This takes place in a small town in the 1970's. It is based on a boy named Jesse Aarons but he is called Jess. He cannot wait until fifth grade starts because he will be the fa stets runner, he even practiced all summer. He has two older sisters and two younger sisters. His older sisters never seem to do anything and are always ridiculing him.
His younger sisters look up to him, mostly May Belle though. Jess's dad works in Washington ans so he is gone during the day a lot. It is up to Jess to milk their cow Miss Bessie everyday. His dad isn't affectionate to him and seems only to be nice to the girls, the same goes for his mom. They try to treat him too much like a man.
One day, a new family moves into the old Perkin's farmhouse. There are usually families moving in and out of it all the time. There ends up being a girl named Leslie Burke who is the only child and Jess's age. She walks over to his house and says hi, but he ignores her. On the first day of school she is in his class.
She hangs around him during recess and is the first girl to race and beat all the boys. This hurts Jess because he had practiced all summer. They end up becoming real good friends though and hang around each other everyday. They help May Belle get the school bully Janice Avery back after she stole May Belle's twinkle. They did it by writing Janice a fake love letter from Willard Hughes saying that he liked her and for her to walk home from school with him. So, Janice ended up walking all alone back home from school.
Jess and Leslie create a secret place together in between their woods called Terabithia where Jess is the king and Leslie the queen. They built a small fort and try to talk like royalty does. In order to get to Terabithia they swing on a rope over a small creek. When Christmas comes around Leslie got Jess a new paint set since he loves to paint and his family is sort of poor.
Leslie's family is rich but doesn't show it because she wears raggedy clothes and doesn't have a tv. Both her parents are authors trying to live the country lifestyle after moving from the s city. They are like hippies because she calls them by their first names Bill and Judy. Well, Jess ended up getting Leslie a free puppy for Christmas since he had no money.
She named him Prince Terabithia and called him P. T. WEll, one day Miss Edmonds the music teacher called JEss up on a Saturday morning to see if he wanted to go to the Smithsonian museum in Washington. Jess is in love with Miss Edmonds because she understands his drawings and appreciates them, she is also young. While there all he could think about was why he didn't ask if Leslie could come with.
When he got home he couldn't wait to tell Leslie about his day. At home everyone was sad and he found out that Leslie had died that day. She went to cross the creek and it was so high from the previous rain. The rope snapped and she hit her head on a rock and fell in the creek. JEss was a wreck and his parents felt horrible. For the next couple of days his dad milked Miss Bessie for him.
They also went to her house to pay respect to her parents. Jess was mad at them because he did not get to see her body because they were cremating her. They gave Jess some old books of Leslies and told him how much she loved him. They also helped them pack their U haul becase they were moving back to Wahsington. Bill was going to give P. T.
to JEss but just could not let Leslies dog go. When Jess returned to school he thought that his mean teacher MRs. Meyers (but he called her Monster Mouth Meyers) had taken out Leslie's desk already. She pulled him into the hall to let him know how sad she was and that she had lost her husband too and everyone wanted her to move on but it was so hard. She also said that she was mad when one of the janitors took out the desks before she arrived. She started crying and Jess felt sad for all the time he mocked her behind her back.
In the end, May Belle went to Terabithia with JEss and they built a bridge. He crowned her the new queen of Terabithia.