Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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How do Leslie and Jess become friends? What interests and feelings regarding other people do they share?

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Jess and Leslie are both a little bit of social outcasts. It's not that people openly despise Jess or Leslie, but people view them as odd. For example, Jess isn't the stereotypical "jock," sports-loving boy. He likes running, and he's good at it, but that's about it for athletics. His true passion is art, and sadly that puts him on the peripheral of his peers.

Leslie has similar issues. She is the new girl to the school, and she simply doesn't act like a "normal" girl. She competes with the boys and often outperforms them. Her family itself is seen as otherworldly because they don't have a television. Jess resists being Leslie's friend at first, but he soon discovers that they have a lot more in common than simply being similarly estranged kids. They both share a love of running, and they both love to create and imagine things. They also have a similar moral compass which is evidenced by how they end up supporting Janice Avery despite her bullying.

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Jess likes art and drawing. His skills are not appreciated by his traditional family and the other kids at school. He often feels like a misfit within his own family.  Leslie is a bit of a tomboy and wins the "races" at recess against the boys. This is unheard of for a girl to do, so she is quickly thought of as a misfit,too. Leslie also dresses differently than the other kids the first day of school and she mentions in class that she doesn't have a television. The other students in this small town think of her as odd. Jess recognizes that. They both enjoy using their imaginations. Both also get bullied by Janice Avery.

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