Bridge to Terabithia


Katherine Paterson

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Bridge to Terabithia Characters

Jess Aarons

Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.—or Jess, as he prefers to be called—is the 10-year-old protagonist of Bridge to Terabithia. Athletic and artistic, sensitive yet determined to be tough and competitive, Jess is a skilled painter… read analysis of Jess Aarons

Leslie Burke

At the start of the novel, the spunky and tomboyish Leslie Burke is new to the town of Lark Creek, Virginia. She and her parents Bill and Judy (whom she calls by their first names)… read analysis of Leslie Burke

May Belle Aarons

Jess’s younger sister. A six-year-old who’s unusually precocious and perceptive for her age, May Belle is Jess’s favorite sibling. She looks up to him and admires his resilience as a runner. May Belle… read analysis of May Belle Aarons

Miss Edmunds

The music teacher at Lark Creek Elementary. Jess is “in love” with the beautiful, smart, talented, and empathetic Miss Edmunds, a self-described “liberated woman” who wears blue jeans and keeps her hair long and wild… read analysis of Miss Edmunds

Janice Avery

A seventh grader at the Lark Creek middle school and a notorious bully. Janice Avery’s imposing stature, petty cruelty, and the help she gets from her sidekicks Wilma and Bobby Sue all make her a… read analysis of Janice Avery
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Mrs. Myers

The strict, unsmiling fifth-grade teacher at Lark Creek Elementary. Jess and Leslie often make fun of “Monster Mouth Myers” for being an unattractive and humorless stickler, using cruel language to mock her appearance and demeanor… read analysis of Mrs. Myers

Bill Burke

Leslie’s father and Judy’s husband. A political writer whose job often takes him to Washington, D.C., Bill and his wife are open-minded and progressive. At the start of the novel, sick of city… read analysis of Bill Burke

Judy Burke

Leslie’s mother and Bill’s wife. A young, beautiful, and idealistic novelist, Judy is warm, accepting, and empathetic. Judy often reads poetry aloud to Jess and Leslie, filling Jess with a feeling of beauty… read analysis of Judy Burke

Mr. Aarons

Jess, May Belle, Brenda, Ellie, and Joyce Ann’s father. A hardworking man who drives into Washington, D.C. to work each day, since there are no jobs to be had in… read analysis of Mr. Aarons

Mrs. Aarons

Jess, May Belle, Brenda, Ellie, and Joyce Ann’s mother. Often frazzled, worried, and overworked, Mrs. Aarons struggles to balance housekeeping and her motherly duties. Jess often feels that his mother… read analysis of Mrs. Aarons

Brenda Aarons

Jess’s eldest sister. Brenda thinks Jess is a nuisance and is constantly teasing him, laughing at him, and trying to get him in trouble with their mother. She is preoccupied with looks and… read analysis of Brenda Aarons

Ellie Aarons

Jess’s older sister. Like Brenda, Ellie is preoccupied with looks and appearances—but she is a bit more prim and graceful than Brenda, and often acts like a know-it-all. Ellie delights in making fun… read analysis of Ellie Aarons
Minor Characters
Joyce Ann Aarons
Jess’s youngest sister. A little girl of just four years old, Joyce Ann is quiet and overly sensitive, often crying at even the slightest bit of teasing from her older siblings.
Willard Hughes
A boy at school on whom all the girls have crushes. Jess and Leslie decide to use their knowledge of Janice Avery’s infatuation with Willard to play a cruel prank on her as retribution for stealing May Belle’s Twinkies.
Gary Fulcher
A competitive and athletic fifth grader who becomes insecure and defensive when he realizes that Leslie Burke is a better runner than all of the boys.
Wayne Pettis
The former fastest runner in the fifth grade, whose legacy Jess is determined to live up to.
Wanda Kay Moore
A “snotty” girl at school who loves being a teacher’s pet.
Wilma Dean
One of Janice Avery’s friends and a school bully.
Bobby Sue Henshaw
One of Janice Avery’s friends and a school bully.