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ERIC Number: EJ947106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1364-436X
Crossing the Water: Spiritual Growth in "Bridge to Terabithia" and "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy"
Thomas, Trudelle
International Journal of Children's Spirituality, v16 n3 p233-248 2011
The author analyses two award-winning juvenile novels, "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson and "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" by Gary Schmidt. Each novel portrays a deep friendship between a boy and girl who cross a stream (or river) into a world that includes fantasy, play, closeness to nature and animals, and a sense of the sacred. Within a year, the girl dies, leaving the boy changed forever. The friendship, the journey, and the loss all contribute to the boy's maturation. While both novels offer a compelling portrait of spiritual growth in children approaching puberty, Schmidt's adds complexity by placing the friendship within a larger cultural context; he explores the interplay of religious tradition, racism, and economics. Spiritual maturation is portrayed as a gradual process that is rooted in personal experience, allowing room for doubts and questions. These novels can help readers to think more deeply about the following five themes: (1) the value of "soul friendship" (what the Irish call "anam cara", friend of the heart); (2) talking back to authority figures; (3) freedom and personal conscience; (4) growing from disappointment or loss; and (5) flexibility in relating to the Holy. (Contains 15 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A