How is Leslie different from the other students?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Leslie is very different than the other students in the school.  She is dressed very differently than the rest of the students on the first day of school.  She is wearing shorts, a shirt, and tennis shoes, while the other kids are dressed in their best clothes.  This sets her apart immediately.  At lunch, some girls make fun of her partially because she is eating yogurt for lunch.  It is hard not knowing anybody nor understanding the customs of a new school.  Leslie is also different in that she feels it is acceptable to take part in activities which normally, at this school, are reserved for boys.  When she takes part in the races, she is so good at running that she beats all of the boys.  This also sets her apart.  Leslie's family is also different from the other families.  Her family moved from the city.  Her parents were in professional jobs as writers.  They moved away from the city to reexamine their values.  They felt they were too focused on financial and material things.  Because of this, Leslie didn't have a television at home, which amazed the other kids in the grade.  There were many ways Leslie was different from the other students.  This made her adjustment to the new school much more difficult.

reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Leslie Burke is different from the other students except perhaps, Jess, who becomes her friend. She is a transfer student from a city school that is far better equipped than Lark Creek Elementary. She stands out on the first day of school by wearing cut-offs, an undershirt-like tee, and shoes without socks. All the other students are wearing their best Sunday clothes. She also runs with the boys which is unheard of and wins the heat against the fastest boys. As well, she eats yogurt at lunch.

However, more importantly, Leslie is good at many things. She is an excellent writer and her favorite hobby is scuba diving which scares Jess. She also has a great deal of imagination, and that's how she and Jess create Terabithia. Leslie's parents have money even though Leslie doesn't act like it. In Jesse's community, the people work hard for a living. Leslie's parents choose to live simply by their own choice when they purchase the old farm. These differences set Leslie apart from the other fifth-graders.