Set in the mid- 1970s, shortly after the conclusion of the Vietnam War, most of the action in this novel occurs in rural Virginia. Jess's father cannot support his large family in this depressed area and moves to Washington to earn extra money. The Burkes, a wealthy family from Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, have moved to a farm to reassess their "value structure." Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke meet at Lark Creek Elementary School, and despite dissimilar backgrounds and early tension, become close friends. Apart from the farm, the school, and Washington, D.C., the imaginary Terabithia that Jess and Leslie create in the woods becomes an important setting in which the characters reveal their pain and express their dreams.
(The entire section is 122 words.)