Reading Response for Bridge to Terabithia by Jacqui Ghodsi
Jess “loved to draw” (10) despite his father’s abhorrence of it, and teachers’ scorn of it as a waste of time, paper and ability (12). Drawing provided him with a feeling of serenity in his less than serene world of whining sisters and nagging mother. The peace it offered would “seep down through his tired and tensed up body” (10) making his thoughts less “muddled” (10) and life more coherent.
Only Miss Edmunds fully appreciated his drawings and encouraged the continued exploration of his unusual talent (12). Her understanding of his drawing encompassed not only a picture on a piece of paper, but also its inspired source that was constantly being discouraged. This acknowledgement, the like of which he’d never received, was innocently, but secretly, reciprocated by Jess who saw Miss Edmunds as not only a music teacher but as a “beautiful wild creature who had been caught for a moment in that dirty old cage of a schoolhouse” (13). For Jess, the recognition of his talent from such a creature translated into Miss Edmunds believing he was “the best” (12). However, this wasn’t “the best” as it pertains to rivalry or competition. This was “a best” that made Jess recognize that within him lay gems which made him “rich, very rich” (12) because they were highly valued by the only person he cared for deeply. But, like a pirate treasure, he had to keep “the knowledge of it buried” (12) lest he be robbed or deprived of it through the taunts of others.