Why did Leslie and her family move into the Old Perkins place in Bridge to Terabithia?
Leslie and her family are different from what Jess is used to at Lark Creek. Bill and Judy Burke are both writers and a bit like hippies. Although they are very friendly, Jess feels weird that Leslie calls them by their first names and that they talk about culture and politics. They are not so concerned with what others think of them.
At the end of chapter 1 when May Belle tells Jess that a new family is moving in to the Old Perkins place, Jess assumes the moving truck is filled with junk and thinks they won't last long because the place is:
one of those ratty old country houses you moved into because you had no decent place to go and moved out of as quickly as you could.
He assumes the family is poor because that is the type that has been in that house before. However, once he befriends Leslie, he finds out more about her family.
In chapter 4, Leslie talks about all the amenities at the huge suburban school she used to attend in Arlington. She says her parents are going to try to farm it. Jess brings up money and how farming can be hard, but he learns that Leslie's parents are actually quite affluent. They didn't move into the old house because they are too poor for anywhere else—they moved there to "reassess their value structure":
they decided they were too hooked on money and success, so they bought that old farm and they're going to farm it and think about what's important.
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