloved Bridge to Terabithia is the perfect subject for SSR’s milestone FIFTIETH episode! The winner of the 1978 Newbery Medal, this novel is perhaps best known for its truly heartbreaking ending and the way it introduces young readers to grief. Drawing on her own experience watching her young son lose a best friend to a tragic accident, Paterson touches on themes of imagination, friendship, poverty, conservatism, religion, and more in Terabithia. We take a deep dive into all of these subjects in Episode 50!

This week’s guest is Meg Elison, who identifies as an LGBTQ writer and essayist. She also writes satire and stage comedy for her sketch group, The Mess. Meg is well-known for a viral McSweeney’s essay entitled “If Women Wrote Men The Way Men Wrote Women,” and her novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife  was named a “Best Book of the Year” by Publisher’s Weekly. Her latest novel is called The Book of Flora. Follow Meg on Twitter (@megelison).


The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

The Book of Etta

The Book of Flora


Riverland by Fran Wilde


Bridge to Terabithia By Katherine Paterson” (Banned Library, 2016)

“Sudden Death: What Bridge to Terabithia still teaches us” (Slate, 2007)

“Connecticut Residents Seek to Ban Two Newbery Medal Winners from School” (BTW, 2002)

Terabithia Inspired by True Events” (NPR, 2007)

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